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American Jews to Attend European Conference on Defense of Jewish Rights

November 9, 1926
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A delegation of American Jews will go to Europe next summer to participate in a conference with similar delegations representing the Jews of Europe in an effort to arrive at a common understanding with regard to the task of bringing about the observance of the minority rights guaranteed to the Jews by the Treaty of Versailles, according to the announcement of Max D. Steuer, who is chairman of a special committee appointed by Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress, to formulate plans for intensifying the work for the defense of Jewish rights in Eastern Europe.

The conference is to be held in August, 1927, in Carlsbad. Among the European Jewish leaders who will participate are Chief Rabbi Zevi Chajes of Vienna, Dr. Isaac Gruenbaum, Deputy in the Polish Sejm, Dr. Leo Motzkin, head of the Committee of Jewish Delegations in Paris, Deputy Dr. Nurock of Lithuania and others.

Mr. Steuer explained that despite the treaty guarantees which were undertaken in 1919, various European governments, notably the Roumanian, Hungarian and Polish governments, have failed to discharge their obligations to their minority peoples, and the Jews, being a minority everywhere, have naturally suffered the most.

“The Jews of America,” he said, “were chiefly responsible for the inclusion of the minority rights in the various treaties concluded after the war, it is their duty to see to it that these rights do not remain merely on paper. The Jews of Eastern Europe are entitled as a matter of justice as well as law to equal civil, religious and political rights with the ruling majorities. Despite this, the political persecution of the Jew in Eastern and Central Europe has not abated. Jewish students are excluded from the universities in Hungary and Roumania. Economic oppression is crushing the Jews of Poland. Anti-Semitism in its most virulent form is rampant in all those countries.

“The American Jewish Congress has been dealing with these problems for many years, but despite the promises and reassurances which the governments affected issue every time a protest is lodged, conditions have not improved. It is our purpose to bring into play the most potent weapon available, namely the moral force of an aroused public opinion which shall compel the governments of Eastern Europe to respect their covenants. Our conference next year will focus the attention of the world upon the long-standing grievances of the European Jews and bring the offenders to judgment before the bar of public opinion.”

There will be a special session of the American Jewish Congress in the near future, Mr. Steuer said, to review the conditions of the Jews in the various countries and to formulate the necessary decisions to guide the American delegation that will attend the European conference.

Among the other members of Mr. Steuer’s committee are: Samuel Untermyer, Justice Gustave Hartman, Hon-Carl Sherman, Dr. A. J. Rongy, Benjamin Winter, Louis S. Posner, Arthur M. Lamport, Justice Aaron J. Levy, Louis Lipsky, Bernard S. Deutsch, I. Montefiore Levy, Benjamin W. Titman, Dr. J. Tenenbaum.

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