Alexander Easterman, a lawyer and journalist who, as the representative of the World Jewish Congress helped negotiate the Allied governments’ declaration condemning the mass slaughter of European Jews in 1943, has died in London at the age of 92, the WJC reported here today.
In the late 1930’s, Easterman accepted the invitation of Dr. Stephen Wise to take the office of Political Secretary of the WJC and became head of its International Affairs Department in 1941.
He was born in Scotland and after graduating from Glasgow University was admitted to the Scottish Bar. He took up journalism as a career in the early 1920’s and, as one of Britain’s leading political correspondents, he travelled extensively in Europe, the United States, North Africa and the Near East. Easterman served as foreign editor of the London Daily Express from 1926-1933 when he resigned because of his disagreement with the publisher, Lord Beaverbrook, over the newspaper’s policy toward Hitler which he considered sympathetic.
He joined the Daily Herald as chief foreign correspondent and was its Paris bureau chief when war broke out in 1939. Easterman remained in Paris until the Nazi occupation, when he escaped to London.
ON CLOSE TERMS WITH EUROPEAN STATESMEN
Easterman was on close terms with leading European statesmen before and after World War II. His interviews with King Carol of Rumania and with Rumanian leaders, including fascists, created a sensation, as did his book, “King Carol, Hitler and Mme. Lupescu.”
He maintained close personal contact with President Benes of Czechoslovakia and Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk. In the early 1950’s be established close relations with Tunisian leader Habib Bourguiba and Sultan Mohammad of Morocco, then both in exile in France.
In 1943, Easterman played a prominent part in the negotiations with the British and Allied governments that led to the declaration condemning the Nazis mass slaughter of European Jews and announcing that war criminals would be punished. In 1945, he participated in the WJC’s war emergency conference in Atlantic City.
At the war crimes trial of the Bergen-Belsen Nazis he joined the representatives of 12 Allied nations on the judges bench at Luneberg. Later he represented the WJC at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, along with British MP Sidney Silverman.
Easterman was a member of the WJC delegation to the inaugural conference of the United Nations at San Francisco in 1945 and to the 1946 Paris peace conference. He attended subsequent meetings of the UN and served as spokesman for the WJC at meetings of the UN Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Commission.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.