Clergymen Who Toured Germany, Austria Under Army Aegis Critical of Displaced Jews

Two American clergymen who studied conditions in Germany and Austria this summer as guests of the U.S. Army have issued reports highly critical of Jewish displaced persons. The reports are part of four released by the Department of the Army. They are the first received from a group of 14 clergymen–Protestant, Catholic and Jewish–who studied conditions between the end of June and the end of July.

Dr. Alfred Carpenter, director of the chaplains commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, writes that there was more restlessness and idleness in the camps for displaced Jews than in the installations housing persons of Baltic origin, who, Dr. Carpenter says, would be “desirable neighbors in the U.S.” He calls for a “no work -no eat” policy.

The refusal of the Jewish DP’s to perform any work that would aid the German economy is also condemned by Dr. Harold J. Ockenga, pastor of the Park Street Church in Boston, who writes that it is “a mistake to allow the Jewish displaced persons to exist in idleness.” Dr. Ockenga says that many DP’s who were compelled to live by their wits during periods of persecution still do so, adding that this is “especially true of the Jewish camps, which seem to be the center of black market operations.” He also was “particularly impressed” by the Balts.

Dr. George Pitt Beers, executive secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, in his report urged passage of the Stratton Bill, which would authorize the admission into the U.S. of 400,000 DP’s over a period of four years. He cautioned, however, that great care should be taken not to favor “certain groups, religious or otherwise, at the expense of other groups, just as worthy.”

The fourth report, written by Dr. W.O.H. Garmn, director of civil affairs of the American Council of Christian Churches, complained that Catholics were receiving preference over Protestants in securing U.S. visas.

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