Dr. Alfred J. Marrow, chairman of the New York City Commission on Intergroup Relations, said today that commission investigation of anti-Semitic incidents in the Greater New York area showed no evidence that any international neo-Nazi underground was involved here.
He said that hate literature distributed by neo-Nazi groups helped to trigger the spate of anti-Semitic incidents locally, but that the evidence indicated that such groups were operating independently of each other. He declared that, if there was any international influence affecting such activities, it was most likely that the “established” hate-peddler groups had been emboldened to greater activity by the Christmas Eve desecration of the Cologne synagogue and by the incidents which followed the desecration in many parts of the world.
Dr. Marrow said the commission, working with police, had alerted people to report the distribution of bundles of gummed labels imprinted with the swastika. He said that unidentified individuals had passed the bundles out to young people in subways and other public arms. The packages of labels contained no clues to their distributors, according to Dr. Marrow.
The 55 staff members of the commission, as part of their investigation of the incidents, plan to interview the culprits who have been arrested, as well as their relatives, friends and neighbors to learn something about the background of the vandals, the chairman asserted.
NEW YORK MAYOR EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER INCIDENTS
At New York City Hall, Mayor Robert Wagner expressed his “concern” over the incidents to a group of representatives of 25 foreign language publications. New York Superintendent of Schools John J. Theobald announced that special emphasis will be given in all city schools to programs for human relations and intergroup cooperation.
Mayor Wagner also alerted the police department which, according to a departmental spokesman, is continuing vigorous probing of all incidents here. Yesterday’s outstanding anti-Jewish manifestation, in which 87 headstones were defaced in the Baron De Hirsch Cemetery, in Staten Island, was being thoroughly investigated, the police department spokesman said, but “nothing new” has as yet been revealed.
A three-acre section of the cemetery, the largest Jewish burial ground in the vicinity, was found smeared with swastikas and with German terms for “Death” and “Fatherland.” On many of the gravestones, the Star of David was smeared with yellow paint.
The swastika menace has spread to college campuses, in many of them the butt being the local headquarters of the Hillel Foundation, headquarters for Jewish students. Among the Hillel Foundation smearings reported were incidents on the campuses of the University of Pennsylvania, and Ohio State University at Columbus. A student at the university in Columbus was arrested on a charge that he had perpetrated the outrage there.
At Boston University, students discovered this morning that the walls of a number of dormitories had been defaced overnight with the swastika.
Elementary schools were also not immune. At Port Jefferson, L,L., a school principals desk had been smeared with the swastika–apparently by thieves who also stole $85 from the desk. In Los Angeles, an American flag was torn up overnight by persons who had broken, into an elementary school and defaced a wall with the swastika.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.