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May 09, 1975 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-05-09

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2 Friday, May 9, 1975


Purely Commentary

David Berris: 'Tribute to Distinguished Orthodox
Leader . . . Timely Advice for Egypt . . . Notewor-
thy Role of Ira Sonnenblick in Services for the Aged

By Philip

A Campaign of Merit . . . A Triumph for Dedicated Leadership

Detroit Jewry's accomplishments in philanthropy may again be ranked among the
highest in the land. The Allied Jewish Campaign this year does not match last year's, yet
the attainment is so impressive that it must be viewed realistically as an achievement of
great merit.
Economic conditions augured a decline in the top gifts, but the overall response
matched the preceding years, and the end result is heartening.
True, there are always shortcomings. Yet the total recorded must be viewed as a gen-
uine triumph for dedication to the needs of the communal agencies and the responsibili-
ties to the overseas causes and to.Israel.
It was a campaign that was vital for the local movements, for the educational needs, for

David Berris: Supremely Devout

David Berris was a distinguished Orthodox leader. He
was a mainstay in Mizrachi and Young Israel ranks. He
was much more: he was a leader and a worker in the great
cause of Israel's redemption. He was a Zionist in every
sense of the word.
Of course, he was supremely devout. He passed his de-
votions on to his progeny, leaving family legacies that are to
be envied.
Able professionally, rising high in the practice of law,
dedicated to his community's educational needs, he was a
good Jew and a good American.
The Day School movement will miss him, and his la-
hots for the Akiva Day School will be among his most note-
worthy achievements.
All who have known him will miss him greatly. About
him it may truthfully be said: sekher tzadik livrakha!

Blow to the 6th Fleet

Even though it was done by agreement, the abandon-
ment of facilities for the U. S. 6th Fleet in Greek water
must be viewed as a setback for this country.
The negation of American rights by, Portugal and the
loss of port facilities in Greek possessions emphasize the
downgrading of American rights in foreign territories.
The concern thus created becomes more aggravating by
the knowledge that Russia makes gains while the United
States is losing in crucial areas.
All the more reason for strengthening the role of Israel
in American friendships.

Lesson from Johannesburg

A discharged Israeli soldier had been declared "emo-
tionally unstable." Yet he managed to secure a responsible
position as a security officer with the Israeli consulate in
Johannesburg, South Africa. The result was a shocking
tragedy, the death of four and injuries to more than 30
That deplorable incident should serve as a lesson for
many, including the American communities.
All too often crimes become permissible, here and else-
where, because demented who were dangerous as youths or
had been convicted and imprisoned, are permitted many
freedoms in a society that is too quick to restore them to
status of sanity:

care for newcomers from Russia, for the protection of the health and welfare of those who
need aid from the agencies supported by the Jewish Welfare Federation.
The effectiveness of the current fund-raising experience is attributable to the devotion
of the citizens of the community and to leadership.
This community has been fortunate in its campaign leadership, and this year'411111_
chairmanship of Richard Sloan and Arthur Howard deserves appreciation. Both IA
hard. They were assisted by a dedicated campaign organization. The successful Allied
Jewish Campaigners and the staff of the Jewish Welfare Federation, under whose direc-
tion the drives are conducted, have earned the heartfelt thanks to the community and the
causes it supports.

The record of crimes by the emotionally unstable is too
large for the facts marking their undependability to be
The tragedy of Johannesburg must serve as a lesson for
communities everywhere to be on guard lest demented
should become so permissive that there will be no security
for any one in their vicinity.

helped create a good and wholesome atmosphere in the
Home. The encouragement given those who possess voca-
tional skills has been especially impressive.
Good wishes to the Sonnenblicks and congratulations
to the Women's Auxiliary of the Jewish Home for the Aged
are therefore especially in order at this time.

Ira Sonnenblick's Services

Fritchey Admonition Must Be Heeded

Clayton Fritchey, in a syndicated column analyzing
Ira Sonnenblick is retiring from directorship of the Egypt's
economic conditions, made some points that could
Jewish Home for the Aged after nearly 30 years of devoted serve
well in swaying the Egyptians towards a peace accord
services. Under his direction the home had grown to its with Israel,
the responsible Egyptians could be gotten to
present eminence. It ranks among the most efficiently oper- listen to his if
ated institutions of its kind and the credit for that achieve-.
In the course of his article, Fritchey stated:
ment goes to him and to his wife who worked with him in
"It is a sad and depressing perversion of the socialist
supervising the home's activities.
dreams that distinguished the Nasser revolution more than
Sonnenblick's retirement merits special attention be-
decades ago but which were sidetracked when Nasser
cause of the character, background and ability of the man two
obsessed with personal dreams of glory as leader of
as well as the impact he is leaving on the community.
the Arab world • and of the crusade against Israel.
The people he has dealt with are not all his friends. He
"Nasser always promised guns and butter, but de-
also has critics and antagonists, and that is perhaps also to livered only guns. With his death in 1970, and the advent
his credit. Many who have been unable to secure placement of Sadat, fresh hopes were raised, for the new president,
for close relatives in the home looked upon him as a mean less vainglorious and more politically supple than his
guy. On his retirement it is well to clarify such a situation. predecessor, looked for a while like a leader who was
A Michigan college has openings for 40 tutorial jobs clever enough to produce the butter without losing the
and more than 1,000 have applied for them. Does that make support of his general and the backing of his Arab allies.
the heads of the college villains ?
"Nobody, it now appears, is that clever. Sadat of
When there were one or two or three vacancies for course, would „like to enjoy arms from Russia, cash from
admission to the home, there may have been more than 100 Saudi Arabia, military co-ordination from Syria, real estate
applicants for the rooms or beds. Were the Sonnenblicks from Israel, goodwill grants from the United States and de-
sinners because they could not provide for all who needed ference from the Palestine Liberation Organization.
the special care and the housing?
"It's a balancing act that is probably beyond the skill of
The fact is that Mr. Sonnenblick was scrupulous and even a virtuoso tightrope walker like Sadat. He's still danc-
aimed to serve. Objectively viewed, his efforts were both ing around on the high wire, but the net had better be kept
fruitful and practical and many families judge him with handy."
It should be said in this connection that Mr. Sonnen-
There are admonitions in these factual presentations
blick brought to the Home for the Aged a background that have a serious bearing on the Middle East conflict.
steeped in Jewish knowledge. He is a linguist, knows Yid- Egypt suffers from economic ills. They can be repaired by
dish and Hebrew as well as his mastery of English. He is economic cooperation with Israel. An end to saber-rattling
steeped in knowledge of Jewish literature. That enabled could also mean a beginning of trade relations of great ben-
him to encourage the best cultural programs for the Home. efit to both Israel and Egypt.
The Home for the Aged now merits special attention
First, however, Egypt must think in terms of peace
because the Women's Auxiliary is marking its 50th anniver- rather than war, of raising the standard of living of her own
sary. That's another occasion calling for congratulations. people instead of war mobilization. Then there could
The women have sponsored many functions that have emerge a blessing for the entire area.

Tribute to the Ridders: Commentary Remembers the Nazi Spanknoebel

The Ridders' names must never be forgotten. They have
.earned an inerasable place among the very great American
libertarians. As publishers of the leading German newspa-
pers they were the chief targets of the Nazis in the early
Hitler's representatives in this country attempted to.
pressure them into anti-Semitism. They not only rejected
bigotry but consistently defended the Jewish victims of
Nazism and urged rejection of the Hitler codes.
One of the brothers, Bernard H. Ridder, died in West
Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, at the age of 92. In the account
of the Ridders' courage and their strong stand against Hit-
lerism, in the New York Times obituary, published on Tues-
day, appears the following:

In 1933, a few months after the Nazi regime
came to power in Germany, one Heinz Spanknoebel
appeared in The Staats-Herold office here and
showed Victor Ridder letters from the German La-
bor Front and the chief of the foreign division of the
Nazi party, which, he told Mr. Ridder, gave the
newcomer "authority to assume power over the Ger-
man-language press in the United States."
His first order, Mr. Ridder testified in a 1943
proceeding to void the citizenship of Nazis in this
country, was to stop publishing "your pro-Jewish
As Mr. Ridder was explaining he would do no
such thing, his brother Bernard walked in, was
shown the letters and immediately said, "All I can
tell you, Spanknoebel, is to get the hell out and stay

The Nazi representative caused turmoil among
Americans of German descent and continued to at-
tack the Ridders until he left the country a few
months later.

ing to Jewry that the Nazis were mobilizing their dastardly
This Commentator's warning left its mark on the com-
munity. A few days after its publication, walking on Monte-
rey near Dexter, I saw a couple of youngsters arguing, get-
The Spanknoebel item is of special interest to Detroit ting into a fight, and, seeking an opprobrium for his ant - - --
and is a special reminiscence for this Commentator. Span- nist, one of the boys shouted to the other: "You Span',
knoebel began his career as a Nazi agent in Detroit. Your bel!"
Commentator interviewed him in a small photographic
The incident is worth recording, and if your Commen-
shop on the East Side. It was his front and headquarters.
tator may offer a personal apologetic, in relation to the
charges frequently made that American Jews had failed in
My interview was published on the front page of the activism against Nazism, that I was not silent. I did publish
Detroit Jewish Chronicle which I then edited. I exposed a frequent BEWARE, certainly before, during and after
the Nazi and the story was published as a BEWARE warn- the Spanknoebel experience.

Memorial Started for the Jews of Mauthausen Concentration Camp

The 30th anniversary of the
liberation of the Mauthau-
sen concentration camp in
Austria, was marked Mon-
day by the laying of a cor-
nerstone for a monument to
the thousands of Jews who
died there, it was an-
nounced here by the Mau-
thausen Monument Com-
mittee. Mauthausen,
located 100 miles northwest
of Vienna, was one of the

largest Nazi extermination
The monument, in the
form of a seven-armed men-
ora, is the project of a spe-
cial committee of Jews still
living in Vienna, including
Dr. Anton Pick, president of
the JewishCommunity of
Vienna, who serves as chair-
man of the committee; Si-
mon Wiesenthal, tracer of
ex-Nazis; Chief Rabbi Akiba
Eisenberg; and Dr. Anton

Winter, president of the
Keren Hayesod of Vienna.

Former Israeli Ambas-
sador to Austria, Yitzhak
Patish, is a patron of the
project, which also has the
cooperation of Yad
Vashem, the Holocaust
memorial in Jerusalem.

The monument, designed
by Israeli sculptor Dov Hoff,
will stand five meters tall,
and will be made of stain-

less steel. The Hebrew word
"z'chor" (remember), also in
stainless steel, will stand a
few feet away from the
main sculpture.
"Six arms of the menora
will symbolize the six mil-
lion Jews cruelly murdered
in the Holocaust," Dr. Zel-
man said. "The seventh arm,
standing out from the rest,
will symbolize the indes-
tructible soul of the Jewish

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