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Diplomatic Pressure Bars Reports on Persecution at Geneva

August 11, 1936
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Diplomatic pressure has been brought to bear to prevent delegations of several countries where Jewish populations are persecuted from laying their grievances before the World Jewish Congress, it was learned today.

Delegations from Poland, Rumania, Austria, Lithuania and Latvia — countries named at yesterday’s session as centers of anti-Semitic persecution — announced they would be unable to report on conditions in the respective countries.

Pressure on the delegations was believed to have been effected by various governments through their consulates and legations in Geneva. The Polish delegation said it would read a declaration on the situation of the Polish Jews later in the meeting.

The congress executive decided to let discussion on the floor proceed, but provided that it must be of general nature without specific reference to any of the countries.


Demands for the return of all synagogues confiscated in Russia since the advent of the Soviet regime and the release of all Jews arrested for teaching religion, based on article 124 of the Soviet Constitution, were discussed by the political committee.

The Russian-Jewish question was raised by Wilhelm Latzki-Bertholdi, publicist, who outlined further demands which the Congress is expected to adopt in the form of resolutions.

The resolutions will be made the basis of negotiations with the Soviet They include:

1) That the Soviet permit emigration of Jews wishing to leave Russia;

2) That teaching of Hebrew and importation of Hebrew literature be permitted;

3) That persecution of Zionists be discontinued and arrested Zionists be released;

4) That the Soviet permit organization of Jewish religious communities grant them legal rights to maintain kosher abattoirs, matzoth bakeries and other religious institutions.

5) That the Government permit establishment of rabbinical seminaries.


A proposal that the congress take up establishment of an international bank for economic rehabilitation of the Jews was made by I. Naiditch of Paris. He urged creation of a bank with headquarters in London and branches in various countries to assist Jews discriminated against economically by extending credits and facilitating exports of Jewish manufacturers.

Other speakers were Rabbi Edward L. Israel, of Baltimore; Meier Ebner of Rumania, Dr. Mordecai Nurok of Latvia and Berl Locker of Palestine.

Before the general discussion, Robert Stricker, speaking for Austrian Jewish societies, appealed to the congress not to establish political factions and party groups. He warned of the danger of splitting the congress and urged division on territorial lines.

“We came here for united action,” he said. “We should not return home split.”

The reference was believed to be to yesterday’s formation of orthodox and labor blocs. The question was referred to the organization committee for a report later.


The United States is the “silver lining” in a cloud of world anti-Semitism, it was declared by Dr. Samuel Margoshes, editor of the New York Jewish Day. He said American Jews did not fear anti-Semitic groups which spring up from time to time.

Angelo Orviato, Italian poet, representing the Italian Federation of Jewish Communities, praised Premier Mussolini, declaring that Italy represented the noblest example of perfect equality for Jews.

Morris Myer, editor of the London Jewish Times, after lauding British tolerance, revealed that the British delegation had submitted a scheme for financial assistance to needy Jewish communities.

Czechoslovakia is the only country in Central Europe where Jews and other minorities are well treated, it was asserted by H. Stransky, a Czech delegate.

Dr. Gregory Wolse of Lithuania described the Jews’ boycott of German goods and services in that country.

A memorial meeting for Dr. Nahum Sokolow, Zionist leader who died in London recently, was held this evening. Among those scheduled to greet the congress was Sir Neill Malcolm, League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mrs. Israel Zangwill, widow of the English Jewish writer, received an ovation when she appeared at the session.

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