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Nine Percent of Jewish Population of South Africa Serving in British Army

August 4, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

More than 8,000 South African Jews, about nine percent of the total Jewish population of the Union of South Africa, are serving with the British forces, of which 3,000 are on the Middle Eastern front, it was reported today at the fourteenth biennial congress of the Board of Deputies of South African Jews, which opened yesterday.

Gerald Lazarus, president of the Deputies, revealed that 131 of the Jewish soldiers had been killed in the Libyan and Egyptian campaign, while 127 were wounded and 229 are missing, and were probably captured by the Nazis. These figures exclude the casualties suffered in the fall of Tobruk, which it is feared are quite high, Mr. Lazarus said. He disclosed that 13 Jews fighting in North Africa have been awarded decorations and 21 have been mentioned in official dispatches. The heroism of the Jewish troops “has opened the eyes of some confirmed anti-Semites,” Mr. Lazarus stated and relations between Jews and non-Jews in the forces are excellent.

Full support of the Allied war effort and a demand that a post-war order must provide complete equality for Jews as individuals in whatever country they live and as a national entity was contained in a resolution adopted today by the 350 delegates.

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