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Ajcongress Hears Maslow Attack on Anti-semitism in Russia and Poland

Soviet repression of Jewish life in the USSR and the current wave of anti-Semitism in Poland came under sharp attack here today at the national biennial convention of the American Jewish Congress. Will Maslow, of New York, executive director of the AJCongress, told 500 delegates at the convention that “the critical condition of Soviet Jews does not permit any relaxation of pressure on the rulers in the Kremlin. Because of the shadowy and marginal world they are forced to Inhabit, Soviet Jews are peculiarly subject to swift attrition; time is the enemy. Our generation still has a chance to help. Should we fail our children’s generation will have no such opportunity.”

Maslow,who headed an AJCongress delegation to Eastern Europe in 1966, noted that the constant shifts and changes in the political tenor of the East European governments gave “some hope” for Jewish life in the future. He declared “The sudden surge toward freedom in Czechoslovakia; the continuing independent course in Rumania — these are but some of the signs of ferment in the Soviet bloc that give reason for hoping that Jewish life in Eastern Europe may yet find a climate that will permit it to flourish and grow.” On Poland, he added “the tiny community of 18,000 Polish Jews has become the tragic victim of bitter factional dispute within the Polish Communist Party.”

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