UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Mar. 21)
The Jewish Labor Committee today petitioned the United Nations to launch an investigation into the treatment of minorities, especially the Jewish people, in the Soviet Union. It asked that the U.N. gather all available information by inviting witnesses to testify at public hearings and to press for immediate cessation of “cultural and spiritual genocide” in Russia.
The petition was presented to Egon Schwelb, acting head of the Human Rights Division of the U.N. Secretariat, by three officers of the J.L.C.: David Dubinsky, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union; Joseph Baskin, general secretary of the Workmen’s Circle; and Adolph Held, chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee.
Under U.N. rules no action can be taken on the petition by the Human Rights Commission. It will be filed with the Commission, whose members may discuss it in private session when the organ meets in Geneva in April. Also, copies will be sent to the accused U.N. member governments, the U.S.S.R., Czechoslovakia and Poland.
The petition charged that “in Soviet Russia today there are only a few shreds of Jewish cultural and spiritual life remaining. In the other countries under its domination, the process is rapidly approaching a similar stage.” It said “the Soviet campaigns to blot out Jewish cultural life and Jewish identity” violate the U.N. Charter, the Covenant of Human Rights and the U.N. Genocide Convention.