New York (Sep. 23)
A group of four representatives of the American Jewish Committee have been officially accredited to UNRRA for the purpose of carrying out the committee’s program aimed at the rehabilitation of the many thousands of displaced Jews in occupied Germany, it was announced today. Official approval of the committee’s representatives was expressed by Herbert H. Lehman, director general of UNRRA, in a letter addressed to Dr. John Slawson, executive vice-president of the committee.
The four representatives are Dr. Max Gottschalk, director of the committee’s foreign affairs department, Herman A. Gray, New York lawyer, chairman of the New York State Advisory Council on Unemployment Incurance; Ernest C. Stiefel, jurist, who has been associated with governmental war agencies in Washington; and Lewis M. Neikrug, community relations consultant of the committee. Their task will be to assist UNRRA in developing legal procedures in connection with identification of displaced persons; to determine the facts relative to conditions under which repatriation and resettlement will take place in the various countries and to make available such information to UNRRA; to assist UNRRA relative to the legal aspects of claims for restitution of confiscated property of displaced Jews.
In making this announcement, Dr. Slawson declared that this group is part of the European field services now being established by the committee, with a view to aid in the rehabiliation of Jewish communities all over the continent. The main objectives of those services will be to advise and support the European Jewish communities in their struggle for equal rights, opportunity and security. “This is in line,” Dr. Slawson continued, “with the committee’s traditional mission of almost four decades, to protect the civil and religious rights of Jews in all parts of the world.”
Pointing out that the situation of the displaced Jews presents one of the most urgent social problems in present-day Europe, George Z. Medalie, chairman of the foreign affairs department of the committee, said that the committee’s representatives, in cooperation with UNRRA, will strive to extend consistent guidance and support to the displaced Jews throughout the entire process of their gradual return to human standards, from the temporary stage of subsistence relief, through the process of repatriation or resettlement up to the stage where they may start an independent existence.