American Jewish Groups Issue Statement Condemning Trial of Cardinal Mindszenty

The trial of Cardinal Mindszenty, Roman Catholic primate of Hungary, was condemned in a statement issued here today by three national Jewish organizations: The American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Labor Committee and the Jewish War Veterans. “When it is recalled that Bishop Lajos Ordas of the Lutheran Church in Hungary also been arrested and imprisoned, it is difficult not to conclude that the communist Government has embarked on a program of religious persecution, which it is seeking to disguise as prosecution on political grounds,” the statement said. “Nor, in view of the methods to which totalitarian governments commonly resort to wring confessions’ from their victims, has this suspicion been dispelled by what has happened at Cardinal Mindszenty’s so-called trial, at which, interestingly enough, the residing judge and the prosecuting attorney are former Nazis.

“The undersigned organizations, in conformity with their uncompromising support of full religious freedom for all men, take this occasion to register their reference of all religious persecution, and their sympathy with the church leaders who are currently being persecuted in Hungary,” the statement concluded.

Herbert H. Lehman, in a letter to Cardinal Spellman of New York, made public today, said: “I am shocked beyond measure by the procedure and the verdict in the trial of Cardinal Mindszenty. This sham trial is an affront to the entire civilized world it is a matter that concerns not only the Catholic Church, but deeply offends the conscience of all liberty-loving people. It is an effort to destroy or weaken through persecution and fear all religion and all democracy. Its Implications directly affect people of all creeds in every part of the world. I deeply pray that the fight for Cardinal Mindszenty’s vindication and release will be continued under the leadership of this country and that the forces of bigotry and atheism will be routed.”

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