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Congress Heavily Guarded; No British Diplomat Present

August 18, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The World Zionist Congress which opened last night is being heavily guarded by Geneva police because of possible Nazi provocation.

This congress marks the first time since Palestine became a British mandated territory that the biennial Zionist conclave did not have a British diplomatic representative on its platform at the opening session. This fact which was commented upon by delegates was attributed to (1) Zionist resentment against British because of her new policy revoking the Jewish homeland promise: (2) the fear that someone might start a demonstration against a British representative:(3) the usual British message to the congress reiterating intention to facilitate establishment of a Jewish homeland is now impossible since issuance of the new British policy.

Seated on the platform as the Congress opened were the diplomatic representatives of the United States, France, Poland, China, Greece, Lithuania, Mexico, Bolivia, Belgium, and other nations.

Last night a session was addressed by two British Members of Parliament in sympathy with the Zionist cause. They were Tom Williams Laborite and Captain Victor Cazalet Conservative who were invited to participate as honored guests. Other non Jews who brought official greetings were Senator Justin Godart of France and the president of the Geneva Cantonal Government.

The blue white Zionist flag waved over the Geneva Opera House as the congress opened. A huge portrait of Dr. Theoder Herzl founder of political Zionism loomed behind the speakers platform within the hall.

Dr. Weizmann the opening speaker began his speech in Hebrew and concluded in English A rousing ovation at the end of his speech indicated he had expressed the sentiments of all Zionist factions. Dr. Nahum Goldmann reviewing the world wide Jewish situation spoke in French.

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