Jewish Groups Attack Bill As “un-american” Ask Beatification
Menu JTA Search

Jewish Groups Attack Bill As “un-american” Ask Beatification

Download PDF for this date

All major Jewish organizations today expressed dissatisfaction with the bill to admit 205,000 displaced persons to the United States within two years which was adopted last night by’s joint conference of representatives of the Senate and the House and approved today by the House.

Judge Joseph N. Proskauer, president of the American Jewish Committee, issued a statement calling upon the American people “to see to it that their representatives in Congress take Immediate and positive steps to rectify this un-American act. Declaring that the bill preserves all the evil and little of the good of either the Senate or House measures” on emergency immigration of displaced persons to the U.S., judge Proskauer said:

“The American Jewish Committee regards this compromise bill as a betrayal of our basic American tradition. Through ignorance or design this legislation in effect aims at the deliberate exclusion of Jews, and to a lesser extent, of Catholics, now languishing in displaced persons camps in Europe. It places on the statute books discriminatory legislation of a type for which there is no precedent in our history. It abdicates an opportunity to establish world leadership by our government looking tower a final and permanent solution to the tragic human problems created by the Nazi holocaust.”

Rabbi Irving Miller, chairman of the American Jewish Congress executive committee, described the bill as a measure designed to prevent displaced persons from entering this country. Charging that the “legislative monstrosity ‘will work irreparable injury to the international reputation of the U.S., “Rabbi Miller said: “Particularly abhorrent to men of good will is the provision denying relief to DP’s who entered the DP camps after Dec. 22, 1945, thus arbitrarily discriminating against 200,000 Jews, and the unreasonable preference for residents of the Baltic states, which arbitrarily discriminates against Catholics and Jews, and the completely unreasonable requirement that a DP must be able to guarantee before he enters this country that he will have safe and sanitary housing here.”


Condemning the conference bill as an “affront to American traditions and a blow to American prestige in the eyes of the world,” Frank Goldman, president of B’nai B’rith, insisted that the “vice of the bill is aggravated by its sanctimonious pretensions. In the guise of a humanitarian measure, we have a gratuitous insult to millions of loyal Americans, as well as a callous rejection of the pleas of innocent and worthy refugees.”

“The conference bill on displaced persona substantially embodies the provisions of the Senate’s Wiley-Revercomb Bill, which President Truman described as ‘discrimination against national and religious groups, ‘” Goldman said. “The date selected to determine eligibility for admission into the United States, against the advice and recommendations of the State Department, has the deliberate effect of such discrimination.”

Justice Meir Steinbrink, chairman of the Anti-Defamation league, labelled the bill discriminatory. He said: “It is not a bill for DP’s but cruel and vicious legislation against them. The bill, as approved, is framed in accordance with Nazi racial ideology, giving preference to ‘Volksdeutsche’ who served as Hitler’s fifth column in many European countries and discriminating against the true surviving victims of Nazi persecution.

“This bill was supposed to help the victims of Fascism regardless of race or creed. Actually it sets up racial qualifications. It is no DP bill at all. To say it is, is to commit a fraud upon the American people and upon the world,” Justice Steinbrink stated.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund