Conference in France Protests Closing of Synagogues in Russia

A resolution protesting the continued closing of synagogues in the Soviet Union was adopted here today at the annual conference of the French section of the World Jewish Congress. The delegates expressed the hope that Soviet Jews would be permitted soon to practice their religion freely and be authorized to set up their own cultural facilities.

The conference asked all Jewish communities and organizations in France to be on the lookout for signs of anti-Semitism and to report them to the central WJC office for appropriate action. The delegates from 24 French cities also asked for support in that effort from non-Jewish organizations, such as the League for the Rights of Man, which oppose racism.

The conference called on all sections of the organization to assist in the repatriation of Algerian Jewish repatriates in the French community, noting that some 130, 000 refugees had come to France last year from North Africa.

The delegates also appealed to French public opinion to protest the “clemency” shown by French authorities to German war criminals responsible for the slaughter of countless Jews, such as the release in December of Karl Oberg, commander of all SS and German police services in occupied France between 1942 and 1944, and Elmut Knochen, his second in command. They were the last two German war criminals convicted and detained in France.

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