GENEVA (Aug. 18)
The contrast in the situation of Jews in Germany today, as compared with their situation in the early post-war years, is stressed in a report issued here by the World ORT Union.
The report emphasizes that, while in the post-war period, ORT provided tens of thousands of Jewish survivors of Nazi camps with skills to rebuild their economic life, today it provides skill “to the survivors whom nobody wants”–those left behind because of lingering camp diseases, or those who refuse to emigrate because they do not want to leave behind members of their families crippled by the Nazis.
Declaring that the ORT work in Germany had undergone a “decisive change” last year, the report reveals that the Munich trade school, one of the oldest ORT schools in post-war Europe, finally closed its doors because there were not enough Jewish students left in the city requiring training of the type given by the school.
“The economic backdrop to this story is the fact that anyone, even the unskilled, willing to work, can “find relatively well-paid employment in Germany today,” the report said. “Young people, especially, want to take immediate advantage of such favorable conditions. It was, therefore, considered more advisable to open an apprenticeship placement service which will guide and counsel candidates and facilitate their employment in industry or enrollment in municipal trade schools.”
“All the students at the Munich school–auto mechanics, dressmakers, lingerie-makers, furriers, watchmakers and dental mechanics–were graduated and found employment in their trades. They were placed with such outstanding firms as ‘Siemens,’ ‘International Business Machines,’ and the ‘Institute for Fashion and Stage Design,’ the report states.
An “ORT Vereinigung” was established in Frankfurt to promote vocational training on an individual basis for juveniles and adults. Local ORT committees will be established to set up similar programs wherever the need might arise,” it is emphasized in the report.
In Berlin, the ORT school conducts courses in bookbinding, radio-technics and hair-dressing. German-language classes have also been created at the request of the local Jewish community. The Berlin program, too, will soon visage over to an apprenticeship placement service. ORT schools now have about 1, 000 students in the whole of West Germany.