Menu JTA Search

Goldmann Assails World Jewry for Apathy and Indifference at Time of Holocaust

Dr. Nahum Goldmann said today that apathy and indifference of world Jewry at the time that catastrophe was overtaking the Jews of Europe during World War II cost countless thousands of Jewish lives. Dr. Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress and former president of the World Zionist Organization, spoke in Haifa on the occasion of Holocaust Day, a memorial for the six million Jews who perished at Nazi hands during the war. He said American Jewry deserved most of the blame because it failed to call for strikes and demonstrations near the White House when it learned what was happening to the Jews of Europe.

But Dr. Goldmann indicted virtually all Jewish communities and their leaders, even those in Europe. He said they did not listen to pre-war warnings about what was likely to happen. He recalled a meeting in Paris with Jewish leaders six months before the war at which they rejected warnings, and observed that a few months later many of these same leaders were refugees seeking haven in other countries. Dr. Goldmann said that even today, with the knowledge of the Holocaust, Jews have not tried to learn the lessons it taught.

A mass memorial meeting at the Mann Auditorium here was addressed by Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon who declared that one lesson of the Holocaust was that Jews “can trust no one but ourselves.” He said, “We learned that we have to be strong so that others should not pity us. We are no longer passive objects of the whims or mercy of those who only 25 years ago stood by in silence as Jews were slaughtered in Europe.” Mr. Allon said that Soviet arms, once used to fight the Nazis, were now in the hands of “those pursuing Hitler’s ‘final solution’ from the banks of the Nile.”

NEXT STORY