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Behind the Headlines Daniel Schorr and Other-well-known Journalists and Authors Are JTA Alumni

Daniel L. Schorr the CBS newsman who is making headlines today in connection with the leaking of the House Intelligence Committee Report, wrote headlines and news stories for the JTA Daily News Bulletin back in the 1930s.

I met Danny on April 17, 1936 when I started to work for JTA. He was assistant editor and worked under Hy Wishengrad, then Editor of JTA. We became quite friendly. This young man from the. Bronx, 19 years old, who went to City College at night, was of tremendous help to me learning the English language and getting acclimatized to my new surroundings, having arrived only several months earlier as a refugee from Hitler Germany.

I vividly recall several mass meetings we covered together of the German American Bund under Fritz Kuhn in Yorkville, the German section of New York. And the one occasion when we were thrown out of the meeting hall by Kuhn’s storm troopers when we tried to interview him.

On another occasion, in November 1938, we went to the Washington Heights section of New York where most of the Jewish refugees from Germany lived, to interview some of them in connection with Hitler’s “Crystal Night” when all synagogues in Germany were burnt down and most Jews thrown into concentration camps. We found most of the refugees in Western Union offices sending cables to Germany inquiring about the fate of their relatives and making efforts to get them out.

OTHER FAMOUS JOURNALISTS

Schorr is not the only well-known JTA alumni. There is Theodore White, well-known author of the series of books on “The Making of the President,” who was a correspondent in Europe in the early 1940s for the Overseas News Agency, JTA’s outlet to the general press. And Meyer Levin who as war correspondent for ONA, captured a German General in 1945. The General, who was Hitler’s personal battlefront artist, actually surrendered to Levin and turned over to him some twenty drawings of the battlefront which we released to the American press.

David Schoenbrunn, well-known newscaster and lecturer, was our Paris correspondent after the liberation of France. Elie Abel, now dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism, worked, in the New York office as assistant editor And, of course, Willy Brandt, head of the German Social Democratic Party and former Chancellor, worked for ONA in the early forties as correspondent in the Scandinavian countries.

More recently, Milton Friedman, senior speech writer for President Ford who several weeks ago was promoted by the President to be a special assistant, served as Washington correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency from 1949 to 1970.

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