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Campaign for World Memorial for Jewish Martyrs Launched

The launching of a world-wide fund-raising campaign for the World Memorial for Jewish Martyrs in Paris was marked here at Yom Kippur services. The memorial will include a Tomb to the Unknown Martyr of Nazi persecution, a museum and a documentation center which will house documents concerning the persecution of European Jewry by the Hitler regime.

Construction of the memorial, which was dedicated last May, is expected to begin in November and–it is hoped–will be completed by the end of 1954. The project will cost an estimated 150,000,000 francs. Although Jews in France, Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Scandinavia, South Africa and the Belgian Congo will be asked to contribute, it is estimated by Isaac Schneerson, French Jewish leader who is the moving spirit behind the project, that most of the money will have to come from North and South America with the largest share from the United States.

(In hundreds of synagogues throughout the United States–Orthodox, Conservative and Reform–rabbis spoke of the memorial during the Yom Kippur services. The rabbis responded to an appeal sent to some 2,500 rabbis by Dr. Norman Salit, head of the Synagogue Council of America, who asked that the worshippers be reminded of the memorial. The letter also requested that each synagogue set up a committee to record for registration in the memorial the names of relatives and friends of congregation members who were murdered by the Nazis.)

M. Schneerson, explaining the usefulness of the proposed documentation center, revealed that among the documents recently examined and catalogued was a file of 19,000 receipts for confiscated personal property issued to French Jews when they were transferred from a concentration camp at Drancy, France, to the Auschwitz death camp. The receipts will permit survivors to claim their money and valuables, or compensation, and will give heirs of those who perished legal evidence to support their claims.

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