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Soon to Be Released Report Reveals That the Jlc Warned in 1942 That 700,000 Jews Had Been Killed by

April 9, 1984
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A 20-page appendix to the soon to be released report by the American Jewish Commission on the Holocaust will reveal that warnings in 1942 by the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) from sources within Poland and resistance underground conduits indicated that 700,000 Jews had already been killed by the Nazis and that broader plans were underway for the mass extermination of European Jewry.

The appendix to the report, scheduled for release later this week, will state: “The Jewish Labor Committee tried to awaken American Jewry to this immense tragedy; instead, it encountered lethargy and lack of real interest,” according to Jules Kolodny, chairman of the JLC. Kolodny said the Commission’s report will indicate that the JLC information received in 1942 was widely reported in the media.

Addressing some 200 delegates at the 50th anniversary convention of the JLC here at the Roosevelt Hotel, Kolodny said the report will note that the JLC conducted some 80 demonstrations and rallies in an attempt to focus attention on the situation in Nazi occupied Europe. The Holocaust Commission, headed by Arthur Goldberg, a farmer Supreme Court Justice, is an unofficial group of some 34 prominent American Jews established in September, 1981, to study what the organized Jewish community did or failed to do to save European Jewry during the years 1939-1945.

The Commission was disbanded in August, 1982 in a flurry of controversy over an interim report on the role of the American Jewish community. Samuel Merlin, a researcher and author of the interim report which was highly critical of established Jewish organizations, resigned from the Commission. Jack Eisner, a prominent New York businessman and Holocaust survivor who was the Commission’s principal financial backer, withdrew funding for the Commission in August, 1982. Goldberg reconstituted the Commission by guaranteeing its financing.

Seymour Finger, the Commission’s director of research, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last month that the Commission’s final report will indicate that American Jewish organizations had “relatively little power” during the Holocaust years, “but they did try to save the Jews. They tried, but they were hampered by a lack of unity. There was not a sustained unified effort on the part of the Jewish organizations to save the Jews in Europe.”


Kolodny, at the JLC convention, revealed that the report will note that “just prior to the American entry into the war, the JLC suggested its program of Emergency Visitor Visas to President Roosevelt. This important program begun in the summer of 1940, ultimately rescued several thousands of people from the Holocaust.”

The Commission report will state, “The JLC, as early as 1934 unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the floating of American loans to Germany,” Kolodny told the delegates.

Kolodny said the Commission’s report speaks of cooperation between secular JLC and Jewish Orthodox groups during the Holocaust period in rescue attempts and the sublimation of deep philosophical differences in order to maximize cooperation between themselves and all Jewish groups involved in rescue efforts. The report, according to Kolodny, reveals that when differences did surface, the JLC “risked” offending the “trading with the enemy” laws in order to effectuate the rescue of Holocaust victims.

The 200 delegates from the U.S. and Canada attending the convention, which ended today, elected Herb Magidson of North Chatham, New York, as its new national president. He succeeds Donald Slaiman of Washington, D.C. The JLC was founded in 1934 to rescue Jewish and non-Jewish labor and intellectual leaders from Nazi occupied Europe and to combat Nazism.

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