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May 31, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-05-31

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Purely Commentary

By Philip Slomovitz

Dr. Neumann for WZO Presidency
There may have been hesitancy in suggesting the. name of Dr.
Emanuel Neumann for the presidency of the World Zionist Organiza-
tion. But the movement in his behalf is gaining momentum. None
other than the eminent Labor Zionist leader, Baruch Zuckerman,
proposes Neumann's name for the highest available
world Jewish post.
The announcement by Dr. Nahum Goldmann
that he is no longer a candidate for re-election, at
the World Zionist 'Congress which will open in Jeru-
salem on June 9, creates a vacancy in Jewish ranks.
There are not too many qualified candidates, but
Dr. Neumann certainly has earned the post and
should be seriously considered for it. The fact that
a great leader from another party favors his selec-
tion speaks highly for the nominee from the Zionist
Organization of America, the world leader in Gen-
Dr. Neumann
eral Zionism, Dr. Emanuel Neumann.
There might be an anticipated argument that
Dr. Neumann is a bit too old—he is 73. But so is
Goldmann, and so also was Dr. Chaim Weizmann
in his 70s when he served as president of the 'world
Incidentally, Baruch Zuckerman has just ob-
served his 89th birthday. It is an occasion for
special consideration because of the eminence of
the octogenarian. An able writer and lecturer, a
pioneer Zionist leader, he has enriched the Zionist
cause with his devotion and his dedicated labors
which were a great aid not only to his own party,
the Poale Zion, but to the entire world Zionist

Menahem Begin—A Guest for Shavuot


(Copyright 1968, JTA Inc.)

Editor's Note—Menahem Begin,
hero of this column, will address
the Israel Bond dinner at Cobo
Hall June 4.
America has a welcome visitor
for Shavuot, Menahem Begin. The
world knows him as one of the
"founding fathers" of Israel. Now
Americans will learn that he is
also an excellent orator. He will
tour the country for Israel Bonds.
Twenty-five years ago, Begin was
one of the best known Jews in
the world.
Everyone was following his story
in the newspapers. He was the
most wanted by the British police
and was reported to be living right
around the British police station.
At one time, the police searched
room by room the hotel in which
he lived.
The • police finally concluded
that he had had his face surgi-
cally changed. There were all kinds
of stories about his disguises.
The trouble with the British
police is that they don't go to
If they had gone to the syna-
gogue, they would have noticed a
man with a long beard. It wasn't
the rabbi. It was Begin. The only
disguise he had was a beard.
American Jewish C , ngress' Popular Election
Begin was the man behind the
There is justification for calling 1968 the 50th anniversary year
of the great Jewish democratic movement—because the beginnings of
one single state. Nevertheless,
its popular aspects were in 1918, as a result of the popular elections
with neither precise philosophy
for delegates to the sessions that were held in Philadelphia, prepara-
nor charismatic leadership, the
tory to selecting American Jewry's delegation to the Versailles Peace
prospects for this frame of mind
Conference after World War I.
are dim.
In the Detroit popular elections, the three winning delegates
No world power, East or West,
were the late Rabbi A. M. Hershman, David W. Simons and Joseph
hankers after anything tinged
with Hitlerism; nor does any
Nationally, even Louis Marshall and his associates in the aristo-
valid German opinion wish to
cratic American Jewish Committee -yielded and cooperated with the
play that horse again, as Thad-
American Jewish delegation to speak for world Jewry at Versailles.
den admits. And Thadden has
Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Judge Julian W. Mack, Prof. Felix Frankfurter,
nothing really new to offer with
a number of other outstanding Jewish leaders, including Menahem
which to mesmerize the masses.
Ussishkin, participated in the appeals for justice to Jewry in Poland
The Depression made Hitler a
and other lands and in support of the Zionist cause. That's when King
political reality, but the devil
Faisal wrote the historic letter accepting the Zionist idea, a move
himself would be hard put to do
that was later repudiated. (Isidore Levin of Detroit then was Prof
the same for von Thadden.
Frankfurter's secretary, and he accompanied him to the Versailles
Not that there is anything dia-
bolic about the NPD leader, a
Actually, however, the Jewish Congress movement started much
tall, nice-looking man, slightly
earlier. It was conceived by the eminent electrical enginer Pinhas
puffy, with ears pinned close to
Rutenberg. It was strongly backed by Louis D. Brandeis who delivered
a well-shaped skull. He is a dis-
an historic address in support of the movement in 1914 at Cooper
possessed Pomeranian Junker
Union Auditorium in •New York. It was before he was named to the
whose formal education ended
U.S. Supreme Court by President Wilson; and it was the first occasion
with high school. World War II
on whic this commentator heard the man who was soon to head
the American Zionist movement and who was to emerge as one of
embraced him and he fought
the great American jurists.
bravely, being wounded three
Dr. Wise was, of course, for years the guiding spirit of the
times but ending up only a first
Jewish Congress, and Bernard G. Richards was the brilliant executive
lieutenant despite his heritage
director whose skills were in large measure responsible for the move-
and personal courage. Thadden
ment's organizational triumphs.
was part of the Nazi youth ap-
Much can be said about the AJCongress' accomplishments and
paratus, but his family didn't
there is much to the movement's credit in this community. There
furnish many acolytes: his half-
were serious occurrences in the era of Ford, Coughlin, G. L. K. Smith,
English mother (the philosopher
Lindbergh and on many occasions when there were evidences of anti-
David Hume was his great-
Semitism. This commentator, as AJCongress president for eight years,
grandfather) went to London be-
experienced numerous challenges to Jewish rights and to the Zionist
fore the war to help finance the
ideal. We came through them largely with triumphs over bigotry.
escape of Jewish friends. His
half-sister was executed by the
Von Thadden as Symbol, Not Threat
Writing from Hanover, Germany, New York Times correspondent
He forecasts some fifty seats
C. L. Sulzberger has encouraging comments on the status of Adolf von
for his party in next year's Bun-
Thadden's National Democratic Party which has been branded neo-
destag elections. By 1973 he
Nazi but whose fuehrer denies that it is anti-Semitic. Sulzberger main-
hopes to play a "senior" govern-
tains that "Thadden is only important as a symbol, not a threat,"
mental role, but if the world and
and he analyzes the NPD leader's role, in part, by drawing upon
Germany retain vestigil sanity,
lessons of the past and by indicating the following:
Thadden's chances seem remote.
Bob Murphy, who became an outstanding American diplomat,
Let's reverse the order: If Ger-
was Vice Consul in Munich when Adolf Hitler made his first grab
many and the world go nuts, I
for power in 1923. After the unsuccessful beerhall Putsch, young
suspect the German right will
Murphy asked Munich's Papal Legate, Monsignor Pacelli, how he
find a more dynamic leader than
appraised the event.
this agreeable pudding.
"You'll never hear his name again," said Pacelli, referring to
If, as described, Thadden is
the future Fuehrer. "He's finished." Murphy dutifully reported merely a "Poor Man's Hitler" and
similar views. Twenty-one years later, when he accompanied Gen. more like George Wallace, does it
eral Clark's Fifth Army to Rome, Murphy called on his old friend, obviate concern over him and his
by then Pope Pius XII. He reminded the Holy Father of his early party? Sulzberger's optimist is re-
analysis. Pius patted him on the knee, saying: "Remember, Bob, assuring that a Hitler has no
that was before I was supposed to be infallible."
chance. Nevertheless, Germany is
This reporter has no aspirations to the papacy and no preten- concerned over the prospects of
sions to infallibility. Yet I'll eat my best Lock hat drenched in further NPD gains, and those who
maple syrup if Adolf von Thadden, head of the National Demo- experienced the horrors of Nazism
cratic party (NPD), called a neo-Nazi by his enemies and feared as will not treat Thadden and his
a poor man's Hitler, is ever Chancellor of Germany. He covets chances too lightly.
power but he doesn't have the stuff.
militant Revisionists Irgun organ-
The NPD recently startled Germany, its friends and enemies, ization. The British called them
by gaining a 10 per cent vote in Baden-Wurttemberg (three times terrorists. Even many Zionists
the Nazis' national vote in 1928). The party seemingly represents used the term. The Zionists didn't
a malcontent coalition including former Nazis, disappointed nation- believe in fighting. Besides, was
alists, old-fashioned conservatives worried by threats to order, it logic? How can 600,000 Jews
and a certain number of screwballs.
fight the British Empire and 14
The submerged portion of Germany's political iceberg, repre- Arab nations? So few cannot fight
senting frustration, is far larger than von Thadden's 10 per cent in so many!

The founder of the Revisionist
movement was Jabotinsky. Weiz-
mann had long been a personal
friend of his, but Weizmann said,
"I cannot work in such an atmo-
sphere. Maybe at some later time,
I will," Weizmann was always
hopeful he could attain his objec-
tives peacefully.
But little more than a decade
later, Hitler came to power. With
the refugees clamoring for admis-
sion, Britain shut the door of the
country right smack in their faces.
Begin in his book about the
Jewish Revolt says he thinks the
British never really intended to
establish a Jewish Homeland as
the Balfour Declaration promised.
Anyway, when the need was great-
est, they put up the sign: NO
The Struma came with 1,000
Jews from the concentration camps
and was turned back and the refu-
gees found their Promised Land
in the watery deeps, as the boat
Randolph Churchill told how his
father said, "I hate to see Dr.
Weizmann. Every time I see him,
I can't sleep at night."
But the door was kept closed.
The world, said Begin, has no
pity. It respects only the fighters.
The Irgun lacked arms. So one
day they raided the best stocked
British barracks. Everything was
rehearsed in advance, even to the
British accent. The raiding party
was led by a young man known as
"Giddy," who entered, dressed as
a British captain, accompanied by


others in British officers' uniforms.
The English soldiers saluted. "Gid-
dy ' whipped out his revolver.
"I am no bloody Englis man, I

am an Irgun ter-
rorist." He or-
dered the British
to load all of the
arms in the cars,
and the Irgunists
rode off.
This "Giddy,"
according to
Begin, was some-
thing of a genius.
tor,He was the in-
ventor of the
"davidka" g u n,
which was the
am an Irgun terrorist." He ordered
the British to load all of the arms
in the cars and the Irgunists rode
This "Giddy," according to Be-
gin, was something of a genius.
He was the inventor of the "david-
ka" bun, which was the chief
reliance of the 'Israelis in their
war for independence.
When the Irgun lacked money,
it held up a British railroad train.
The British learned to respect the
Such was the beginning of the
story of Israel's independence.
So now we are glad to welcome
a man who helped prove that the
cause of freedom need never be
despaired of, that the few can
fight the many, if they have right
on their side.

■1 ••■■011 m.o.m.0 411 ■ 01111.0.11=.011•1100M111.

Boris Smolar's

'Between You
. . and Me'

(Copyright 1968, JTA Inc.)

EYES ON POLAND: Jews in Poland, frightened and isolated,
feel trapped. Most of them would like to emigrate, but many are
afraid to apply for exit visas.
The application for an exit visa carries a risk for a Jew. The
application for an exit visa lso could lead to immediate dismissal
This is because he must renounce Polish citizenship in writing when
he submits his application for permission to leave the country. His
application for ah exit visa also could lead to immediate dismissal
from his job or to a transfer to a less satisfactory job.
The Polish authorities now demand Jewish visa applicants to
submit a written promise from some foreign embassy that they will
be granted entry to their country of destination. Even then the
authorities have been known to freeze the application for months.
This means that, under the best of circumstances, the Jewish appli-
cant risks being stateless for an indefinite period. If his application
is rejected, he remains stateless forever.
ZIONIST AFFAIRS: With the World Zionist Congress opening its
sessions in Jerusalem on June 9, there is much speculation among
Jews in the United States as to whether the- Congress will re-elect
Dr. Nahum Goldmann president of the World Zionist Organization
and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Dr. Goldmann has indicated that he does not choose to run for
re-election. He faces a strong opposition from Laborites in Israel who
-will, to all intents and purposes, dominate the World Zionist Con-
gress. However, he did not say his last word as yet on whether
he will accept presidency if backed by delegates of other Zionist
groups at the Congress.
This column would not write off Dr. Goldmann as a candidate
for re-election, People active in the Zionist movement in America —
and in the Jewish Agency — are inclined to believe that when it
comes to a showdown at the Congress, he may be re-elected despite
the Laborite opposition.
Among candidates mentioned as possible successors to Dr. Gold-
mann are:Yigal Allon, Laborite member of the Israel Cabinet; Golda
Meir; Dr. Israel Goldstein, world chairman of the Keren Hayeso;
Dr. Emanuel Neumann, member of the Jewish Agency executive; and
a number of others. The strongest candidate is Allon, who has ambi-
tions to be Israel's next prime minister.
JEWISH APPRECIATION: Major American Jewish organizationF
are planning to show special appreciation to the Scandinavian countrie.1
this year in connection with the 25th anniversary of the rescue of the
Jewish population in Denmark from the Nazis. The Jews were con-
spiratorially evacuated overnight from Nazi-occupied Denmark to
neutral Sweden on barges with the cooperation of the non-Jewish
populations of both countries.
A joint coordinating committee, composed of representatives of
the leading American Jewish groups, has been formed in New York
to mark the historic anniversary of this example of man's humanity
to man by sponsoring a program of special activities in October as
a "Salute to Denmark and Sweden." Co-chairmen of the program —
which will include a concert at the Philharmonic Hall in New York
— will be Ambassador Arthur J. Goldberg, U.S. Supreme Court
Justice Abraham J. Fortas, Judge Simon Rifkind, Philip Klutznick,
Victor Borge and others.

2—Friday, May 31, 1968


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