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Procession to City Hall Work Stoppage Mark Anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Battle

April 20, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Tens of thousands of Jews stopped work at 11 o’clock this morning for fifteen minutes and thousands of Jewish stores closed as part of a huge demonstration commemorating the first anniversary of the Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto in which 40,000 Jews battled superior German forces for more than a month.

The White House today issued a statement saying that President Roosevelt and all liberty-loving people all over the world will always remember the heroic fight of the brave people of the Warsaw ghetto. Bishop William Manning announced that he joined today in the prayers “for the ghetto martyrs whom the world will never forget.”

More than 15,000 Polish Jews, led by Rabbi Isaac Rubinstein, a former member of the Polish Senate, marched to City Hall here. Included in the procession were prominent rabbis, writers, artists, labor leaders and businessmen. They were met by Mayor LaGuardia who delivered an address lauding the fallen Jewish heroes.

Thousands of Jews crowded the synagogues to recite special prayers. More than 5,000 weeping Jews crowded into and around the little Warsaw Synagogue on New York’s East Side. A statement issued by Lord Halifax, British Ambassador in Washington, pledged that “the Nazis will pay for their crimes against the Jews.” Similar statements of sympathy were issued by ambassadors of other nations.


The commemoration of the Warsaw battle was culminated by a mass-meeting tonight at Carnegie Hall, convened by the American Jewish Conference, at which a resolution was adopted urging the United Nations “to recognize and proclaim the right of temporary asylum for every surviving Jewish man, woman and child who can escape from the Hitlerite fury into the territories of the United Nations.” The resolution also demanded that the gates of Palestine “be opened wide and that there be a reassertion of the right of every Jews who can reach Palestine to find a haven and a permanent home in that country.”

The resolution strongly urged establishment of refugee rescue camps or free ports, and that continued encouragement be given to neutral nations to secure the release of Jews, especially children and to grant them hospitality in their lands or the right of transit to havens of refuge.

The meeting was addressed by Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Dr. Israel Goldstein, Adolph Held, Dr. Arieh Tartakower, Rabbi Isaac Rubinstein, Solomon Mendelsohn and Benjamin Winter. A message was read from Henry Monsky, B’nai B’rith president. “The Story of the Warsaw Ghetto,” written for the meeting by Pierre Van Paassen, was read to the audience by the well known actor Sam Jaffe and a memorial service was conducted by Chief Rabbi Isaac Alcalay of Yugoslavia.

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