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July 23, 1965 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-07-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Stamford Mayor Backs JWV Leader Heroism of Jews' Warsaw Ghetto Resistance
in Dispute With Rightist Organization Recorded in Tuslmet's‘ To Die With Honor'

STAMFORD, Conn. (JTA) —
Charges and counter charges be-
tween the Jewish War Veterans
here and the Young Americans for
Freedom, a group labeled by a
leader of the Jewish veterans as
"associated with the John Birch
Society," have sparked a bitter
fight in this community.
Thomas Flaherty, chairman of
the Stamford and Northeastern
University chapters of the YAF,
has requested Mayor Thomas C.
Mayers to remove Leslie Meyers,
state commander of the JWV,
from membership on this city's
patriotic and special events com-
mission.
The mayor turned down the re-
quest, and Flaherty has threatened
to take the issue to the board of
representatives. He said he would
also ask his national organization
to start a law suit on the grounds
that the YAF has been "slander-
ed" by accusations that it is tied
with the John Birch Society.
The entire issue started last
Memorial Day, when the Pa-
triotic and special events com-
mission voted to bar from the
holiday parade a float entered
by the YAF. Although four of the
five members of the commission
voted for the ban—with the fifth
member absent—the YAF has
centered its fire on Meyers. At
that time, while a member of
the Commission, he was also
state commander-elect of the
Connecticut Jewish War Vet-
erans.
Meyers' stand for the ban of the

Liebman's View Invoked
in 'Positive Thinkers'

"Sick people call on doctors—
but not always. Sometimes they
call on priests. One hazard of
twentieth-century sphistication is
the difficulty of knowing when to
call on which," writes Dr. Donald
Meyer in a provocative book called
"The Positive Thinkers," to be
published by Doubleday June 4.
Dr. Meyer subtitles his book: "A
Study of the American Quest for
Health, Wealth and Personal Pow-
er from Mary Baker Eddy to Nor-
man Vincent Peale." This is Amer-
ican history with a twist. Dr. Meyer
analyses the strange phenomenon
that for over a hundred years
America has been the breeding
ground for all sorts of mind-cure
movements running all the way
from Christian Science to Positive
Thinking. He breaks his narrative
into three main divisions: the ap-
peal of mind-cure for the middle-
class and often idle female; the
fascination of mind-cure for the
anxious male, i.e. business tycoon;
the answers offered up by spokes-
men like Dale Carnegie, Rabbi
Joshua Loth Liebman, Bishop Ful-
ton J. Sheen, and Dr. Norman Vin-
cent Peale.

YAF float has been backed by the
JWV's outgoing commander, and
by Harry Rosenbaum, vice presi-
dent of the advisory board of the
Bnai Brith Anti - Defamation
League in Connecticut.
Noting that Meyers voted for the
ban of the YAF float as a mem-
ber of the commission, and not as
a representative of the Jewish
War Veterans, and that, unlike
"the super-patriots," Meyers "lost
an arm in the war," Rosenbaum
said the action was justified be-
cause the YAF is a political body.
Many Stamford citizens are sup-
porting the mayor in his refusal
to remove Meyers from the pa-
triotic and special events com-
mission. Some, however, have
written the mayor, attacking the
ban and leveling their principal
charges of "discrimination"
against the Jewish veterans' lead-
er.
The mayor insists that the YAF
float "was not in keeping" with
the objectives of the Memorial
Day Parade.

Why a 'Party'
for Mourners?

BY NATHAN ZIPRIN
Editor, Seven Arts Feature
Syndicate

The Synagogue Council of
America, representing our three

r i g i o u s denominations, has
adopted a statement on funeral
and mourning practices which it

hopes will serve as a guide to the
entire Jewish community. Empha-
sizing that a funeral is a- solemn
religious service, the Council
urges that it be completely under
the guidance and regulation of the
spiritual leader. It calls for a sim-
ple service, for unostentatious
caskets and opposes public view-
ing of the deceased. As to the
period of mourning following the
funeral, the statement says:
"SHIVA is a period of mourn-
ing for the bereaved family. In
keeping with the solemnity of the
occasion, visitors should not ex-
pect nor contribute to the crea-
tion of festive hospitality. Chari-
table contributions are a more ap-

propriate. testimonial to the mem-
ory of the deceased than are
gifts."

Lavish display, vulgar ostenta-
tion, complete lack of good taste
is an illness from which a large

sector of our affluent American
Jewry is suffering today. We in-
dulge in five-thousand-dollar Bar-

and-Bat Mitzvas. For Rosh Ha-
shanah many of us are making it
a habit to go away to an expensive
hotel instead of staying home and
attending the services in the syna-
gogue of which we ourselves are
dues-paying members. The ob-
servance of the Passover Seder at
home is now by many regarded as
old-fashioned.
And now we're getting real
Sandy Koufax is not only the
leading pitcher in the major parties during the SHIVA period.
leagues: he also has become a It's becoming real fun nowadays
to visit a house of mourning—
good hitter.
His cluch hitting won for him you're offered all sorts of fruits,
the 17th game, on Tuesday, when cakes, candies, hot and cold drinks,
his single in the ninth inning ac- in return for which you bring a
counted for the Los Angeles gift.
What is needed badly is a
Dodgers' 3-2 victory over Hous-
course
in good taste, a course
ton.
which our synagogue centers
might offer to their membership.
Such a course would emphasize
FIVE YEAR
that while we need not cry and
SAVINGS
wail
constantly, as some of our
CERTIFICATES

Koufax—Clutch Hitter

-

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• ••••••seetes•etssesatt•••

ancestors were wont to do as a

mark of sorrow over their dear,
departed dead, it is the height of
vulgarity to turn the period of

mourning into a season of gladness
particularly if the hosts are real-

ly heart-broken over the passing
of a close relative. Must the hosts
stage a party for their guests only
because everybody else does it
and it's expected of them too?

Then let's teach everybody else
the meaning of civilized good
taste that should be grounded in
honest feeling.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
16—Friday, July 23, 1965

Much has been written about the
Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Few of
the available volumes are as soul-
stirring and as moving as "To Die
With Honor—The Uprising of the
Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto," by
Leonard Tushnet, published by
Citadel Press (222 Park S., NY 3).
Dr. Tushnet, a practicing physi-
cian in Irvington, N.J., conducted
research in the Warsaw Ghetto
where he gathered the material
for his challenging book.
The author has compiled data
to show the factions that had par-
ticipated in the revolt, the news-
papers they published, the differ-
ences among them and the de-
veloping unity.
He points out that "there was
a nonpolitical mass, a religious
group and three well-organized
political factions" in the ghetto.
"Of the last," he writes, "the
Bund was the largest and most
influential, closely followed by
the Zionist parties, themselves
divided, and farther behind, by
the Communists. Each organiza-
tion had its own publications and
its own band of devoted follow-
ers . . ."
The beginnings of action are
traced to the arrival in the ghetto
of a Soviet representative of the
Polska Partja Rabotnicza, a para-
chutist, Pinya Kartin, better known
as Andrzej Schmidt. Aid was to
be offered to the Jews who Were
isolated in the ghetto. Conversa-
tions regarding joint action began.
An effort was begun for united ac-
tion.
But the leftists formed their own
committee for defense and resis-
tance. A general staff of the Jewish
Fighting Organization—Zhydowska
Organizacja Bojowa — Zhob — was
formed. It was composed of Tsivia
Lubetkin, Mordecai Tenenbaum,
Samuel Breslau and Isaac Zucker-
man. "The total arsenal consisted
of—one revolver." A call for arms
went out to the "Aryan side."
All sorts of plans were made.
There were complications. "Sen-
tences of death were formally pass-
ed on Joseph Szerynski, the Jewish
chief of police, and on other col-
laborators with the Germans; the
actual execution had to wait until
guns were available."
The Jews were warned not to be
misled by German plans for trans-
fers from the ghetto since it was
established that they meant trans-
portation to the Treblinka gas
chambers.
On Aug. 20, 1942, an attempt on
the life of Szerynski was made by
Israel Kanal who was disguised as
a policeman. He succeeded only in
wounding him. Fires were set in
factories, but propaganda proved
fruitless and a small Jewish ar-
senal was taken by the Germans.
The Nazis continued with their
"resettlement" plans: "Out of 350-
000 Jews at the beginning of July,
between 50,000 and 70,000 remain-
ed (the figures vary). The sur-
viving Jews were herded in four
areas of the former ghetto."
Efforts began for an active cam-
paign of resistance. The names of
many who - have written them-
selves indelibly in the history of
the ghetto uprising appear in the
crucial months of 1943—those of
Mordecai Alieliewicz, the 23-year-
old Zhob commander-in-chief;
Isaac Zuckerman, Tsivia Lubetkin,
Michael Rosenfeld a n d many
others.
Zhob did not know that Himm-
ler had issued an order on Jan.
11, 1943 that the uprising should
be suppressed, and it selected
Jan. 22 as the time for an armed
attack on the Nazis..There was a
heavy Jewish loss when the ac-
tual fighting began on Jan. 18.
In a diary which was hidden in
a bunker, Samuel Winter wrote
that while many Jews were
taken "the Germans are afraid
to enter the cellars and bun-
kers," that for a time the Ger-
mans withdrew, Zhob then for a
time became a power and Dr.
Tushnet states in his historical
record: "That Jews fought and
that their resistance, feeble as it
was, was enough to make the

Germans interrupted the deport-
ations buoyed up the spirits of
the Jews, now more than ever
aware of their desperate situa-
tion.
The detailed account presented
by Dr. Tushnet describes how
Jews sought weapons, how they
acquired means with which to
carry on the struggle. There is a
full account of the uprising, April
19 through May 16, 1943, Nazi
Governor-General Frank having
sent an urgent appeal to Berlin for
help. He said in his message to
Reichsminister Lammers: "Yes-
terday we encountered a well or-
ganized armed resistence in the
Warsaw Ghetto; to combat it we
needed to use artillery."
Descriptions of the battle are of-
fered in the form of diaries kept
by ghetto fighters. Referring to the
report of Nazi General Stroop
that up to April 25, 27,464 Jews
were captured and there were only
five German dead and 50 wound-
ed, Dr. Tushmet states:
"The last figures are incredi-
ble, especially since on April 18
he had already reported 12 dead.
He was evidently anxious to
minimize his losses. An under-
ground Polish agent reported,
from a reliable source, that up
to this day the Germans had
lost a total of 700 dead and
wounded, 150 having been killed
in the first two days of fighting.
An unfriendly (to the Jews) re-
port said this figure was exag-
gerated, the total being only
400."
Stroop is reported even of hav-
ing spoken of "Jewish hutzpah."
The entire story is one of Jewish
heroism. There were sacrifices,
Anieliewicz was among those who
succumbed, some committed sui-
cide rather than yield to the Nazis.
There were many acts of courage.
There is a chapter, "The Rub-
ble Fighters: May 16, to Septem-
ber, 1943." In other words, the
Jewish heroes did not give up
the struggle even after the great
battle, against vast odds, was
lost—to the disgrace of the Nazis
—to the ghetto warriors.
Dr. Tushnet concludes his story
with this postscript as a tribute to
the warsaw ghetto resistance:
"So ends the tale of the Jew-
ish Resistance in Warsaw. It
must be remembered that the final
uprising in the ghetto was the long-

est single sustained conflict in the
history of all the resistance move-
ments in occupied Europe. To ac-
complish that, under such unpre-
cedented circumstances, is an achi-
evement of which the Jews can
be proud."

Gershwin Songs in Movie

George Gershwin's unpublished
songs and new lyrics by his
brother Ira are being used by
Gene Kelly for a new motion pic-
ture telling the romantic advent-
ures of an American World War
I pilot and a French girl from

the music halls.

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