NEW YORK (Dec. 11)
Brigadier General Morris C. Troper, former chairman of the European executive of the Joint Distribution Committee, was tonight presented with a plaque “for his manifold achievements on behalf of his people and his dedicated service to his country” at a dinner in his honor tended by the American Jewish Congress at the Hotel Biltmore. More than 450 persons representing business and industry the professions and communal affairs, attended the dinner.
Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice chairman of the JDC, who was one of the principal speakers, told the guests that history seems to be repeating itself. “Since 1914,”he said, “the Joint Distribution Committee has seen the endless procession of refugees on the march, Today, we see them again, Of the more than 100,000 Hungarians who have fled to freedom, over 7,000 are Jews. Other refugees have been coming from various parts of North Africa to France and Israel for some time.
“The year’s end brings the shadow of a new catastrophe over the 50,000 Jews of Egypt. The all too familiar pattern of confiscation, internment and expulsion of a helpless, hapless minority is repeating itself. Will the world sit by and permit this crime to take place as it did in the past when Hitler set his S.S. men against the Jews of Europe? Mr. Leavitt asked.
Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, drew the ominous parallel between events in Egypt today and those which occurred during the Hitler period. “The violation of fundamental human rights which begins by victimizing Jews in Egypt may have as its next step,” he emphasized, “the victimization of Christians in Egypt. In the history of tyrannical dictatorships, it has happened again and again that Jews have been in the vanguard of the victims. America, which has expressed its revulsion at the outrages perpetrated by the Kremlin on the fighters for freedom in Hungary, should also raise its voice to condemn the trampling on human rights by Nasser in Egypt.”
General Troper went to Europe after World War I to organize rescue work for the Joint Distribution Committee in such countries as Poland, Rumania, Austria and Hungary. As chairman of the JDC’s European executive, he personally supervised the agency’s relief and rescue efforts in Germany, France and Portugal from 1938-1941. He is the recipient of the French Government’s Legion of Honor medal for humanitarian work, and is a member of the Board of the JDC and of the ORT organization.