NEW YORK (Feb. 14)
Several Jewish leaders and organizations issued strongly worded protests here this weekend against the city Art Commission’s rejection of designs for Riverside Park monuments to the 6,000,000 Jews slain by the Nazis and to the Warsaw Ghetto martyrs.
Dr. Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, and chairman of a steering committee of 34 Jewish organizations supporting construction of the memorial, sent a telegram to Mayor Wagner urging his intervention and expressing “profound shock” at the Art Commission’s decision.
Rabbi Max Schenk, president of the New York Board of Rabbis, wrote the Mayor, criticizing the views of Eleanor Platt, sculptor and Art Commission member, who opposed one projected memorial on the grounds that it was “unnecessarily large” and “might en–courage other special groups that wanted to erect memorials on public land.” Rabbi Schenk called on Mayor Wagner to disassociate himself from what he termed Miss Platt’s “unfortunate remarks.”
David Dubinsky, the president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, also joined the mounting wave of protest by calling the Art Commission’s decision “nitpicking that is insensitive to the magnitude of the tragedy.”
Representatives of all the organizations involved in the construction of the monument will meet today to plan their next move, according to an announcement by Alexander Donat, vice-president of the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Organization, the group that originated the plan for one of the memorials.
Among the organizations sponsoring that $1,000,000 memorial are the New York Board of Rabbis, the National Jewish Welfare Board, the Synagogue Council of America, the Jewish Labor Committee, the Jewish War Veterans and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.