NEW YORK (Feb. 4)
A number of groups–chiefly Catholic–took issue yesterday with a suggestion advanced by six national Jewish organizations that careful screening be instituted for displaced persons prior to their admission to the United States, in order to prevent “Nazis, their collaborators and all others contaminated with racism and totalitarianism” from reaching this country.
“Those Americans who now urge additional screenings,” the opposing groups said in a joint letter published in the New York Times, “should know that every DP under the U.S. Army of Occupation has passed through at least seven or eight different screenings. Some have been screened as many as 30 times.” ,p/>The letter also advocates the admission to the U.S. of Volksdeutsche who are not recognized as DP’s under the constitution of the International Refugee Organization because they are of German ethnic origin. It “warmly welcomes” the fact that the six Jewish organizations “have repudiated the recent sweeping attacks against Polish, Baltic, Ukrainian and certain other displaced persons,” but regrets that “there has been widespread propaganda from other sources, implying that a large proportion of the non-Jewish DP’s are former Nazi collaborators.”
The six Jewish organizations which urged stricter screening of DP’s seeking to enter the U.S. said that many former Nazi collaborators and, other persons with Nazi sympathies are living in displaced persons camps. They declared that DP’s should be excluded from entry to the U.S. only after the most careful investigation in each case justifies such action. They condemned “as irresponsible and indefensible any effort to cast blanket aspersions upon any national or religious group of persons.” the Jewish groups include the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans and National Community Relations Advisory Council.
The non-Jewish groups which signed the letter to the N.Y. Times against a stricter screening process include the National Catholic Rural Conference, Refugee Defense Committee, Common Cause, Inc., Catholic Hungarian League, National Lutheran Council, United Ukrainian American Belief Committee, Brooklyn Diocesan Resettlement Committee, United Lithuanian Fund of America, Slovak Catholic Federation of America; League of Catholic Slovenian Americans, New York Archdiocesan Resettlement Committee and the Tolstoy Foundation, Inc.