U.S. Jewish Communal Officials Visit Berlin; Talk to Refugees

A group of five leading officials of American Jewish communal organzations who spent two days here this week-end studying the situation of Jewish refugees from the Soviet zone of Germany, have been impressed with the need to give these refugees assistance and will recommend aid for them, it was stated here by Samuel Haber, Joint Distribution Committee director in Berlin.

Mr. Haber said that the American leaders will ask the United Jewish Appeal to help these refugees from East Germany to migrate to any country which will take them, including the United States. The members of the investigating commission were: Sidney Cohen of Boston; Edward Kahn of Atlanta; Dan Rosenberg of St. Paul; Bernard Gottlieb of Hartford; and Arthur Rosichan of Buffalo.

Breaking the silence which they have maintained during the past three weeks since they fled East Germany, eight former Jewish communal officials of Communist Germany revealed yesterday that they came to the Western zone when faced with a demand that they endorse the trial of Rudolf Slansky, denounce Israel, Zionism and the Joint Distribution Committee.

Julius Meyer, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of East Germany, revealed that he had been interrogated by Communist security officials for periods of three and five hours. He was questioned about personal matters, including contacts with people living in Israel, and about his spending of West German money in a West Berlin department store.

He revealed that he agreed to draft a resolution as requested and sent telegrams and telephoned members of the executive to come to Berlin from various cities in East Germany. By pre-arrangement the communal leaders brought their families with them and then passed through East Berlin to West Berlin without the formality of holding an executive committee session.

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