Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Congressman Rogers Demands United Nations Agency to Save Jews in Europe

July 21, 1943
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Creation of a United Nations agency to “assist in getting the Jewish people out of Europe at once” was demanded tonight by Congressman Will Rogers Jr., addressing the opening session of the six-day Emergency Conference to Save the Jews of Europe, at the Hotel Commodore here.

The conference, which will be in session through Sunday night, has been arranged by the Committee for a Jewish Army and the Sponsoring Committee of the Proclamation on the Moral Rights of Stateless and Palestinian Jews. Its sponsors announce that “it will concentrate its efforts upon formulating a workable plan of rescue for the Jewish people in Nazi Germany and occupied Europe.”

“There has been too much talk about this tragic situation,” Congressman Rogers said. “When this war began there were 7000000 Jews in Europe. Now there are about 4000000 left. This is a problem which cannot be solved through the exercise of vocal cords alone and routine protests. It is essential that out of this Emergency Conference should come some organization recognized by the United Nations, to assist in getting the Jewish people out of Europe at once. Certainly there are enough open spaces and unpopulated areas to accommodate 4000000 tortured human beings. Palestine is the logical place. It is nearer and over land instead of over water. Moreover, they should be allowed a National state because it is the best answer to the “slanders” of anti-Semitism and the best solution of the stateless Jew. Finally there should be set up a National Committee recognized by the United Nations.”

Endorsement of the proposal for the creation of an agency to assist the Jews of Europe was voiced by Admiral Yates Stirling Jr., who told the 1500 guests assembled at the opening session that such an agency could take the necessary steps to carry on the necessary negotiations through channels of its own, without violating the fixed policy of unconditional surrender. “Nations at war,” Admiral Stirling said, “keep channels open with the enemy for many reasons. For example: the exchange of prisoners and the treatment of internationals in enemy territory. Through such a United Nations Agency the work of rescue could be initiated and carried through to a successful conclusion. The opportunity is open to us today to save a great people from annihilation at the hands of our common enemy. Our pity alone will not save these innocent people whom Hitler has marked for death, nor will remorse afterwards bring back to life the millions who will perish, if we fail them now. We must act – and act quickly.”

Other speakers at tonight’s session included Count Carlo Sforza, Ted Thackrey, editor of the New York Post and Archbishop Athenagoras, head of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of North and South America.

Recommended from JTA