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Workmen’s Circle Backs LBJ on Vietnam, Hits Soviet Bias, Neo-Nazis

May 10, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Workmen’s Circle, world’s largest Jewish labor fraternal order, opened its biennial convention here today with an endorsement of President Johnson’s peace efforts in Vietnam, condemnation of Soviet repression of Russian Jewry and a warning of the rise of neo-Nazism in West Germany. Israel Breslow, president of the 60,000 member organization, told the 800 delegates that "we are united in support of President Johnson’s efforts to achieve a durable peace, a peace without victories or vanquished. Let us hope that the peace conference opening in Paris will achieve its objective." Mr. Breslow said that the Jewish people, having lost six million of their brethren to inhuman hatreds, "cannot now close our eyes to those hatreds, whether they are directed against Jews in Poland and Russia or against minorities in our own country. We cannot plead and must not plead ignorance as so many Germans have done since the defeat of Hitler."

Benjamin A. Gebiner, Workmen’s Circle executive secretary, said "we are dismayed at the events in West Germany where the neo-Nazis have succeeded in gaining electoral strength. We do not view the rise of neo-Nazism as an internal West German problem any more than we view Russian or Polish anti-Semitism as an internal problem of those countries." Mr. Gebiner said that representations to Secretary of State Dean Rusk by the Workmen’s Circle were responsible for preventing a visit to this country last year by Adolf von Thadden, leader of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party in West Germany. Von Thadden cancelled his trip when it became evident to him that he would not be welcomed by any responsible U.S. Government agency or official, Mr. Gebiner said.

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