Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Dr. Goldmann Says Press Distorted His Remarks at Board of Deputies

December 22, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Nahum Goldmann protested today to The Times for publishing and erroneous version of remarks he made Sunday before the Board of Deputies of British Jews on the problems of Jewish survival in a changing world and specifically in the Soviet Union. In a letter to the paper, the president of the World Jewish Congress wrote, “I am reported in today’s Times as having told the Board of Deputies of British Jews that “it would be a betrayal to take the view that Jews in the Soviet Union should be released to go to Israel.’ I said no such thing and your headline, ‘Russia a land for Jews,’ compounds the distortion.”

Dr. Goldmann noted that “In my address I clearly stated that appeals for freedom of emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel which are fully justified should also be combined with the insistence that they be entitled both as individuals and as a community to the full enjoyment of their human rights within the Soviet Union itself. This has been and remains the consistent view of the World Jewish Congress and of myself.”

Dr. Goldmann addressed an audience of 500 at a public meeting of the Board of Deputies. A number of people, including some of his political opponents, telephoned the Board and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to register objections to the distorted version of his speech that appeared in The Times and was carried in Reuters dispatches by some newspapers in Israel and the United States.


The New York Times carried yesterday the Reuters’ dispatch under a headline “Nahum Goldmann Opposes Urging of Jews to Quit Soviet.” Max Melamet, executive director of the World Jewish Congress (New York), sent a copy of Dr. Goldmann’s letter in The Times of London, and the report in today’s Jewish Telegraphic Agency Daily News Bulletin which carried the correct version of Dr. Goldmann’s remarks, to the New York Times and asked them to correct their version of the story.)

The Board of Deputies issued a statement today declaring that the Press Association report of the speech by Dr. Goldmann and the Reuters report were incorrect. “What he actually said was that he welcomed and rejoiced in the emigration of Russian Jews to Israel, and that the demands for their emigration must continuously be pressed. But one had to be aware of the fact that millions of Jews would remain in Russia, and that it would be crime and a betrayal of them if Jews elsewhere did not keep this in mind and did not press for their rights as they do for the rights of all other Jewish communities.”

Recommended from JTA