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Jewish Labor Committee Parley Hears Report on Plight of Jews Behind “iron Curtain”

March 13, 1950
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A detailed survey on the plight of Jews in countries behind the “Iron Curtain” — including Russia, Poland, Rumania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia — was presented today at the conference of the national executive committee of the Jewish Labor Committee, taking place here.

The study declares that “while for most of the people living under the Soviet regime that reign means impoverishment, slavery and moral degradation, for the Jews and Jewish groups it spells thorough spiritual annihilation as well. The national liquidation of the Jewish populations in Communist-dominated countries is now proceeding with an iron hand.”

The conference unanimously adopted a resolution calling upon the civilized world to examine “the plight of the Jews in the Soviet-dominated countries” and protested against the “inquisition which has been visited on the surviving population of 2,500,000 Jews behind the Iron Curtain.”

In discussing the situation in Poland, Hungary, Rumania and Czechoslovakia, the report stated that all Jewish groups in these countries have been liquidated and immigration has been outlawed. “Here and there,” it stated, “individuals and small groups manage to leave the satellite countries, but this is becoming more difficult every day.”


Charles Kreindler, vice-president of the I.L.G.W.U., who just returned from Europe, reported that the condition of Western European Jewry has materially improved economically and culturally, although there are still large numbers in need of assistance to help their final rehabilitation. As conditions in Western Europe improve and as democracy is strengthened in that sector of the world, he added, the plight of the Jewish war sufferers is simultaneously improved. He suggested initiation of courses for training child orphans who are ready to go into trade and industry in Western Europe.

Adolph Held, chairman of the J.L.C., which represents 500,000 Jewish workers, lauded American trade unions for “steadily stamping out discrimination,” Mr. Held stated that “recent events in Europe have graphically demonstrated that prejudice against racial or religious minorities are always accompanied by savage attacks on organized labor.”

Jacob Pat, executive secretary of the J.L.C., outlining the relations between American Jewry and Israel, declared: “The establishment of Israel, does not, in our opinion, signify the dissolution of Jewish communal life in the United States or in any other country in the world. It merely signifies the establishment of a Jewish community in a state form. The prosperous spiritual existence of Israel depends fundamentally on the cooperation and friendship between it and the Jewish communities in the rest of the world. For the continued existence and fruitful life of the Jewish people, the Jewish state in Israel is equally as important as the Jewish community in the United States.”

The conference unanimously approved the J.L.C. budget for 1950 to raise $1,400,000, half of which is to be used for civic defense activities in the United States and the other half for J.L.C. projects overseas.

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