Goldmann Says He is Not Against Safeguarding Jewishness in Russia

Dr. Nahum Goldmann today issued a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency declaring that he does not understand why his views on the problem of securing full religious and cultural rights for the Jews in the Soviet Union expressed at a press conference here last Thursday–caused “excitement.” He emphasized that “there can be differences with regard to the tactics, but to give the impression that I am against continuing the efforts to safeguard the Jewish ness of the 3,000,000 Jews in Russia is unjust to me and damaging the problem.”

The text of Dr. Goldmann’s statement reads:

“I don’t understand the excitement caused by my statement with regard to the Soviet Jewish problem. I fully approve the continued efforts to arouse public opinion and as a matter of fact I was among the first who did this by calling the Conference of Intellectuals several years ago in Paris and speaking about the problem publicly again and again. All I want is that Jewish and non-Jewish public opinion concentrate on the essential demand for Soviet Jews to have the same facilities to live as a national and religious minority as the other groups in USSR. I criticized the distortion of the character of the problem and warned that this may only create difficulties for a solution of the problem.

“This is the policy I have advocated for many years in many public addresses and which was approved by many important Jewish organizations. I understand that there can be differences with regard to the tactics, but to give the impression that I am against continuing the efforts to safeguard the Jewish ness of the three million Jews in Russia is unjust to me and damaging to the problem.

“With regard to the statement of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, I want to make it clear that neither the Jewish Agency nor the World Zionist Organization have taken a position with regard to the tactics and methods used in our efforts to change the policy of the Soviet Union with regard to Soviet Jewry. Resolutions of Zionist Congresses have formulated our demands and not only did I always agree with these resolutions but I had a hand in formulating them.”

(Dr. Goldmann’s reference to the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem is in reply to a report that a Jewish Agency spokesman said in Jerusalem yesterday that Dr. Goldmann’s views, as expressed by him at the press conference in New York, do not reflect the Jewish Agency policies.)

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