NEW YORK (Jan. 24)
Leaders of the American Jewish Committee will meet tomorrow with President Eisenhower at the White House, it was announced here today at the conclusion of a week-long dedication program of the AJC’s Institute of Human Relations. The more than 200 ranking educators and social scientists, who participated in the program, explored every phase of prejudice, discrimination and intergroup relations.
The delegation to President Eisenhower will be composed of Col. Frederick F. Greenman, chairman of the AJC national executive board; A. M. Sonnabend, chairman of the Institute’s Development program, and Dr. John Slawson, executive vice-president of the American Jewish Committee.
Dr. Slawson, in a paper summarizing the proceedings made public today, outlined the major areas of inquiry and action. He reported that all the prominent social scientists gathered from various parts of the country “acknowledged the existence of latent anti-Semitism. The only question was its depth.”
The social scientists agreed, he stated, “that the time has come for us to initiate far-reaching research endeavors to throw light on those factors in American society that foster and impede wholesome intergroup attitudes.”
50 PERCENT OF ALL JUDGES IN GERMANY ARE EX-NAZIS, EHRMANN CHARGES
Herbert B, Ehrmann, president of the American Jewish Committee, addressing the dedication dinner of the AJC’s Institute of Human Relations, charged that more than 50 percent of all judges in West Germany today “are former Nazis.” He further asserted that “former Nazis occupy important posts in the executive and administrative branches of the government–including at least three such persons who serve in the Cabinet.”
The Committee president said that “a great number of teachers were active Nazis in the Hitler period” and during the entire period following World War II “there has been no systematic effort to revamp German educational programs.” This, he stressed, has resulted “in a dangerous vacuum in the education of German youth as to the true import of the Hitler era.”
Mr. Ehrmann stated that the “conspiracy of guilty silence which until now has embraced both parents and teachers within Germany must come to an end. German youth must understand the peril that Nazism represents and has represented not only to Germany but to the entire world.”
Jacob Blaustein, honorary president of the American Jewish Committee, discusses the Committee’s activities outside the United States. He said that “one of the most urgent tasks which the AJC set for itself has been to render assistance in the reconstruction of Jewish life in Europe.” He asserted that in Europe, as well as South America, the Committee has imparted to the Jewish communities the techniques of human relations, “thereby contributing not only to their own security but also to the inner strength of the free world.”
PROGRAM TO CHECK ANTI-SEMITIC VANDALISM IN U. S. PROPOSED
Philip E. Hoffman, chairman of AJC’s Domestic Affairs Committee, stated that the recent spate of vandalism against houses of worship in this country should alert the American people to the danger of “latent anti-religious feelings.” If not checked, he warned these “tendencies” can heighten “domestic intergroup tensions” and weaken our position as democratic leaders of the Free World. He proposed the following four-point program aimed at developing short and long-range “curative” measures:
1. Since the entire community is threatened by these acts, all community agencies should be involved in dealing with them–Mayor’s office, law enforcement agencies, courts, voluntary organizations, social workers, etc.
2. All mass communications media should tone down publicity for these acts to reduce “the imitative potential.”
3. School and court authorities should utilize psychiatrists and sociologists to determine the anti-religious attitudes of young delinquents and deal therapeutically with them.
4. Drastic and “publicity-provoking” punishment such as the original treason arraignment for the three neo-Nazi youths in Queens is not warranted for the kind of acts that have marked the recent incidents. However, wherever arrests are made, complaints should be filed and prosecuted.
Other speakers at the dinner last night included Philip Noel-Baker, British MP and 1959 Nobel Peace Prize winner and R.S.S. Gunewardene. Ceylon Ambassador to the United States and chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The guest of honor at the dinner was A. M. Sonnabend of Boston, chairman of the Institute’s development program. Former Senator Herbert H. Lehman introduced Mr. Noel-Baker who spoke on the need for world disarmament.
Ambassador Gunewardene called “worldwide protection of human rights” a basic requirement for “worldwide stability and peace.”