Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Attorney-general Promises Fight on Fascists in Speech to B’nai B’rith; Lauds Monsky

May 13, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Attorney General Tom Clark, addressing the B’nai B’rith triennial convention at a dinner session here tonight, praised the contributions American Jews have made to the progress and culture of this country since its founding, and promised an unending battle against fascist groups “which would destroy our unity and with it our way of life.”

Mr. Clark praised the late Henry Monsky, declaring that his “untimely passing is not only a great loss to his people but also to the entire nation. It is a personal loss to me, for I knew him well, worked with him often, and loved and admired him for his work,” Clark added. “His accomplishments for humanity were many, he recognized no racial barriers. He loved mankind.” Monsky had been chairman of the executive of the Attorney General’s panel on juvenile delinquency.

A message from President Truman, wishing the B’nai B’rith success at its convention, lauded the organization for its 103 years of public service, which, he said, had contributed much “to the maintenance of that freedom and democracy which are the salvation of our nation.”

“In common with your wide membership,” the president continued, “I share a sense of regret over the passing of your distinguished president, Henry Monsky, whom it was my pleasure to meet a little more than a year ago to discuss veterans’ welfare. His long efforts in behalf of humanitarian causes should be a stimulation to continued vigor of B’nai B’rith’s broad program of benefactions, youth character building, Americanism, and the promotion of mutual understanding among all religious and racial groups.”

“Justice and Humanitarianism” Awards Given Marshall, Patterson, Jackson

At the dinner, “Justice and Humanitarianism” awards were presented to Secretary of State George C. Marshall, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, and Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson.

Sidney Kusworm, of Dayton, Ohio, treasurer of B’nai B’rith, who acted as chairman for the evening meeting, praised Henry Monsky for his work in “uniting Israelites” through B’nai B’rith and pointed out that, under Monsky’s leadership, the organization had performed services that won for the group citations from the War and Navy Departments, and other government bureaus.

He deplored the fact that the displaced persons still remain in the DP camps two years after the liberation and expressed the hope that the U.N. will find a just solution for the problem of Palestine. “The forum of the United Nations represents the last recourse for peace,” he said, “not only for those who suffered most in the last great upheaval, but for all mankind.”

Also present at the dinner were Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, Associate Justice Harold H. Burton, Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder, Secretary of Labor Lewis B. Schwellenbach, Major General Edward T. Witsell, Adjutant General of the U.S. Army, and Navy Chief of Chaplains Rear Admiral W. N. Thomas.

At the luncheon session, Alberto Shelley, past president of the Mexico City lodge, warned that Mexican public opinion is “anti-Semitic and anti-gringo. . .saturated by hatred against the U.S.A.” The main reason, he said, is “jealosy and the economic ‘nirvana’ twenty millions of Mexicans find themselves in.” The sinarchists are taking advantage of the situation, he said, and in Easter week, swastikas appeared on Jewish homes in Mexico. He appealed to B’nai B’rith members in this country to lend financial help to the Mexico City lodge for use in anti-defamation work.

Recommended from JTA