THE DETROIT JEW ISH NEWS -- Friday, November 25, 19 60
the Privileges of
Being an American
By P hilip Between Yrpo & Me
It is good to give thanks unto the Lord,
And to sing praises unto Thy name, 0 most High.
. . • And give thanks to His holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a life-time;
Weeping may tarry for the night,
But joy .cometh in the morning.
On thanksgiving, when we have so much to be grateful for,
when Americans rejoice in the blessings and the bounties that have
been allotted to them, this Commentator will surely be granted the
privilege of a personal word, on a glorious occasion.
This Column has often taken note of historic events, of
anniversaries of friends and community leaders. Your Commentator
has shown appreciation for occurences in communities and in the
lives of fellow-citizens.
Now, the time has come for a personal reference—because the
event is so vital and so deeply soul-stirring.
November 29 will mark Your Commentator's fiftieth anniversary
as an American. Many anniversaries are personal in nature: to
hiir.,subh. an event, that of reaching the age of Fifty Years as An
AtOkicarr,:c.alls for thanksgiving, for a bit of reminiscing, for
additional - Soul- and heart-searching..
Fifty yeads as An American meant `fifty years of freedom—
freedom to speak the mind and to express views without hindrance,
fifty years of service to causes that fit into the American way of
life and therefore help in the uplifting. of the less fortunate,
fifty years that were not without their battles and debates but they
were disputes and arguments of such a nature as to echo what
the striver for justice acquired as part of his immersion into
citizenship and during the many years of his enfranchisement—Your
Commentator labored for the Zionist idea. No one hindered him:
the best Americans assisted in the great aspirations. Presidents,
Cabinet members, Supreme Court Justices, Governors of States, and
members of both House of Congress often gave him their blessings.
It was the greatness of America that its leaders always gave us
comfort in our work. The handful of Jews who were frightened,
who ; in their panic, could not assist in the greatest humanitarian
effort in history, did not matter. They were unworthy of concern.
They do no count now, although they still seek to obstruct justice.
But there are so few of them that they are insignificant.
But even the few could have been helpful in rescuing many
more people than we have succeeded in saving since our great
Zionist idea became a reality. Nevertheless, we are grateful—for
the millions of our kinsmen who recognized the immensity of the
task and assisted in it; for the many millions of Christian
Americans who, by their actions, by their encouragement, upheld
the American principles of justice and the right to life, liberty
and pursuit of happiness of all mankind, and give us cause for
gratitude and thanksgiving on this sacred day.
There is another cause for rejoicing. During the Fifty Years
as An American, this writer had the right to adhere to the faith
of our fathers, wherever we were—at prepatory high school, at
The last fifty years revolutionized the world. They were college, while working on newspapers, in the course of travels,—
politically stirring. The half century began with challenges wherever the Stars and Stripes fluttered for us as a symbol of our
unparalleled in history. They changed the fabric of America's citizenship.
acts and thoughts. They transformed our land into a new mold.
Two world wars claimed the lives of millions of our fellow
Americans. Smaller conflicts and some calamities also were costly
in human lives.
While the world was being remolded, the Jewish people
underwent even graver changes. Our kinsmen were threatened
with extinction. We lost a third of Jewry in the course of • the
victimization of mankind by the most devilish minds that ever
afflicted themselves up6n us. -
As Americans, we were part of a generation that revolted
against bestialities. As Jews we had the obligation of coming
to the aid of the afflicted. As American Jews we were destined
by history to be the rescuers of the oppressed.
But while we were rescuing, we, too, were the targets of
bigots. We were charged with the task of saving lives, and at
the same time of repudiating bigots. In this country we were free
to speak our minds against intolerance, to battle the anti-Semites,
to demand justice wherever and whenever it was due.
• In that battle, we soon learned the greatness of . America.
We were not alone in the fight. We soon learned that there is
such a genuine principle as fair play in this great- land of our
adoption. We are grateful for that idea. It has helped to -sustain
us in our Americanism and it has given us pride in our loyalties to
this great land and its deep-rooted principles.
There was much more to our pride. When you fight the
anti-Semite you. seek to eliminate the negative aspects of American
life. It is when one searches for the positive, when you aim to
do the creative things in life, that you are faced with the true test
of American greatness. Your Commentator has found the genius
of America in the freedom to act in behalf of his fellow Jews
through the Zionist ideal.
America spells freedom—but it does not qualify it by saying
that it is to be freedom only. for Americans. It is an established
and a Sacred:Atnerican principle that one who has hiS freedoms
must not deprive OtherS.oLtheir:fteedoms. More than that: he who
has his freedoms must aid others to acquire similar just rights.
During the five decades of his Americanism—before acquiring
The pride of your Commentator's Americanism has accompanied
him abroad, where he was able to hold his head high as an American
Jew, and in Israel, where he enjoyed the fruits of his labors and
witnessed the fulfillment of the dream of an American Jew for
whom Zionism was akin to Americanismbecause the aspirations
of both are kindred in spirit—and where he saw the realization
of the ideal that all men have a right to pursue happiness and enjoy
Major in the sense of elation, next to the exultation that
stems from good family relationships—from a f - ine wife and
good children—(all, incidentally, native born who share mutual
joys as Americans, as Jews, as Zionists)—is the privilege this
writer has acquired as a working newspaperman. The most
glorious post in journalism is that of the reporter. It is he, as
the gatherer of news, who secures the facts. to keep the people
informed on what is happening.- The working newsgatherer is
often vastly more important even than the editor and the copy
reader. Without his facts there would be no provisions for
And in the role of a working newspaperman, this humble
writer also has aligned himself with all informational causes, with
education and fact-gathering, with a dedication to the cause of
learning. One must, always learn. Mikol me-lamdai hiskalti—\
we learn from all who have something to impart to us. And to
learn is to continue an unending ambition in life. To inspire others
to learn is to assist in creating a well-informed community.
Such are the experiences of half a century. These are the
aspirations of a life that has been blessed by the great privilege
inherent in an Americanism that does not exclude equal loyalty
These are just a few of thoughts that crop up in the rejoicing
over our Americanism. Your Commentator was blessed during half
a century as an American. His. gratitude is unbounded. This is a
great day in his life—to be Fifty Years an American. That's the
reason for devoting a column to a personal expression of thankfulness
for such a blessing—to be an American!
`Renault Affair . Now Considered Settled;
Firm Willing to Do Business with Israel
NEW YORK (JTA) — The
Conference of Presidents of Ma-
Jor Jewish Organizations in the
United States announced that it
now regards "as settled" the dis-
pute with Regie Renault,. French
automobile company, . which sud-
denly terminated its contract with
Kaiser-Frazer of Israel last year
under Arab boycott pressure.
The announcement was made
by Label Katz, ccairman of the
Presidents Conference, follOwing
the receipt by 'him of a letter
from Maurice Bosquet, president
of Renault, Inc., representing
Renault of France. The letter in-
dicated that Regie Renault is
willing to do business with Israel.
"I was recently in Paris and
had the opportunity to discuss
with Mr. Pierre Dreyfus (general
director of Regie Renault), the
facts concerning the settlement
of the litigation between the
Regie Renault and Kaiser-Frazer
of Israel. Mr.' Dreyfus advises
that all disputes between the two
companies were resolved to the
complete satisfaction of each and
that neither party has any re- mercial considerations, as does tate against the attainment of
maining claims or grievances any other business entity.
the fundamental objectives of the
against the other.
"For all .these reasons, and Regie Renault. On the contrary ;
"Mr. Dreyfus also pointed out others as well, discrimination as it is the wish of Mr. Dreyfus and
the Regie Renault to sell Renault
to me that the Regie Renault, a matter of policy against buyers produCts in every country in the
being essentially a commercial in any country is unthinkable so world, including Israel, of course,
enterprise, necessarily bases its far as the Regie Renault is con- where buyers for them can be
policy decisions on purely coin- corned. Such a policy would mili- I found."
Ex-Slave Laborers Must Register by Jan. 1
NEW YORK (JTA)
final call for registration by.for-
mer Jewish inmates of Nazi con-
centration camps, who toiled as
slave laborers for private Ger-
man firms, was issued by the
Committee of Former Jewish
Slave Laborers . in Germany,
which was set up in cooperation
with leading national and World
The . Committee is seeking to
gain compensation from German
firms for the benefit of their sur-
viving Jewish slave laborers,
along the same lines as are pro-
vided by the agreements reached
with the I. G. Farben and the
Friedrich Krupp companies. The and should contain the following
Committee desires to register the information: full name, address,
surviving slave laborers, so that date and place of birth, name of
they might not be excluded froth Gernian firm, and the place and
the benefits of any future settle- dates where the slave labor was
ments which may be reached. It performed. T h e Conipensation
is in the claimants' own interests, Treuhand is a special trust set
the Committee emphasized, to up to administer the funds to be
give the matter their immediate paid out under the I. G. Farben
attention, and to register by De- and the Krupp agreements.
Former slave laborers at the
cember 31, 1960. The Commit-
tee makes no charge for its serv- I. G. Farben and the Friedrich
ices, nor does it act as a legal Krupp companies, who have al-
representatives of. claimants.
ready registered with the Com-
.Communications should be ad-
pensation Treuhand, are request-
dressed to: the Compensation
Treuhand, Staufenstrasse 29a, ed not to register again, as their
Frankfurt-am-Main, G e r in a n y, claims are already on file.
By BORIS SMOLAR -
(Copyright, 1960, Jewish Telegraphic
It costs money to be a Jevir\
in Italy ... Every Jew in Rome,
or in any other Italian city, if
he wants to be considered a
Jew, must pay a special tax, im-
posed by the Jewish communi-
ties with the approval of the
Italian government . . . Italian
authorities assist the Jewish
communities in collecting this
tax . . . The money raised goes
into the treasury of the Jewish
community to support Jewish-
religious, .educational and social'
aid institutions •. . . Elected by -
a democratic process, the Jew-
ish community in each city is
in charge of the entire organiz-
ed Jewish communal life . .
It takes care of the needy and
the aged, and represents the
Jewish population vis-a-vis the
Italian authorities . . . The larg-
est Jewish community — prob-
ably also the oldest in Europe—
is in Rome . . . It counts about
13,000 members who are con-
scientious Jews and insist on
remaining Jewish .. . The ma-
jority of them are of Italian
Jewish ancestry going back
many generations, but they de-
votedly maintain their Judaism
and teach it to their children.
. There are four synagogues -
in Rome, all Orthodox, including
the large synagogue which at-
tracts many tourists, Jewish and
* * *
The devotion of native Italian
Jews, of many generations, to
Judaism is all-the-more remark-
able because it is easy ,for" a
Jew to become assimilated . in
Italy . . . The doors are wide open
to Jews in all fields of Italian
life .. .Anti-Semitism is alien to
the average Italian ... All these
factors have brought about the
assimilation of a substantial
number of Jews during genera-
tions . . . However ; there are
about 40,000 Jews today in Italy
determined to remain Jews .
There are many professors, ar-
chiteCts, scientists and other in-
tellectuals among them . . . The
president of the Rome Jewish
community is Prof. Fausto Piti-
land, a famous economist who—
during World War II—was an
economic adviser to the U.S.
Government in Washington .. .
Like other Jewish intellectuals,
he left Italy when Mussolini
came to power, but he returned
to Italy as soon as the Musso-
lini regime fell . .. During his
stay .in the U.S., he and other
Jews from Italy, formed an
Italian-Jewish Club in New York
affiliated with the Spanish-
Portuguese Synagogue of which
Rabbi David de Sola Pool is the
* * *
Jewish Treasures: ..
An interesting expression of
the devotion of Italian Jewry to
Judaism is the new edition of
the Bible . . . To publish such a
volume in Hebrew and English
in the year of 1960 can only
mean that Jews in Italy are
proud of their Jewish heritage,
as they were when they printed
their 'Soncino Bible in the 15th
Century • . . One of the five
copies of the original Soncino
Bible now known to be still
preserved in museums through-
out the world can be seen in
the Rome synagogue . . . Jewish
leaders in Rome are concentrat-
ing on collecting these precious
historic treasures of Jewish his-
tory . . . President Ben Zvi of
Israel has been negotiating with
these leaders to transfer these
treasures and archives to Israel.
. . . However; Italian Jewry, con-
vinced of the continuation of
Jewish life in Italy for many
generations, is not hurrying to
transfer them to IsraeL