American ‘jury’ to Hear Eyewitness Reports on Jews in Soviet Union

A panel of eight distinguished Americans will conduct a public tribunal next Friday at the Carnegie International Center to hear a series of eyewitness reports on the condition of the Jews in the Soviet Union, it was announced here today.

At an all-day hearing, eight “jurors” will take testimony, receive reports and question witnesses in preparation for the issuance of a comprehensive report later this month. Members of the jury, who have joined in forming an Ad Hoc Commission on the Rights of Soviet Jews, will be:

Dr. John C. Bennett, president of the Union Theological Seminary; James Farmer, former executive director, Congress of Racial Equality; Father George B. Ford, pastor emeritus of the Corpus Christi Church; Emil Mazey, secretary-general of the United Automobile Workers; Bayard Rustin, director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute; Telford Taylor, chief U. S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials; Norman Thomas, veteran Socialist leader; and Lionel Trilling, author and critic.

A spokesman for the Ad Hoc Commission said today that major attention would be focused on evaluating reports of a recent easing of religious and cultural discrimination against the Jews of the USSR. The hearing will seek to determine whether these reports denote token concessions to world protests or mark a genuine change in Soviet policy towards the country’s Jewish community, it was stated. The public tribunal will take place just 10 days before the next Congress of the Communist Party of the USSR.

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