Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Jews from Fifty Camps in Germany Discuss Their Problems at Conference in Bergen-belsen

September 27, 1945
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The most remarkable Jewish conference ever assembled opened here last night when 300 delegates representing about 50,000 displaced Jews held in fifty camps in the Anerican and British zones in Germany gathered to discuss their problems.

The conference, which will last two days, was summoned by the Central Jewish Committee, which represents the Jews now in Germany. Many of the delegates came from hundreds of miles away despite the great difficulties encountered in securing transportation. More than 2,000 spectaters, all former internees at the Bergen-Belsen camp, also attended the opening session.

The platform in the great hall in the middle of the new Belsen camp where the opening session was held was draped with two huge white-blue flags and an enormous yellow star, while above it hung a long banner bearing the inscription “Open the Gates of Palestine.”

Prior to the opening of the conference poignant scenes took place during a solemn consecration of a temporary memorial at the edge of mass graves containing scores of thousands of Jews–men, women and children of unknown identity–who were buried in a huge pit near the noterious “Camp No. 1” at belsen. Many thousands of the survivors now living in the adjoining camp marched to the seens of their former suffering through wreckage, carrying blue-white flags.

The heartbreaking sobs of young and old punctuated the prayers intoned at the graves. Kaddish was recited by a 13-year-old orphan whose parents and relatives were exterminated by the Nazis. The gathering was addressed by Chaplain Helfgot of the Yugoslav Army and Rabbi Hartman of Leeds.


Opening the conference, M. Rosenseft, chairman of the Central Jewish Committee, said that the Jewish survivors will never return to their former homes. He appeale to the conscience of the world to open the gates of Palestine to the Jews liberated from the Nazis. “We appeal to our liberators to make our liberty final and true,” he stated.

Mr. Rosensaft welcomed the representatives of British and American Jewish organizations attending the parley. He expressed his thanks to Prof. Brodetsky, who represents the Jewish Agency, to Samuel S. Silverman and A.L. Easterman who came here as representatives of the World Jewish Congress, to the representatives of the Joint Distribution Committee and the British Jewish Relief who are working in the camp, and to Brigadier Glyn Jones of the British Army Medical Services whom the survivors adopted as “the father of the Jewish survivors of Belson,” because of his ungrudging work in restoring the health of thousands who were near death. The conference was addressed by Prof. Brodetsky, Brigadier Jones and Mr. Silverman.

Recommended from JTA