The agreement reported negotiated with the German Government providing for the export of the capital of German emigrants to Palestine in the form of German goods, was strongly denounced here this afternoon from the rostrum of the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress as meaning a break in the Jewish world-wide anti-Nazi boycott.
Meer Grossman, leader of the Democratic Revisionists, speaking in behalf of his party, confronted the congress with a demand for a complete investigation of the agreement which he attacked as “against the moral and economic interests of the Jewish nation.”
He submitted an official declaration to the congress, demanding that the executive body of the World Zionist Organization reply to his questions as to whether the executive had been aware of the negotiations and whether the agreement had been concluded with its knowledge and approval. He also asked, in behalf of his party, which agency or institutions in the Zionist organization participated in the negotiations.
TERMS OF AGREEMENT
The agreement, announced to the congress by Dr. Arthur Ruppin, agricultural and colonization expert of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, provided for the establishment of a trustee corporation to liquidate Jewish possessions in Germany to the extent of three million marks, this sum, in the form of goods manufactured in Germany, to be exported only to Palestine.
The agreement was concluded after two months of negotiations on August 10 when the Nazi Minister of Economics, Dr. Kurt Schmitt, signed it, according to Sam Cohen, philanthropist and attorney, a former resident of Vienna but now residing in Tel Aviv, who conducted the negotiations with the German Government.
“We consider this agreement harmful and against the moral and economic interests of the Jewish nation,” Grossman declared. “We demand an urgent explanation from the executive, especially since the congress voted yesterday against public debate on Germany.
“We ask an immediate reply in order to enable discussion on this subject.”
NO EARLY REPLY EXPECTED
In view of the fact that the congress adjourned early today because of the Sabbath and will not hold sessions until Saturday evening, it is not likely that the reply of the executive will be made before Saturday evening’s session.
The congress Thursday night decisively rejected a resolution committing the Zionist organization to the boycott after it had been proposed by Vladimir Jabotinsky, leader of the Revisionist Party.
With the Zionist stand on the German question settled by adoption of a resolution of “solemn protest” against the persecution of German Jewry and an appeal to the nations of the world for assistance, delegates to the Congress today renewed their discussion of questions of leadership and organization and other problems remaining before the assembly.
Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization, whose return to the leadership at this ### been freely predicted, returned from Zurich to Czechoslovakia last night and is resting at Zermak, a resort several hours from here.
It is understood that a group favoring Dr. Weizmann’s resumption of Zionist leadership was negotiating with him today in an effort to induce him to accept the presidency.
In an interview over the long-distance telephone with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Wednesday night, Dr. Weizmann refused to confirm or deny reports that he would not attend the congress because the Revisionist Party (extreme right-wing Zionists) had not been expelled from the Zionist Organization.
Measures were taken by the police today to prevent the recurrence of such disorders as occurred last night in the lounge of the congress hall when someone jostled the wife of the Revisionist leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and provoked a mild riot.
Police today occupied strategic points throughout the visitors’ sections of the hall and ejected several partisans who interrupted David Ben-Gurion as the Laborite began his long speech demanding that Palestine be built on the principles of the Laborite party.
URGES LABOR PRECEDENCE
Precedence for the chalutzim (pioneers) in Palestine immigration was demanded by Ben-Gurion because, he said, they constitute “the fittest element for the national task of upbuilding Palestine.
“If this is class struggle,” he exclaimed, “then we will carry it on! But the problem of the relation of capital and labor cannot be decided at a Zionist congress. This is a general question of Socialism versus Capitalism. The congress is only concerned with the widest and speediest process of building up Palestine by Jews of all calsses.”
“In behalf of 40,000 Palestine Jewish workers and a quarter of a million Zionists who voted for us, I declare that the fight of Jewish labor for the upbuilding of Palestine will
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.