American Jewish Committee Warns Russia and Germany on Anti-semitism
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American Jewish Committee Warns Russia and Germany on Anti-semitism

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The American Jewish Committee concluded today its three-day annual meeting with the adoption of resolutions assailing “the persistent official policy of discrimination against Jews in the Soviet Union,” and warning Germany not to permit the “revival of racially motivated nationalism and anti-Semitism.” The meeting also adopted a resolution hailing Israel on its tenth anniversary. Irving Engel was reelected president of the AJC for a fifth term.

Asserting that the threat of the revival of anti-Semitism in Germany exists despite the fact that Germany has a democratic political structure, the Committee stressed in its resolution that “recent incidents have caused concern” over a possible “serious deterioration in public opinion and attitudes regarding anti-Semitism,” The resolution urged the leaders of Germany “in the government and the opposition alike” to “counter this challenge through education and legal measures and with the support of all democratic forces.”

Zachariah Shuster, head of the Committee’s European office, reporting to the meeting on the situation in Germany, disclosed for the first time the results of recent public opinion polls and surveys of German attitudes. He reported that of the people polled in these studies, about 39 percent of the Germans “were definitely anti-Semitic” with most of them in the post-35 and in the post-50 age groups. The highest percentage of anti-Semitism exists in the rural areas, particularly in small towns.

In its resolution on the Soviet Union, the American Jewish Committee pointed out that “Mr. Khrushchev now himself gives testimony to the discriminatory anti-Jewish policies of his regime by singling out the Jews in the Soviet Union for character assassination and denunciation.” The Committee hailed the “liberal immigration policies of Brazil, especially in relation to the Jewish victims of Soviet totalitarianism and Arab nationalism, from Hungary and Egypt, who found haven” in Brazil during the past year.

The resolution marking the tenth anniversary of Israel’s statehood, stated that “since its establishment in 1948, Israel has become a home for hundreds of thousands of Jews who were in need of a haven of refuge, has built a democratic state, has aspired for world peace and has dedicated itself to a successful solution of many serious and complicated problems.”


Speaking at a special session dedicated to the Tenth Anniversary of Israel’s statehood, Yaacov Herzog, Israel’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, expressed gratitude on behalf of his government to the American Jewish Committee “for its deep interest in Israel and for the contribution it has made to the strengthening of American-Israel friendship.”

Irving M. Engel, in his presidential address, recommended the creation of a comprehensive plan centered on a regional, Middle Eastern economic development program. To this end, he urged the initiation of a study of an objective, non-political nature to be undertaken under the aegis of a group of distinguished Americans with a record of high competence. He also called upon the U.S. Government to support a comprehensive plan of economic aid and cooperation for the entire Middle Eastern region.

Herbert H. Lehman was honored on his eightieth birthday by the American Jewish Committee for his six decades of service to human rights and human welfare. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt presented Senator Lehman, an honorary vice president of the Committee, with a copy of the Bruce Rogers Bible which she characterized “as the Holy Book of our two faiths.” The Bible, of which there are only 975 numbered copies, was designed by Bruce Rogers, the foremost typographer of the twentieth century.

The AJC annual meeting was addressed also by Nelson A. Rockefeller, the principal guest speaker, who stressed that “bigotry and prejudice continue to plague the United States in many ways.”

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