Jews in Europe Fear New Soviet Policy, Dr. Syngalowski Reports

Dr. Aron Syngalowski, head of the World ORT Union, arrived here today to negotiate with the Joint Distribution Committee an arrangement for financing in 1953 part of the ORT program in Europe, North Africa and Israel.

“A black cloud of dejection and fear has overcome European Jewry since the announcement of the Communist anti-Semitic drive,” Dr. Syngalowski reported. “This is particularly the case in Germany, including Western Germany, where signs of the death camps and scars of the Naxi extermination program still abound. Speculation is rife on Moscow’s motives, but I met no uncertainty as to the enormity of the terrible threat that now hangs over the heads of Jews in Communist dominated lands. The effects are already felt on the whole continent.

“Continued and even expanded support by American Jews to humanitarian and welfare programs, such as ORT, is essential as a repudiation of the charges made and above all as assurance to European Jews that they will not be abandoned in this threatening hour,” Dr. Syngalowski said.

In review of ORT’s worldwide activities during l952–on which the organization spent $2,535,000, more than one-third of which was supplied by the J.D.C. –Dr. Syngalowski revealed expansion of services to Jews in Europe, Israel, North Africa and Iran. Typical of such expansion was the establishment of an ORT school for training television servicemen in Italy, the first such school in the country. Also, two new schools were established in Iran, six in North Africa–where the governments of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia now subsidize ORT schools.

In Israel, the world ORT leader pointed out, the organization new has four-year advanced vocational training courses as well as two-year courses to teach new immigrants a trade. With the precision tools and machinery recently shipped to the ORT schools in Israel, the students at these schools will be able to turn out machine tools for export. He reported that the first 17 graduates of ORT’s teacher training center in Geneva were this year assigned to schools in Israel, North Africa and Europe.

The French program has proved of such national value, Dr. Syngalowski stated, that the French Government and other French sources are supporting some 60 percent of the $520,000 ORT program in that country. In reviewing the ORT’s work in Germany. Dr. Syngalowski spoke bitterly of the life of some 2,000 displaced Jews who still live in the Foehrenwald camp in fear of the present and of the future–fearing the possibility that they will never be able to leave the camp for permanent homes, and fearing at the same time that the camp will be abandoned and they will be thrust out to become dependent upon the Germans. He stressed that something must be done to alleviate their plight.

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