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U.N. Adopts Resolution Condemning Manifestations of Anti-semitism

January 29, 1960
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A strongly worded resolution condemning “the manifestations of anti-Semitism and religious and racial prejudices,” was adopted here today unanimously by the 14-member Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. The resolution emphasized that the recent anti-Jewish manifestations are “reminiscent of the outrages committed by the Nazis prior to and during the second World War. “

The group firmly condemned “these manifestations as violations of principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ” The acts were denounced as a violation “of the human rights of the groups against which they are directed and as a threat to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all peoples. “

The measure will now go before the subcommission’s parent body–the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which is to open its next session at Geneva on Feb. 28. The resolution, as adopted, conforms to the formulation originally proposed by the United States representative, Judge Philip Halpern, of Buffalo, with the backing of the representatives of Britain, France. Austria, Uruguay and Finland. One of the major changes insisted upon by the Soviet representative who wanted the Nazis mentioned by name, was accepted by Judge Halpern and his co-sponsors in the final draft of the resolution.

The resolution expresses the principle “that it is the responsibility of the United Nations, representing the international community, to speak out against anti-Jewish manifestations, to ascertain the underlying facts and causes, and to recommend the most effective measures which can be taken against them. ” It also expresses “gratification that governments, peoples and private organizations, have spontaneously reacted in opposition to these manifestations. “


After voicing stern condemnation of the manifestations, the resolution urged members of the United Nations and of the UN specialized agencies “to take all appropriate action, to prevent and punish such acts, including the adoption of additional laws, if necessary, and the vigorous enforcement of existing laws. ” The resolution also called upon public authorities and private organizations” to initiate or intensify programs of education, designed to eradicate the prejudices reflected in these manifestations. “

Looking forward to further action, the resolution requested the Secretary General of the United Nations to obtain and relay to the Subcommission information and comments from member states on:

“1. Manifestations of anti-Semitism and religious and racial prejudices which have occurred within their borders.

“2. Spontaneous public reaction to these manifestations and the action with respect thereto by private organizations.

“3. Measures which have been taken by the public authorities to prevent such manifestations and to punish the perpetrators thereof and any further measures they may contemplate.

“4. Their views as to the deep-lying causes and motivations of such manifestations.”

Judge Halpern declared after the vote: “I regard this resolution as a historic occasion in which, by unanimous action of a UN body, the United Nations has shown the world its deep concern over the manifestations of anti-Semitism. The world organization dedicated itself to the long-range task of searching out the roots of anti-Semitism and eradicating them and to the immediate task of ascertaining the motivations of those who are seeking to exploit anti-Semitism for sinister purposes.”

Dr. Max Beer, representative of the International League for Human Rights, which has been urging the Subcommission to adopt the resolution, told the group after the unanimous vote had been recorded: “We have raised the blue and white flag of the United Nations as a standard around which all people of good will can rally in opposition to the evil forces represented by the swastika. “

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