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August 30, 1968 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-08-30

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

Ulbricht Role in Attack on Zionism Emphasized

(Continued from Page 1)
dismissed, and many Jews were ar-
rested. Wladislaw Gomulka, Polish
Communist Party leader, finally
succeeded in muzzling the cam-
paign which, while ostensibly di-
rected against alleged "Zionists,"
was conceded to have degenerated
into a general anti-Semitic witch-
The invocation of the "Zionist"
menace by the East German
Communist Party was attributed
by observers to evidence that the
regime of party chief Walter Ul-
bricht is experiencing consider-
able difficulty explaining why
East German troops joined the
other Soviet-bloc forces in march-
ing into Czechoslovakia. East Ger-
man commentaries, according to
the Times, disclosed mounting
concern over the breadth and
power of Czechoslovakian resist-
ance to the occupation and have
referred to "anti-Socialist row-
dies." The implication of the Neues
Deutschland charges was that
those elements are working with
or are one with the "Zionist
forces" that allegedly took over
in Czechoslovakia before the occu-
Ulbricht is known to be the
most rabidly anti-Israel per-
sonality among all of the East-
ern European Communist lead-
ers. It was reportedly at his in-
sistence that Czechoslovakia was
forced to accept a reference to
"Israeli aggression" in the joint
communique issued at the Bra-
tislava conference of Warsaw
Pact nations earlier this month.
That reference was subsequently
assailed by Czech liberals as
evidence that even the reform
regime of Communist Party
First Secretary Alexander Dub-
cek was making Czech foreign
policy subservient to that of
Soviet Russia. It is generally be-
lieved that it was Ulbricht's re-
port to the Kremlin that Dubcek
could not hold the liberal forces
in check in his country was one
of the factors that led the Sov-
iets to decide to invade Czecho-
slovakia last week.
Concern for the safety of
Czechoslovakia's 16,000 Jews was
voiced by the American Jewish
Congress. Rabbi Arthur J. Lely-
veld, of Cleveland, AJCongress
president, called upon the United
Nations and the free governments
of the world "to make it clear that
they will not countenance the vic-
timization of Czech Jews or any
other racial or religious groups in
order to justify the present out-
rages against the Czechoslovakian
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, presi-
dent of the World Jewish Congress,
which has affiliated Jewish com-
munities in 65 countries, issued a
statement in London conveying "to
the people of Czechoslovakia the
sense of shock and profound sym-
pathy felt by Jews at the tragedy
which once again has befallen
their country."
The Soviet bloc takeover of
Czechoslovakia was condemned
in statements by Bnai Brith, the
Synagogue Council of America,
Union of American Hebrew Con-
gregations, Histadrut's National
Labor Committee for Israel and
other organizations.
There was an expression of sym-
pathy this week for the people of
Czechoslovakia from the Detroit
chapter of Slovak League of Amer-
The Joint Distribution Commit-
tee reported that 42 Czech Jews
applied for assistance to JDC of-
fices and associated , agencies in
Austria and West Germany, the
first to do so since the Soviet in-
vasion of Czechoslovakia. Samuel
L. Haber, JDC executive vice-
chairman, also reported that the
applicants were among the thou-

14 Friday, August 30, 1968

sands of Czech tourists who found
themselves outside their country
when the Soviet takeover occurred.
He said many were apparently
awaiting further developments
before deciding to ask for wel-
fare, migration and medical as-
sistance. He declared that it was
probable that the Czechs, as
tourists, had enough money to
carry on for at least a limited
period before needing financial
help. He added that all JDC
offices and cooperating groups
throughout Europe had been in-
structed "to provide emergency
and other help to any Czech Jew
who applies, just as thousands
of Hungarian Jews received
such assistance" after the 1956
revolt. He estimated there were
about 15,000 Jews in Czechoslo-
vakia. The JDC has had no pro-
gram there since 1948, shortly
after the Communist takeover,
when the JDC was asked to end
its program.
HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society, announced that it was
ready to assist all Czech Jews
able to leave Czechoslovakia or
who were outside its borders when
Soviet bloc armed forces moved
in. Carlos L. Israels, HIAS presi-
dent, said the agency would help
Czech Jews who want to resettle
in the United States or other west-
ern countries.
Gaynor I. Jacobson, HIAS ex-
ecutive vice president, reported
many calls to HIAS from anxious
relatives of Czech Jews.
* * *
Israelis Halt Work to Show
Solidarity With Czechoslovakia

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

JERUSALEM—Traffic came to
a halt all over Israel at 9 o'clock
Tuesday morning, and factory
workers laid down their tools in
a five-minute demonstration of
solidarity with the people of
Czechoslovakia against the Soviet-
led invasion and occupation of
their homeland. The demonstration
was spontaneous, carried out in
response to broadcasts by Radio
Free Prague, the underground
radio station organized by the
Czech resistance movement. It was
marked by the prolonged sound-
ing of factory sirens, automobile
horns, church bells and the
whistles of ships in Israeli harbors.
In Vienna, it was learned that
anti-liberal elements in Czechoslo-
vakaias early as last spring were
using an alleged "Zionist plot" in
attempts to discredit the reform
regime of Communist Party First
Secretary Alexander Dubeck, it
was disclosed Monday by Simon
Wiesenthal head of the Jewish
Documentation Center in Vienna.
national prominence by his efforts
to track down Nazi war criminals,
including the late Adolf Eichmann,
said that leaflets circulated in
Prague early last May warned
against a take-over by "Zionists"
and singled out Prof Eduard
Goldstuecker, head of the Czech
Writers Union and a supporter of
Dubcek, as one of the plotters.
The disclosure by Wiesenthal
followed reports that both Poland
and East Germany were trying
to justify their participation in the
Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslo-
vakia by alleging that "Zionist
forces" had taken over the party
leadership in Czechoslovakia and
were subverting socialism there.
Wiesenthal said it was never
established who printed and dis-
tributed the leaflets in Prague, but
they are believed to have been
the work of supporters of ousted
President Antonin Novotny. A
week later, he said, a number of
Jewish and non-Jewish public
figures in Prague received letters
forged on stationery of the docu-
mentation center which expressed
deep satisfaction with the liberali-
zation measures because they were
good for the Jews and for Israel.


The letters, ostensibly signed by
Wiesenthal, were described by him
Monday as clumsy fakes.
Wiesenthal said that the use of
an alleged "Zionist" threat by the
opponents of liberalization in
Czechoslovakia was intended to
appeal to latent anti-Semitism in
Eastern Europe. Prof. Goldstueck-
er, the single Jew in the clandes-
tine party leadership to which he
was elected after the Soviet in-
vasion last week, was himself the
target of viciously anti-Semitic
letters several months ago. Some
of the letters were published in
the Czech Communist Party Rude
Pravo newspaper along with an
article by Dr. Goldstuecker de-
crying anti-Semitism. His position
was endorsed in scores of letters
to the newspaper from Czechs in
all walks of life.
Wiesenthal noted Monday that
only 14,000 Jews remain among
Czechoslovakia's 14,000,000 people
and only 4,000 of them practice
their religion. He said the Jews
remained in Czechoslovakia be-
cause of strong bonds with their
Arabs on Horns of Dilemma
Over Soviet Invasion

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

BOSTON—The Soviet invasion
of Czechoslovakia has embarrass-
ed a number of Arab governments
Which depend on the USSR for
military, economic and diplomatic
assistance but also maintain close
ties with Czechoslovakia, Chris-
tian Science Monitor's correspond-
dent John K. Cooley reported
from Beirut Tuesday. Cooley
noted that President Ahmed Has-
san el-Bakr, of Iraq, was the first
Arab chief of state to express
alarm over the Soviet interven-
tion. He reportedly told the Soviet
charge d'affaires in Baghdad that
"we hope that Warsaw Pact forces
will withdraw from Czechoslovakia
in the shortest possible time so as
to provide no pretext for another
power to intervene and force itself
upon others," Cooley wrote.
"Semi-official Syrian commen-
taries have approved the Soviet
action in Czechoslovakia in quali-
fied terms," Cooley reported, but
"Egypt, more involved with Mos-
cow than any other Arab state,
has been almost silent on Czecho-
slovakia." Cairo broadcasts and
newspapers at first used only
Soviet accounts of events in Czech-
oslovakia but later switched to
Western accounts. "The Cairo
Radio comment—that the Soviet
action appeared justified—seems
to have been an isolated remark,"
Cooley reported, "Cairo in fact
seems to share the general Arab
embarrassment that the one great
power whole-heartedly backing the
Arab world has got itself into
such trouble."

Israelis In Czechoslovakia
Having No Trouble Leaving
Ministry sources said Israeli citi-
zens in Czechoslovakia have been
free to leave since the Soviet oc-
cupation and that many have done
so without difficulty. Israel's in-
terests in Czechoslovakia, with
which it has had no diplomatic
ties since the June 1967 war, are
handled by Sweden. The Swedish
Embassy in Tel Aviv reported
that no Israeli citizen had sought
Swedish help in Prague. The
sources also said that Czech na-
tionals stranded in Israel—Jewish
and non-Jewish—were welcome to
remain during the crisis, even if
their visas have expired, but add-
ed that no applications had been
received for visa extensions.
A scheduled weekend meeting
at Kfar Massyryk, near Haifa, of
stranded Czechs was transformed
into a mass demonstration of Is-
raeli solidarity with the Czech
cause when 500 Israelis joined the
60 Czechs at the gathering. The
Czechs set up a bureau at Kibutz
Shomrat in western Galilee,
another settlement developed by
settlers from Czechoslovakia, to
facilitate aid to the new refugees.
"In June, 1967 we had letters
from Czechoslovakia asking what
they can do to help us when we
stood with our backs to the wall.
Today we ask them, what can we
do to help them." The feelings of
thousands of Israelis were sum-
med up in those words by Akiva
Nir, secretary of the Kibutz which
was founded by Czechoslovakian
A Jewish Agency absorption de;
partment representative prom-

ised all Czechs who decided to re-
main until they could return
safely to their homeland that they
would be cared for and get hous-
ing and jobs if necessary.
T h e Israel government de-
nounced the Soviet bloc action
against Czechoslovakia as "an
outrageous violation of the charter
of the United Nations" and ex-
pressed "shock at the invasion and
military control of the Czechoslo-
vakia Republic." The statement
was isssued after a special cabinet
meeting held in Tel Aviv.
Two protest meetings were held
here Aug. 22 to protest the take-
Thousands of students and mem-
bers of youth movements met to
hear denunciations of the Soviet
invasion and the subordination 9f
the Czech Republic. Posters ap-
peared declaring "Now Czecho-
slovakia—Who Comes Next?" and
"Russians Go Home."
The other rally was sponsored
by the moderate Communist Party
faction at which leader Shmuel
Mikunis denounced the Soviet ac-
(Continued on Page 15)




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