Jewish Life in Various European Lands Reviewed at Amsterdam Parlet
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Jewish Life in Various European Lands Reviewed at Amsterdam Parlet

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A wide-ranging review of the status of Jews in many European countries was presented here last night to the European Zionist conference by Dr. S. Levenburg, Jewish Agency representative in London. He warned the 1,600 delegates about the danger of a revival of anti-Semitism in Germany, stressing the existence of neo-Nazi underground, with centers in Germany, Egypt and other parts of the world.

Everyone appreciated the “tremendous steps” taken by West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his Government to combat anti-Semitism “but the Jewish people should not take lightly the recent spread of anti-Jewish manifestations” in the West German Republic, Dr. Levenberg stated.

He denounced as “a falsification of the facts” the statement by Soviet First Deputy Anastas L Mikoyan, during his visit to the United States, that there was no Jewish problem in the Soviet Union. The Jewish Agency official said there was no freedom in the Soviet Union to discuss Jewish issues and there was no possibility of developing Jewish culture. He said the Jewish problem in Russia was not only one of religion and culture but also social and economic.


Citing the census of population now being made in the Soviet Union, he said there was a danger that this census would be used to prove that the number of Jews was smaller than it was in reality and that the Jewish population was not interested in Jewish culture.

Turning to Czechoslovakia, Dr. Levenberg said that the anti-Jewish anti-Zionist statements made during the trial of Rudolph Slansky “have never been withdrawn” and he called on the conference to voice “a solemn protest” against the condemning of Jewish leaders.

He called the present wave of immigration from Eastern Europe a continuation of the process of liquidation of historic Jewish communities in the area. He referred to the “dramatic struggle” for Jewish survival taking place in many small Jewish communities in that area.

Suggesting the idea of a “collective transfer” to Israel, he said there was no future for the Jewish communities in East Europe. Such communities are faced with annihilation as Jews, he said, stressing that there were a number of children in such communities and that attention would have to be devoted to their Jewish education.

Contending that many such Jewish communities were “too much dependent” on money from the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, he asked what would happen to them in three or four years when money from that source would have dried up. He said that these might bring a “serious crisis” in Jewish communal life, and he called for planning to avert this danger.

Reviewing the position of the Jewish communities of Western Europe, Dr, Levenbeng hailed the transformation of the past 12 years since 1947 when 250, 000 Jews were still in DP camps. He added that the improvement had a disturbing aspect, that West European Jewry faced the threat of assimilation.

He said that many Jewish communities in West Europe lacked “the barest necessities” of a Jewish life and that new means of assistance to such communities “must be evolved.” The Zionist movement should become a missionary movement to such communities, he urged.

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