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December 19, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-12-19

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

• Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue of July 20, 1951

Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial :1.ssociition.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite S65, Southfield, Mich. -18075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Subscription $10 a year.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

Business Manager

DREW LIEBERWITZ

Advertising Manager

Alan Ditsky. News Editor . . . Heidi Press. Assistant News Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Seleetions.

- This Sabbath, the 16th day of -Tenet, 5736, the 'Malvin!' scriptural selections
' will be read in our synagogues:

Pentateuchal portion, Gen. 471.28 - 50:26. Prophetical portion, I Kings 2:1-12.

Candle lighting. Friday.. Dec. l9. 4:45 p.m.

VOL. LAN III, No. 15

Page Four

Friday, December 19, 1975

United. Israel Appeal's 50 Years

A half century of service by the United Is-
rael Appeal was filled with activities ranging
from the purely philanthropic to the great role
of rescue and state building.
The 50th anniversary of the UIA takes the
celebrants back to an era that bordered on de-
spair, to a period when anti-Semitism was ram-
pant, when Hitler was plotting an end to his
country!s democratic rule, when an automobile
manufacturer was reprinting the atrocious lies
in nefarious. Protocols and a Royal Oak priest
soon was to shout similar venom over the Ameri-
can airways.
Indeed, in 1925 there was less hope for
Jews, but the supporters of the United Israel
Appeal, stemming from the foundations of Zion-
ist fund-raising — first the Jewish National
Fund and then the Keren Hayesod — were
moved by a determined will to provide homes for
persecuted Jews in the ancient homeland, in the
aspired haven of Eretz Yisrael that was to be the
redeemed state of Israel. ,
The struggle in the beginning was first one
of assuring fulfillment of an ancient dream,

then one of rescue and finally that of creating
firm settlements for the homeless who through
this fund attained dignity of citizenship in the
redeemed homeland:
Major idealism inspired by the United Is-
rael Appeal stemmed from its creative sources,
from the Zibnist ideals that inspired its fate and
the faith the Jewish communities of America
poured into it. In the critical years when Ameri-
can Jewry was the only faction in Jewry that
was blessed with physical security, - this fund
was the inspirer of participating Jewries
throughout the world to support the Zionist
ideals and the eventual Israeli developments.
As the Zionist symbol, as the provider of the
sinews for creative pursuits in Israel, the UIA
continues to serve as a great Jewish instrument.
The current anniversary must provide added
inspiration tor uninterrupted activities in be-
half of Israel and the satisfactions derived from
serving this magnificent Jewish function whose
historic role is recorded indelibly in the story of
Jewish redemptive tasks.

Season of Good Will and Its Tests

Good Will is on the agenda again as the
dominant preachment for the most sacred pe-
riod of the year for the Christian communities.
It is appropriate for all who adhere to this most
noble principle in human relations, including
those not of the Christian faith, to ask for a roll
call of practitioners of the noble ideal.
It is not inappropriate to suggest a roll call
of nations as well as individuals on the eve of the
sacred period when the religious-minded preach
good will for all men. If testing challenges go
'with this roll call, perhaps it will lead to aban-
donment of bigotries not for a single day of the
year observed by Christians as their most sacred
one on the calendar but during all the days of
the year and for all human relationships.
Americans are put to the test as often as
others, This country experiences the tests of in-
ternational crises as often as all others. When
there are shortcomings it can at least be said
that they are are not shadowed in secrecy. They
are bluntly discussed and openly exposed. If we
do not have a totally open society, at least voices
are heard in demands for it.
On one front at least the American princi-
ple of fair play acquired a role of dignity provid-
ing pride for every American with a sense of
honor. In the critical situation confronting Is-
rael, the American pledge of cooperation and
friendship remains glorious. With Daniel Pat-
rick Moynihan as spokesman, the United States
retained a consistency in rejecting genocidal
threats for little Israel and it will remain indeli-
bly as a mark of honor in American annals.
In the roll call of the nations of the world,
only the United States emerged so consistent in
rejecting double standards. The Vatican failed
in this respect. The Western European nations
must have been overcome by an oil-polluted
stench. Only in limited instances does the roll
call show that what is termed Good Will is prac-
ticed on more than the one Christmas Day on
the calendar of Christendom.
True, there are exceptions, but the roll call

as recorded in a United Nations already de-
graded by venom and bigotry does not lend
honor to humanitarianism.
It is true that there are sinners among all
nations. There are abnegations among Jews.
How fortunate for human decency that there
are so few of them! There was a handful of Jews
who followed the nefarious line of the American
Council for Judaism that has already been
branded neither American, rim. a Council nor a
true adherent of Judaism. One so influenced
wrote a letter claiining to be an observer of Ju-
daism but not a Zionist. That letter appeared in
the Detroit Free Press. A nun responded. Sister
Alice Monica*Dibley of Adrian wrote in repudia-
tion of the confused non-Zionist Jewess:
I deplore the action of the UN in
passing a resolution denouncing Zionism
as racist. Even more so, I denounce the
letter . . . In - which she, as a Jew, rejects
. her own religious and cultural heritage. I
wonder if she is prepared to substantiate
her statistics.
I am not a Jew, I am a Catholic; but
any well-informed person knows that
Zionism is the expression of the Jewish
religion and in no way is associated with
racial intolerance.
The UN, by passing this resolution,
has set up an environment friendly to an-
ti-Semitic forces and so the cycle begins
all over again. I denounce this resolution
as should all fair-minded democratic in-
stitutions.
I am unable to give any statistics, but
it would be interesting to know, if this
resolution were placed before the Ameri-
can people, Jew and Gentile, just hoW it
would fare. I am sure it would go down in
overwhelming defeat.
Sister Alice is not alone. Others of her faith
have spoken, are speaking, in defense of Israel.
These are the Christians who are honest
when preaching Good Will.

toter

it t,

P‘tf..,:“.

,

Mystery Story Based on War

`Commemorations' : German's
Fictional Look at Holocaust

"Commemorations" (St. Martin's Press) is about Germany, present
and past. But it is the past which motivates this book written by a .
German. Hans Herlin writes a gentle line and his story moves back
and forward in time — frequently causing some dislocation.
His story revolves about Hans Pikola and his immaculate love for
Julia, who died in a concentration camp but leaves a daughter behind.
Pikola is involved in a plot to kill Boettcher, who commanded the
camp.
Most of the story skims the meaning of the time and has to do with
the people living in Nazi Germany, under the then conditions but not
resistant to them. Pikola seems to be an unwilling victim, whether it is
- in his failed love for Julia, his marriage, his service in the Wehrmacht
or his relation with Lehr, a kind of baron whose family fortunes rest
on slave labor.
Thefirst few pages of "Commemorations" tantalize with the follow-
ing scene. A man walks into a bank in Madrid, signs his name Hans
Pikola, and receives a safe deposit box containing $250,000 and a gun,
placed there by someone mentioned by Pikola as Fritz Lehr. "The
weapon or the money?" embodies his dilemma: Should Pikola deliver
the money or murder its intended recipient? The latter is evidently
what Lehr wishes him to do. "(Lehr was) counting on my hate to get
the upper hand." Hans Pikola then goes to the address Fritz Lehr has
given him and finds his victim's name on the register.
The final outcome of this beginning is withheld until the book's last
pages. In the meanwhile, - Hans Herlin answers -the countless other
questions raised by the first scene. Why should a 50-year-old photog-
rapher, Hans Pikola, obviously a reluctant and untried assassin, hate
a doctor to the point of murder? Who is Fritz Lehr, who tidily makes
all the criminal arrangements?
* * *
All the vermin infesting the Nazi structure, who contributed ulti-
mately to its downfall. are skirted and treated in the sentimental way
nostalgia usually handles the past. It is difficult to see that period
romantically. It was harsh, hard and cruel; yet the characters make
a nodding acceptance of its ugliness. Only the fire bombing of Dresden
is painfully described.
One critic says that the author writes a fine and private line of
prose, that when he decides in the end not to kill Boettcher, it is 7
idea of the kind of contempt one must show to a butcher.
He said there is too much surrender in this book and the diaphanous
Julia goes to her death for literary, not character reasons. And wh
should Pikola, who is obsessed with Julia, not kill the man he held
responsible for her death or has contributed to it?
A second critic lauds Herlin for a book "remarkably free of embel-
lishments," with "none of the heavy and deliberate brutality, so preva-
lent in novels about Germany during the war, which numbs the reader
into shock . . . or even; though repetition . . . inures us to atrocities, so
that we pass through them as through an ugly but familiar land-
scape."
Herlin's characters are complicated, large and unpredictable, and
as a novel his "Commemorations" certainly holds reader interest and
builds plenty of suspense. The question for Jewish readers is whether
they can, individually, overlook the sad reminders of history to enjoy
the fictional aspect of the story.
The reader will have to decide for- himself.

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