New York (Aug. 12)
The charge that U.S. authorities in the American oc?pation zone of Germany have failed to organize the democratic forces there and that ?zism and racism are, if anything, on the increase, was made here today by Dr. John lawson, executive vice-president of the American Jewish Committee, upon his return ?om Europe where he visited Germany, France and England in behalf of his organization.
Speaking at a press conference, Dr. Slawson said that anti-Semitism in the ?S. zone of Germany is “overt and active” and is reflected “in many forms.” He armed that U.S. troops in Germany, far from carrying out a program of democratiz?on among the Germans, were being “educated in reverse” and that, unless “more po?nt” educational methods are employed and more resources are made available by Con?ress for this purpose, the German infection of Nazism, racism, and the concept of the Herrenvolk” which expresses itself in all forms of bigotry would spread.
The displaced persons, Dr. Slawson said, are an inescapable world problem and the world has not yet recognized that they are a potential asset. “Vigorous young people in the depressing and stultifying and artificial environment of the DP camps are engaged in trade training and a very active cultural, educational and religious life,” he stated. “They have a great deal of initiative and real creative impulse and they are only waiting for an opportunity to express their will to live.
“There is no question that the vast majority of them wish to go to Palestine,” the continued. “That becomes self-evident to anyone who visits them in the camps, as I did. All of the DP’s want to leave Germany for places where they can reconstitute their lives on a normal basis.”
The liberal tradition is alive in France, Dr. Slawson declared, calling that country the most hopeful sample of what western Europe might accomplish in the field of protection of minorities. “No basic anti-Semitism exists in France,” he said,” and the many leaders, Jewish and non-Jewish, with whom I talked, assured me there was no semblance of social anti-Semitism. The French have been most helpful in the displaced persons problem and most generous within the limits of their severely curtailed resources.”
Basing itself on the hopeful aspects of the situation in France, Dr. Slawson said, the American Jewish Committee wishes to help the Jews of western Europe who wish to stay there to live on a plane of equality with their fellow men. While in Paris, Dr. Slawson opened the Committee’s office there, which will launch a program of civic defense and cultural aid to the Jews of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.