U.N. is Asked to Act on Mass Deportations of Jews from Their Homes in Hungary, Rumania
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U.N. is Asked to Act on Mass Deportations of Jews from Their Homes in Hungary, Rumania

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Agudas Israel World Organization charged in the United Nations today that Hungary and Rumania were violating basic human rights by deporting thousands of Jews to concentration camps. The Agudah called on the U.N. to condemn such practices, to take action- if necessary the institution of economic sanctions-to see that the deportees were returned to their homes.

Speaking before the Non-Governmental Committee of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, Dr. Isaac Lewin of the Agudas Israel said that information about the “barbarious acts being perpetuated” in Hungary and Rumania was gathered through letters sent clandestinely from these countries. In addition, his organization had received appeals for help from people all over the world with relatives in the two countries.

Dr. Lewin told the Committee that the wave of deportations in Hungary had started in mid-1950 with a round-up in the early morning hours of “Fifth-class” citizen, including Roman Catholics and Jews. A new wave had begun on May 16 of this year when 1200 families in Budapest were deported to unknown destinations. He charged that the only reason for the deportation of Jews was their insistence on practicing their religion and their desire to educate their children in the traditional way. He charged that in some towns almost the entire Jewish population had been deported.


Dr. Lewin declared that the division of people into “socially desirable” and “socially dangerous” citizens constituted “a flagrant violation of the Human Rights Declaration.” He appealed to the U.N. Economic and Social Council to take action when its Commission on Human Rights make it annual report later this year. The Soviet representative on the Committee sought to prevent Dr. Lewin addressing the group, but was overruled by the French chairman and this ruling was upheld by a vote to 5-1.

Addressing the committee later Bernard Bernstein of the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations cited what he called the crisis in Hungary in urging action now by the United Nations to implement the UN Human Rights Declaration. Pointing out that the drawing up of an international covenant on human rights was taking a long time and would continue to be a protracted process, Mr. Bernstein advanced a proposal that the U.N. General Assembly this Fall set up the Human Rights Committee envisioned in the current draft of the covenant. He noted that this Committee was not meant to be an enforcement agency but a gatherer of facts.

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