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Eisenhower Asked to Pose Problem of Soviet Jews at Geneva Parley

July 12, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A detailed “memorandum of urgency” on the fate of two million Jews behind the Iron Curtain and a request that this problem be posed by the United States at the Big Four talks in Geneva next week, was left this morning by a representative of the Jewish Labor Committee at both the White House and State Department. The Jewish Labor Committee represents more than 500,000 Jewish workers in the AFL and CIO.

The memorandum, addressed to President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, states: “There have been expressions of hope and some dim signs of progress conference, our government, in consultation with our feeling that on the eve of the Geneva conference, our government, in consultation with our allies, must seek to discuss the momentous problem of the liquidation of the cultural and spiritual life of two million Jews behind the Iron Curtain.

“The Soviet Union cannot maintain a position that this is purely a matter of internal policy and of no concern to anyone outside her frontiers. Every contributory factor toward tension by her is of concern to the powers consulting with her at Geneva,” the memorandum pointed out.

The memorandum revealed that for six years the Jewish Labor Committee through its own efforts, and free labor movement though its channels, have failed to get replies to consistent questioning of Soviet authorities on the fate of the two million Jews. The JLC pointed out that although Jews in Russia want to maintain communication with their families outside Soviet frontiers, Soviet policies make such communication dangerous.

The memorandum urged that in addition to securing free communication between families and friends on both sides of the Soviet frontiers, free emigration by Soviet families to visit relatives should also be permitted. It called for re-establishment of Jewish culture as “a primary prerequisite,” and emphasized that this means “re-opening of Jewish schools, press, publications, seminaries, etc.”

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