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75,000 Sought Entrance to New York Meeting Protesting Nazi Massacres of Jews

March 3, 1943
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

More than 75,000 Jews and Christians attempted to enter Madison Square Garden last night three hours before the opening of the demonstration against the Nazi extermination of Jews, the New York police authorities estimated today. In addition to the 20,000 who succeeded in entering, thousands stood outside the building listening to the speeches which were conveyed from the platform through loud speakers while tens of thousands of people at home heard the proceedings which were broadcast over a nation-wide hook-up.

Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who was one of the principal speakers, pointed out that future historians “will be puzzled by the apathy of the civilized world in the face of this immense, systematic carnage of human beings whose sole guilt was membership in the people who gave the commandments of the moral law of mankind.” He emphasized that it is the “clear duty” of the democracies to negotiate with Germany through neutral countries concerning the possible release of the Jews in occupied territories. “Let havens be designated in the vast territories of the United Nations which will give sanctuary to those fleeing from imminent murder,” Dr. Weizmann said. “Let the gates of Palestine be opened to all who can reach the shores of the Jewish Homeland.”

Dr. Stephen S. Wise, chairman of the demonstration, accused the democracies of not paying sufficient attention to the Nazi massacres of Jews. He declared that the total of Jews slain by the Nazis this year is higher than the probable casualties in the English and American armies during the entire war.


William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, demanded an “open door in Palestine for Jews escaping Nazi Europe.” He also urged the United States to examine the possibilities of admitting such Jews into this country under the quota restrictions and of securing exit permits for them. James B. Carey, speaking for the C.I.O., pointed out that “the slaughter of the Jews in occupied Europe is an atrocity that moves us all.”

Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to Washington, in a message assured the audience that Great Britain was determined that the United Nations’ declaration condemning “the horrible and unbelievable Nazi atrocities against the Jews in Europe shall be followed by practical action.” He stated that the British Government has undertaken to receive in Palestine up to 29,000 Jewish children from Europe, with a proportion of adults, by March 31, 1944. In a broadcast from London, Sir William H. Beveridge, author of Great Britain’s post-war social security program, urged that the United Nations declare now their joint responsibility for making adequate and permanent settlement of the future of Jewry in Europe and the world. “To win the war and leave the problem of Jewry unsettled for the future would be to fail in one of the objects of victory,” he said.


Rt. Rev. Henry St. George Tucker, presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and president of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ, told the meeting that “the Christian people of America must join with their Jewish fellow citizens not only in protesting against brutal and cruel persecution, but also in using every means in our power for putting an end to it.” He disclosed that at the present time the Federal Council of Churches is conferring with Jewish leaders in this country in order to extend the utmost cooperation possible in efforts to help the Jews in Nazi Europe.

Three speeches were brought to the meeting by radio; from Supreme Court Justice Douglas and Sen. Robert F. Wagner in Washington, and Gov. Dewey in Albany. “The foundation of our society,” said Douglas, “is the minority. It is not merely the minority based on race, creed or color. It is first and foremost the smallest minority of all – the individual conscience. History has shown that once persecution is unloosed on one minority, it spreads like a blight. We know that man is strong only when man is free, that man is free only when he has those inalienable rights proclaimed by our declaration of independence.”

Other speakers at the demonstration included Sir Norman Angell, Nobel prize winner; Mayor LaGuardia; Rabbi Meier Berlin of Palestine; Dr. Henry Atkinson, general secretary of the Church Peace Union; Dr. George N. Shuster, president of Hunter College; Mrs. Tamar de Sola Pool and Herman Shulmen, Messages were read from the Archbishop of Canterbury; Cardinal Hinsley, Archbishop of Westminster; Yugoslav Ambassador Fotitch; Netherlands Ambassador Loudon; Luxembourg Minister Legallais; Wendell Willkie and Chief Rabbi Hertz of Great Britain.

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