American Jewish Committee Holds Closing Session in State Dept.
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American Jewish Committee Holds Closing Session in State Dept.

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The 60th anniversary meeting of the American Jewish Committee, in session here since Thursday, closed today with a luncheon in the State Department’s diplomatic reception room, after the election of officers of the organization.

Morris B. Abram, of New York, an attorney who is United States representative on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, was reelected president. Sol M. Linowitz, of Rochester, N.Y., who had been a member of the organization’s policy making executive board, was elected chairman of that body. Reelected also were Philip E. Hoffman, of South Orange, N.J., as chairman of the board of governors; and Dr. John Slawson as executive vice-president.

Details of a pioneering, seven-year study to be conducted by a newly-established Center for Research in Collective Psychopathology were reported at the luncheon by the principal speaker, David Astor, editor of the London Observer. Mr. Astor told the session that Nazi genocide was not an isolated phenomenon but, rather, the most extreme of a number of mass killings that have taken place in modern times. He said the new center’s studies will be focused on the processes by which certain social groups come to be regarded as sub-human and, thus, liable to persecution and even to annihilation.

Mr. Linowitz, who presided at the luncheon, said the study outlined by Mr. Astor was an extension of pioneering work in the area of group prejudice and hatred. The study, he declared, could mark an important step toward the elimination of bigotry. He stressed that the AJC regarded the project as very significant and consistent with earlier studies of the Nazi regime initiated by the organization.


Dr. Slawson, who returned recently from visits to West Germany and Austria, urged at the luncheon session the immediate expansion of an education-visits program, which, he said, could “profoundly change West Germany’s political and civil education, and is already showing signs of doing so.” He referred to the AJC program which, since 1960, has been bringing high-ranking German educators to the United States to study American methods of civic education for introduction into West German educational institutions.

The organization’s top executive reported that, while in Austria, he had called on the Vienna Government to encourage a similar project for that country and declared that “very high” Austrian officials had expressed enthusiasm for an American educator-visit by their nationals. Reporting that there were “ominous signs that anti-Semitism was becoming increasingly overt and widespread” in Austria, Dr. Slawson stressed the “urgent need” for the implementation of such a program in that country.

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