SEPTEMBER 12, 1947
HYDE PARK, Thursday—One was saddened by the story of the return of the three shiploads of Jewish displaced persons to Germany after their long and trying trip and after their desperate effort to reach Palestine, or at least to be left on Cyprus. The thought of what it must mean to those poor human beings seems almost unbearable. They have gone through so much hardship and had thought themselves free forever from Germany, the country they associate with concentration camps and crematories. Now they are back there again. Somehow it is too horrible for any of us in this country even to understand.
The little item that said they were now being screened so that they might be sent back to their countries of origin, and that a great many of them might be of Polish origin, just added to the sadness of the picture. To return to Poland means to most of them to return to the memory of generations during which the Jews were segregated and discriminated against. Though the present government may do what it can to prevent anything of this kind, it takes a long time to change the prejudices of people.
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On the other hand, one feels nothing but indignation against the kind of stupidity which actuated Rabbi Baruch Korff and his group which led people to believe that they were about to try to bomb London. Whether they had any such plans or not, the mere dropping of the type of leaflet which was published in our papers would be enough to frighten many people. It would create a kind of hysterical bad feeling which would keep a great many right-thinking people in Great Britain and the United States from protesting as firmly as they should against the real cruelty of not allowing Jewish displaced people to enter Palestine.
The United Nations Assembly will soon have the report of the special U.N. committee dealing with the question of Palestine, and no decision as to future action should be made until that report has been considered by the proper committee of the General Assembly and then reported to the Assembly for joint action by the nations.
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I believe that the U.N. will consider with fairness the claims of the Arab people as well as those of the Jews. But the decision should not be based on any financial or material interests—present or future. It should be based entirely on the just treatment of the people, their economic development, and the promises that have been made in the past and therefore should be kept. The humanitarian feelings that we must all have for miserable and suffering people, wherever they are found in the world, should also play a part in the final decision.
This coming session of the U.N. Assembly will have many questions before it which involve the rights of human beings. And justice will have to be tempered in every case with the mercy which the sufferings of the people of the world must call forth from the hearts of all men.