W. J. C. Assembly Hears Report on Effect of Protests on Soviet Jewry

Jewish complaints against the mistreatment of Soviet Jewry have resulted in minor concessions by the Moscow authorities in regard to the position of the Jews in the Soviet Union, the World Jewish Congress plenary assembly was told here today.

That assertion was made at the session by Alex L. Easterman, of London, director of the WJC department of international affairs. “Soviet authorities,” he said, “have been denying indignantly any official or semi-official bias of action against Soviet Jews. Nevertheless, the truth of our complaints and the validity of our protests regarding Soviet Jews have been proven by the fact that minor concessions were made lately, and minor improvements have occurred in the situation of Russian Jewry.”

These concessions “touch only the fringe of the problem,” Mr. Easterman stressed. He reported that the WJC has constantly pointed out to Soviet representatives that “a genuine change in the situation of Soviet Jewry would earn the applause of not only the Jews around the world but of non-Jews as well.”

The Congress made public today a letter addressed to the WJC president, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, from the Council of Jewish Communities of Czechoslovakia, which had been invited to send representatives to the plenary assembly. While noting that the Council would not send anyone to attend the parley, the letter said:

“This certainly does not mean that our attitude toward the World Jewish Congress is negative. We are, and want to be still more, in permanent contact with Jewish organizations, particularly the World Jewish Congress. We presume that our absence will not be interpreted as our disinterestedness. We would welcome personal contact between the representatives of your organization and ours, both in this country and abroad.” The letter was signed by Frantisek Fuchs, acting president of the Council. Added was a separate letter joining with the first the same sentiments from the Jewish communities in Slovakia.

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