Jewish Group Withdraws from Restitution Successor Organization

The Council for the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Jews from Germany, an organization of Jews who formerly lived in Germany, has withdrawn its representatives from the executive board of the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization in protest against the JRSO’s alleged refusal to allocate funds which the Council asked for its social welfare programs among aged and indigent refugees.

The JRSO was formed by 12 world Jewish organizations to claim heirless Jewish property in the United States zone of Germany. Between 1949-1953 the JRSO granted the bulk of its funds to the American Joint Distribution Committee and to the Jewish Agency both of whom were principally engaged in the relief and resettlement of the Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution. JRSO funds during the same period contributed towards the resettlement of more than 70,000 Jewish victims from Germany as well as towards the support of thousands more living within Germany largely through the local Jewish communities there.

In a letter to the JRSO announcing the Council’s action, Dr. Leo Baeck, former Chief Rabbi of Berlin and now head of the Council, said that every reasonable request which his organization placed before the JRSO “was in some way or other put off” in the course of the last four years. “We think that we are entitled to say that we have shown a great deal of patience and a steady wish to cooperate honestly,” Dr. Baeck wrote.

The Council, in a subsequent statement, declared: “This deplorable rift in the structure of Jewish organizational life at a time when solidarity is needed should not be misinterpreted as ingratitude on the part of the German Jews or as their dissociation from the two great Jewish organizations which act as the operating agents of the JRSO.

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