THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235.
VIL 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the twenty-second day of Adar I, the following Scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Ex. 35:1-38:20. Prophetical portion, I Kings 7:40-50.
Candle lighting, Friday, March 3, 6:06 p.m.
March 3, 196'7
Jewish Telegraphic Agency's 50th Birthday
February marked a very important anni-
versary in Jewish life. Fifty years ago last
month, the foundation was laid for the great
news-gathering agency, the Jewish Tele-
graphic Agency, and now, half a century later,
world Jewry has cause to be deeply grateful
for that foundation laid for the system
of communications binding the Jewries
of the world. Without the JTA we would be
living in a vacuum, our communities would
be without links assuring the unity of the
Jewish people through proper information
about events affecting all of us, and both the
cultural and philanthropic aspects of Jewish
life would be like dead cells in a sick body.
Now, because of the vision of the then
young journalist, Jacob Landau, an employe
of the Amsterdam Telegraaf, we have the
proper agency that gathers and distributes
the news about Jews everywhere and assures
for our people a press agency that inspires
an interest in Jewish life and a knowledge of
what is transpiring in even the strangest and
most remote Jewish communities in the
Jacob Landau's first Jewish news bulle-
tin, issued on Feb. 6, 1917, developed gradual-
ly, soon becoming the organ of the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency and before long gather-
ing enough strength to emerge as the news
gatherer of the Jewish people.
With the aid of four Antwerp Zionists,
Sylvain Birnbaum, Jacques Buchenholz, Elias
Chanania and Sylvain Ross, Mr. Landau first
issued the Joodsche Correspondentie Bureau
dispatches to many newspapers, and soon their
service became worldwide. Their operations
were intended at the outset to fill a need dur-
ing World War I, and after the world con-
flict the JCB was closed, the five young
journalists having felt that their task was ac-
complished. But the late Dr. Thomas G.
Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslova-
kia, convinced Mr. Landau that the project
he had undertaken was a very vital one, and
the news agency received a new lease on life
in December of 1919.
Then, in a hall bedroom in the High Hol-
born section of London, Mr. Landau, together
with the late Meir Grossman, who later be-
came one of the outstanding Revisionist lead-
ers and an associate of Vladimir Jabotinsky,
started anew the Jewish Correspondence Bu-
reau and Telegraphic Agency. It struggled,
but it grew. It served the Yiddish press of
the United States and Poland and before long
it commenced a Hebrew service for the Je-
rusalem and Tel Aviv newspapers.
Men like Louis Marshall, Felix Warburg,
N.Y. Times Publisher Adolph Ochs, Herbert
Bayard Swope of the New York World and
others took an interest in the JTA. It now
functions from central offices in New York,
London and Jerusalem, with subsidiary of-
fices in the United Nations, Johannesburg,
Buenos Aires, Lima and Sao Paulo.
Thus, the small bulletin out of Amster-
dam has grown into one of the most valuable
instruments for the perpetuation of the high-
est values in Jewish life, JTA now assuming
the role of the most important medium of
communications between the Jewries of the
JTA's role is established. There is much
to be done to expand the services, to add to
its merits, to assure uninterrupted links be-
tween Jewish communities everywhere. The
basis for expanded action is here and the ele-
vation of the agency's aims toward higher
goals have, fortunately for world Jewry, be-
come the accepted obligations of the major
Jewish communities throughout the world
How the Jews Fought Nazism:
Record Vast Jewish Resistance
How extensive was Jewish resistance to Nazism? Did the Jews
strike back when they were faced with humiliation and eventual death?
Much has been written about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It
was the supreme act of vengeance against a mighty power. It ended
in the nearly total elimination of the Jewish population that was
herded into the small confines of the Nazi-made ghetto. But the
end was marked by heroism.
Were there other similar acts of resistance, of retaliation, - of
refusal to bow down to the murderous Nazi hordes.
"They Fought Back—The Story of the Jewish Resistance in
Nazi Europe" by Yuri Suhl, published by Crown (419 Park, S., NY16) ;
reveals the extent of the heroism that is on the record in many areas,
'in ghettoes, in concentration camps, when Jews were able to meet
Nazis in battle.
Even in Berlin, there was a Jewish group that fought the
Nazis and conducted underground activities. It was known as the
"Baum-Gruppe," and a comprehensive account of its hitherto little
known functions appears in a chapter written by Prof. Ber Mark,
the Warsaw Jewish historian, who has compiled the impressive
record of this group's underground actions to overcome the Nazi
Suhl's book almost in its entirety contains essays dealing with
various phases of resistance. and a wide field is covered, the author
having drawn wion the most authoritative sources—Emmanuel Ringel-
blum, Reuben Ainszstein, Alexander Pechersky, Jacob Gutfreind, Ber
and Esther Mark, Masimo Adolfo Vitale and many others who had
described various experiences and whose writings were edited and
patch on "The Piratical Attack of American translated by Suhl for inclusion in this impressive book.
War Planes on Soviet Merchant Ships in Hai-
phong Harbor," a man-on-the-street outcry
Prof. Mark's essay on "The Herbert Baum Group — Jewish
against "American aggression in Vietnam," im- Resistance in Germany in the Years 1937-1942," explaining the
provement of the cooperative organization in the ideological background, of this organized factor in the underground
region, an official obituary for Alexander Petro- movement composed of Zionists of various shades of opinion, makes
vich Rudakov, and a bucolic lyric (in prose) this interesting comment:
headlined "For the Harvest Are We Ready."1
"The Jewish population in Germany, in contrast to Jewish
A section headed "There, Where Capitalism communities in other occupied countries, was for a number of
Reigns" reports a murder from London and a reasons not a very fertile soil for slogans and active resistance
suicide in Sicily. Another section called "Events , against the Hitler regime. The Baum Group had to overcome diffi-
Abroad" contains five brief Tass dispatches: the culties which no other Jewish community in occupied Europe faced.
celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Mon- The Baum Group knew very little about the struggles of Jewish
golian Revolution in Ulan-Bator, the departure ' resistance fighters in the occupied countries. They had no knowledge
of a Soviet delegation from Japan after a visit of the song of Vilna partisans, `zog nit keinmol as du geyst dem -
to "atom-bomb shattered Nagasaki," a defeat at letzten veg—Oh, never say that you have reached the very end.'
the polls for the Christian Democratic party in But their own healthy revolutionary instincts told them that even
West Germany; a Hanoi report on the downing under the most horrible conditions there is always the path of---
of the 1,885th American warplane, and word from struggle—a struggle to overcome evil and its origins."
London on the final round of the world champion-
A number of aspects of the Warsaw Ghetto resistance are covered
ship soccer games.
Suhl volume, which contains so many translations of important
Not a single quantum of light on Jewish re- essays by survivors and victims whose writings were saved to expose
ligion, Jewish culture, Jewish life radiates from the Nazi crimes. The value of this book, however, lies in the vast field
the dim Birobidzhan Star.
it covers, in the reviews of resistance activities in many lands, in
It is well that these facts should be made various concentration camps.
Russian Jewry's Cultural Status
Soviet Russia's oft-repeated claims that
Jewish cultural programs are not curtailed,
the contentions that Jewish journalism has
not been stifled, remain puzzling. The very
recent statement regarding the expansion of
the Birobidzhan Star added to the confusion.
There are only two Yiddish language periodi-
cals published in Russia — Sovietishe Heim-
land, most of whose 25,000 printed copies are
sold outside of Russia, and the Birobidzhan
newspaper. It was in behalf of the latter that
a recent report announced expansion of cir-
culation from 1,000 to 12,000 copies and that
the newspaper — if that sheet could be called
that — would have nationwide distribution.
This claim was challenged by Dr. Ely E.
Pilchik of South Orange, N.J., who, in a letter
to the New York Times, asserted that the
Russian announcement "provides cold com-
fort for those anxious about Russian Jewry,"
and he analyzed the Birobidzhan newspaper's
contents as follows;
Before me is the issue of July 13, 1966, which
I purchased there last summer for two kopecks.
The Birobidzhaner Shtern states that it is "the
organ of the Regional Committee of the Com-
munist party of the U.S.S.R. and of District
Soviet Deputies of the workers of the Jewish
The two-page sheet is graced with four photo-
graphs: A Tass photo of Lenin Prospect in the
new city of Volgagrad; a snapshot of Vladimir
Potapenko smiling from the cab of his tractor
upon being congratulated for gathering a 500-
day supply of hay in the plains of the Amur
River area; five burly workers who fulfilled their
work quota in the machine-shops of Birobidzhan,
and another Tass shot—of a student demonstra-
tion in Costa Rica against the land grab of the
The news consists of a report, in most gen-
eneral terms, of the Warsaw Pact powers, a dis-
known and that the analyses of the contents
of a newspaper posed as an important Yiddish
organ should be exposed for what it is worth.
The well established facts are that there has
been an absolute curtailment of Jewish liter-
ary publications, that there are no Yiddish
newspapers in the entire country, that na-
tional groups with less than 5 per cent the
number of Jews have been granted cultural
and journalistic freedom while the Jewish
community of the USSR remains impover-
ished culturally and spiritually. One wonders
whether there is a way in which Russia can
be induced to alter its discriminatory policies
so that the 3,000,000 Jews will have the
freedoms due them to establish proper com-
munications 'among thOMSONes, and' With' .the
Jewish communities throughout the world.
There are the stories of the revolt in Sobibor, of escapes from
and underground assignments in Auschwitz, revolts in Minsk, Lachwa,
Vilna, Bialistok and numerous other ghettoes.
There are descriptions of resistance in Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium
and other countries, and a Parisian Jewish partisan's diary describes
life in the French capital under Nazism.
Individual acts of heroism are described in a number of stories
about the courageous fighters against Hitlerism—"Little Wanda
(Niuta Teitelboim) With the Braids," "The Amazing Oswald (Shmuel)
Rufeisen" and others.
Surprisingly, the story of resistance in Italy does not mention
the massacre in the Ardeatine Caves. It was left to Robert Katz
to expose that crime in his "Death in Rome" (Macmillan).
Suhl's "They Fought Back" is not a complete story. But its
contents are vital to an understanding of what really happened
and to an appreciation of the fact that there really was a widespread
Jewish resistance against Nazism.