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Annual 3 Chapter 6 Part 1
 

Philip S. Bernstein: Adviser on Jewish Affairs, May 1946-August 1947
by Haim Genizi

During the critical period for the Displaced Persons (DPs) of August 1945- December 1949, seven American Jews served as Advisers on Jewish Affairs to the Theater Commanders of the U.S. Forces in Europe. They interpreted Army regulations to the DPs and advised and guided the American commanders, who were not familiar with Jewish matters. Except for passing references, historical literature on the postwar era has neglected this important subject. It is my aim to examine and evaluate the activities of Philip S. Bernstein, who served for the longest period as Adviser on Jewish Affairs.

In the summer of 1945, the survivors of the concentration camps in Germany and Austria were liberated but not yet free. Living in mixed assembly centers for Displaced Persons alongside Poles, Ukrainians, and Balts, they suffered from discrimination and antisernitism because of the Army's policy of placing all DPs on an equal footing and disregarding the uniqueness of the Jews; this policy caused fear and depression among the Jews. The attitude of the military authorities toward Jewish DPs, particularly in the lower echelons, was often far from cooperative or understanding. The situation in Bavaria, where General George Patton's Third Army held responsibility, was especially bad.1

Pressure from American Jewry, as well as humanitarian and political considerations, led President Truman to dispatch Earl G. Harrison to investigate the DP situation in Germany, with particular reference to the Jewish refugees. Accompanied by Joseph Schwartz of the American joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and others, Harrison toured DP camps in July 1945 and submitted his final report on 24 August 1945. He used harsh words and blamed the Army. "We appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them, except that we don't exterminate them." The report, realistically pointing out the major grievances of the DPs, recommended setting up separate camps for the Jews and granting them preferential treatment. Furthermore, Harrison called upon the Army to review the personnel that had been selected to work with DPs, and suggested better cooperation between the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), the Army, and the DPs. Harrison appealed to Great Britain and the United States to accept a "reasonable number" of Jewish DPs into Palestine and America.2

Harrison's report caused excitement in Washington as well as in military circles in Europe. Secretary of War Henry Stimson cabled to General Eisenhower, Commander in Chief of U.S. Forces in the European Theater (USFET): "We are extremely concerned about its implications. I want to emphasize the importance we attach to this problem and request that everything possible be done to improve present situation."3 Eisenhower promptly responded, by issuing orders to segregate Jewish DPs in special assembly centers and to provide them with special care, including an increase of food to provide 2,500 calories daily. He recognized Jewish refugees as United Nations Displaced Persons, to be treated as stateless and nonrepatriable. Commanders were granted the powers of requisition to ensure that "these persons are accorded priority of treatment over the German population."4

Acceding to pressure, President Truman insisted to Eisenhower that the "conditions which now exist ... require prompt remedy." He called on him "to intensify our efforts" as far as Jewish DPs were concerned.5 Thus Harrison's report, intensified by Truman's personal intervention, significantly changed the atmosphere. Senior generals, including the Theater Commander, visited DP camps and personally inspected the implementation of their orders.6

During the crucial period of Harrison's mission and his report, uncoordinated Jewish efforts had been made, which necessitated the establishment of a liaison officer of Jewish affairs to General Eisenhower. Partially in reaction to the appeal of British Jewry to follow their example of suggesting the attachment of qualified officers to the British Military Government, and mainly in answer to the great need for an adviser to the American Commanding General, intensive Jewish lobbying was carried out during the months of May-July 1945. The American Jewish Conference wrote to the War Department and UNRRA, the American Jewish Committee appealed to the State Department, and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of the American Jewish Congress wrote directly to Eisenhower.7 It is difficult to determine which steps were most effective. It seems clear, however, that only the repercussions of the Harrison report gave impetus to the decision to nominate an Adviser.8

After some hesitation, on 24 August 1945 Eisenhower appointed Major Judah Nadich, who had served as a chaplain since 1942, as temporary Special Adviser on Jewish Affairs to the Theater Commander for a period of 30 days.9 Since the position of Adviser on Jewish Affairs was "the first of this kind in American annals," Nadich recalled the initial difficulty of defining his responsibilities. His duty was to investigate and observe the conditions of Jewish DPs and to report on his findings. He was supposed to advise military officials as well as UNRRA teams concerning the special problems of Jewish displaced persons.10

During September 1945, Nadich visited DP assembly centers in Germany and Austria and immediately reported directly to the Chief of Staff, General Walter Bedell Smith. Although he found the situation "slowly and gradually improving," he complained that in many instances orders from headquarters were either unknown or ignored. He called for the adoption of appropriate measures so that Eisenhower's instructions would be "translated into action."11

How effective was Nadich as an Adviser? How influential were his reports? It seems clear that in USFET headquarters the reports were taken seriously. After every report Nadich was summoned to discussions with General Smith as well as other generals. Three days after the submission of a report, clarifying orders went out to the commanding generals. Had these instructions been carried out in their entirety by all levels of field command, "the situation would have been changed radically for the better," lamented Nadich. "Unfortunately, however, the execution of the policy set forth . . . was spotty."12 Although not all of his recommendations were accepted and not every order was implemented, Nadich contributed to the implementation of Harrison's report by serving as the eyes and the ears of the Commander in Chief.13

At the same time, the Jewish organizations were holding behindthe-scenes meetings in the United States. From mid-July onward, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) considered several plans to collaborate with other Jewish agencies on DP problems in Europe, including the suggestion of cooperation only with "AJC-minded organizations." However, the Administration's insistence that any candidate as Adviser should be "acceptable to leading Jewish groups and would not be considered partisan of any one group," led to the foundation of the Five Jewish Cooperating Organizations. This body, which consisted of the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish joint Distribution Committee, the American Jewish Conference, the World Jewish Congress, and the Jewish Agency for Palestine, selected the Advisers, financed their expenses, was consulted on every major issue, and reported periodically. The unified action of American Jews on DP matters from the fall of 1945 to the end of 1949 was a remarkable phenomenon in American Jewish history.14

Nadich considered the selection of Judge Simon H. Rifkind, a modest but firm AJC man, with a good reputation as a federal judge, as "an ideal choice for this newly created position."15 When Rifkind arrived in Frankfurt, where the Adviser's permanent office was located, in October 1945, he was warmly welcomed and treated respectfully by General Eisenhower. Eisenhower called on his subordinates to grant "my personal Adviser" any help requested, and encouraged the Judge to report to him directly. Although Eisenhower left his post a month later, his successor as Commander of the European Theater, General Joseph T. McNarney, continued to show Rifkind courtesy and cooperation. From the outset it was clear that Judge Rifkind commanded the respect of officers at various levels much more than had Major Nadich.16

The new Adviser on Jewish Affairs had barely begun his work when David Ben Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, arrived in Germany on 19 October 1945 to visit the "Saved Remnants." After his tour of the camps, where he was accepted with great enthusiasm as a savior of the DPs, Ben Gurion submitted a memorandum to the military authorities, suggesting self- government for camp inmates and more emphasis on agricultural, vocational, and physical training. What made this memorandum unusual was the proposal to establish a Jewish enclave inside occupied Germany, cleared of Germans, where East European Jewish survivors could almost independently organize their lives. Rifkind not only told Ben Gurion that his proposal of a Jewish enclave would be unacceptable to the Army, but also opposed it in a detailed memorandum to the Chief of Staff. General Smith answered Ben Gurion diplomatically. Although most of Ben Gurion's suggestions were in line with Army policy, Smith rejected the enclave proposal on the grounds that DPs would be opposed to living in a newly created ghetto and it would furthermore increase tensions between them and the German population.17

After Ben Gurion's departure, Rifkind, accompanied by Nadich, toured the DP assembly centers. In his report to General Smith of 1 November 1945, he complimented the Army for its tremendous part in the "rescue and deliverance stage," through which the survivors of the concentration camps had successfully passed, and suggested that "repatriation and resettlement" should be the next step for Jewish DPs. However, since resettlement was beyond the control of the Commanding General, the Army should prepare for a "prolonged duration" of DP life in the camps. This entailed the need to raise the DPs' standard of living for what was considered "semi-permanent residence." Accordingly, Rifkind recommended that they abandon the old view of camps and adopt a new concept of life in civilian communities. While the existing barracks could be used for schools, workshops, and other public activities, American Commanders should use their power of requisition to settle DPs in private homes in German villages. Thus the mental and physical rehabilitation of the survivors of the Holocaust would take place in a pastoral setting, where agricultural work should be encouraged, and educational facilities ought to be provided. But this plan was immediately rejected by General Smith and other officers, because it was "beyond the scope of our capabilities or responsibilities."18 As consolation to Rifkind, another part of his recommendation, namely, the inauguration of a moral and vocational training program, was adopted. Even this was the outcome of political pressure emanating from the United States. As Smith admitted to his superior: "We felt here that because of pressures at home it was desirable to do so to the extent which our means permitted."19

The growing wave of so-called infiltration of Polish Jews (the arrival in the American zone of large numbers of Jews fleeing from postwar Polish antisernitism) overshadowed accomplishments in improving the conditions of the inmates in the Jewish assembly centers. In November 1945 these Polish Jews were entering at the rate of 300-500 per week, overcrowding the existing camps. "The conditions are forcing us back into the so-called 'Rescue' phase," complained General Smith.20 The Army considered recommending that Washington close the Eastern borders, but Judge Rifkind forcefully demanded the opposite, namely, to establish, in Bavaria, a refugee area for East European Jewish refugees, and to construct additional assembly centers for the newcomers. In a frank discussion with the Chief of Staff, Rifkind repeatedly referred to the political pressure that existed in America and expressed his conviction that eventually the President and Congress would approve such a program. As a stopgap measure, the Army erected more DP camps but the influx from the East overwhelmed this effort. The struggle to prevent the closing of borders had only begun and continued to engage Rifkind and his successor.21

During his six-month term Rifkind dealt with the multiple problems of the Jewish DPs, discussing them directly with the top-level military authorities. "This was something revolutionary," noted Dr. Joseph Schwartz, JDC European director. Rifkind lifted the spirits of the DPs and won the respect of both the Army and the Jewish relief workers. In an urgent cable from Jacob L. Trobe, who was responsible for JDC operations in Germany, to JDC chairman Edward Warburg, Trobe indicated: "Rifkind . . . has made tremendous contribution. Urge appropriate authorities invite him stay . . . . All factors in situation here share respect for him by military authorities." Edward Warburg immediately responded, asking Simon Rifkind to continue "for a few extra months." But Judge Rifkind was unable to stay, because of his commitment to the bench, and he returned to the United States in March 1946.22

Rifkind's departure left a vacuum at Army headquarters. However, since the atmosphere in Germany was fairly quiet and stable, the Five Cooperating Organizations in New York felt that it would not be necessary to send a replacement for Rifkind. But violent clashes in April 1946 between the German police and the DPs, followed by riots in Stuttgart, Munich, and Landsberg, significantly changed the situation. JDC representatives in Europe cabled home in alarm: "Absence of representation at Rifkind level more seriously felt each day."23

Pressure from different circles led to the reconsideration of the aforementioned policy. The Five Cooperating Organizations had some difficulty in finding an acceptable candidate. Since Rifkind was an AJC man, the Zionists demanded that one of their people be sent, to which the non- Zionists would not agree. Eventually, in May 1946, they selected Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein. He was probably chosen in spite of his inactive membership in the World Jewish Congress and his Zionist outlook. Bernstein's qualification for the job of Adviser was his position during the war as executive director of the Committee on Army and Navy Religious Activities of the National Jewish Welfare Board. As the person responsible for the chaplains, he was familiar with the problems and, most important, he was available. The Five Cooperating Organizations therefore agreed on his candidacy but demanded from him a commitment to neutrality, to which he dutifully adhered.24 Thus Rabbi Bernstein became the third and most energetic Adviser on Jewish Affairs. He served as Adviser from May 1946 to August 1947, during the hectic days of Jewish "infiltration" from the East.

Philip S. Bernstein was born in 1901 in Rochester, New York, studied at Syracuse University; Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio; Cambridge University, England; and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He was a successful Reform rabbi in Temple B'rith Kodesh in Rochester. A stocky man and a friendly person, he was a good speaker though not an eloquent orator. Calm and dignified, Bernstein was a diplomat. He could listen well and was able to convince generals not to adopt hasty decisions. The chaplains during the war regarded him as a fair director, and even Orthodox rabbis respected him despite some reservations. Unlike Simon Rifkind, who had a broad Jewish education, Bernstein lacked Orthodox training and did not speak Yiddish well. However, with his tact and fairness he was able to overcome these obstacles in dealing with East European Jewish survivors.25

He requested that his congregation give him a four-month leave of absence, but he stayed in Germany for fifteen months, thus becoming the Adviser who served for the longest period. In fact, the short period of service, usually six months, had been one of this position's deficiencies. Hardly had the Adviser learned the complicated DP situation in depth, hardly had the military officials as well as leaders of other relief organizations learned to know and respect him, when he had to leave. When Bernstein's four-month term was about to end, he was faced with such pressing and difficult problems that "it was morally necessary" for him to continue, and so he decided to stay.26

Before leaving for Germany in May 1946, Bernstein invited Rabbi Emanuel Rackman to join him as assistant to the Adviser. Rackman, an Orthodox rabbi and a lawyer, had served during the war as a chaplain and had firsthand knowledge of military procedures. He had useful contacts in the Army and because he spoke Yiddish fluently could communicate easily with the DPs. Further, Rackman's legal training was particularly helpful to Bernstein.27

The Adviser's position in general, and Bernstein's in particular, was a very delicate one. On the one hand, he was nominated by the Secretary of War and was responsible to General McNarney, the Commanding General. The Adviser's main duty was, therefore, to interpret Army policy to the DPs as a loyal American official in Germany. On the other hand, he had been sent by the American Jewish organizations and was supposed to represent the interests of the Jewish DPs to the military authorities. Bernstein recalled later:

I constantly walked a kind of a tightrope, always feeling I had the legal and moral obligation to the commanding general to fulfill my duties, and at the same time the deepest kind of moral obligation to the Jews, my own people.
To be sure, Bernstein saw himself as a U.S. representative and not a lobbyist for Jewish interests. He purposely refrained from involvement in internal Jewish matters. Therefore, he could not be regarded as a typical Jewish sh'tadlan [interceder]. He solved the problem of double loyalty by promising General McNarney to resign if his conscience would not permit him to continue his duties.28

Judge Louis E. Levinthal, Bernstein's successor as Adviser, said that Bernstein "thought of himself more as an Army man, whereas I wanted to be more a representative of the DPs." While there was an element of truth in Levinthal's statement, one should not accept it entirely at face value. And yet, while other Advisers sent detailed reports to the Cooperating Organizations, Bernstein dutifully reported on everything to his Commanding General, only sending short surveys of the DP situation to the Jewish agencies from time to time. After he had sent reports and recommendations directly to McNarney, he wrote briefly to the Five Cooperating Organizations as follows: "It would not be wise or proper for me to render similar reports to other persons or groups." It is also true that Levinthal and Rifkind, because of their background and language skills, were able to forge closer and more personal contacts with DPs than Bernstein could. Nevertheless, Abraham Hyman, who replaced Rackman and served as the Adviser's assistant for three-and-a-half years, was also correct in opposing the attempt to draw a distinction between Bernstein and Levinthal, claiming that the former had readily and wholeheartedly attended to every problem that the DPs brought to him, whether personally or as a group. Furthermore, the Office of the Adviser, with its devoted team, dutifully helped Bernstein to interpret DP problems to Army authorities.29

Immediately after Bernstein's arrival in Frankfurt at the end of May 1946, he held a series of consultations with the military authorities. He found that "the policy levels are cooperative and considerate." General Joseph T. McNarney was particularly friendly and understanding and was praised as a "fine human being," "most liberal and humane," and "really a kind-hearted man."30 At the lower levels, however, Bernstein met with resentment and irritation toward the Jewish DPs. By 1946 most of the GIs in Germany had arrived after the end of the war and had neither seen the concentration camps nor participated in the fighting. They were attracted by the external orderliness of the Germans. As time passed and no prompt solution for the resettlement of the DPs emerged, the Jewish refugees were perceived as "increasingly burdensome."31

To reduce tension between the Army and the DPs, Bernstein initiated an education program, utilizing Army newspapers and other official publications. He tried to bring about a change of the Army's attitude by explaining the DPs' way of thinking, their needs, and the causes for their emotional behavior. Lieutenant General C. R. Huebner, McNarney's Chief of Staff, gave the Adviser an opportunity to lecture to the officers of the European Command on Jewish history and Jewish problems. "That was the most interesting class I have ever had in my life," Bernstein later recalled, "and it was for them an eye opener, because they did not have the most elementary knowledge of Jewish life and problems."32 Fifteen years after he had left the position of Adviser, Bernstein regarded that educational campaign as one of his successes, maintaining that "we did bring about a change in their attitude." However, in his last report to the Secretary of the Army, on 26 October 1947, he complained about frequent "ugly incidents" between the Army and the DPs, calling for needed education on both sides. He stated, more realistically, that "the underlying irritations remain and are likely to get worse as time passes." Judging from his own reports as well as those of later Advisers, it seems that Bernstein's claim that he changed the Army's attitude is questionable.33

One of the major causes of the Army's irritation was the increasing number of refugees coming from the East in 1946-1947. Jewish infiltration became Bernstein's major problem as Adviser. Whereas Rifkind's most important contribution was the establishment of a framework in which the Adviser and his office could operate to take care of concentration camp survivors, Bernstein's chief task was to help infiltrees and to prevent the closing of the eastern borders.34

The population of Jewish DPs in Germany and Austria was constantly growing. In May 1945 there were 30,000-50,000 camp survivors and on 1 February 1946 the combined number of Jews in the Western zones of Germany, Austria, and Italy was 130,000; in the summer of 1947 this figure had jumped to 245,000.35 The great majority, probably 80 percent, of the newcomers came from Poland. There were two types of refugees from Poland. The first were camp survivors, who returned to Poland after liberation to look for relatives and to regain property they had left behind. But a much larger group consisted of those who had been repatriated from Russia. In 1939 many Jews fled to Soviet Russia before the advancing German Army. After the war, the Soviet authorities permitted those who could prove their Polish citizenship to return to Poland. Most of these Jews, approximately 150,000, returned to Poland between the fall of 1945 and the spring of 1946. They found no relatives alive and their property confiscated or stolen by Poles who were unwilling to relinquish what they had gained. Polish antisemitism, extreme as ever and encouraged by leaders of the Catholic Church, found its expression not only in vilification, discrimination, and in refusal to relinquish confiscated property, but also in pillage and murder. During the last four months of 1945, 26 pogroms of varying sizes were reported. Between May 1945 and January 1946, more than 300 Jews were murdered. Many Jews thus decided to leave Poland and illegally entered the American zones of Austria and Germany, as a transit stop enroute to new homes in Palestine or the United States.36

During warmer weather (May and June 1946), infiltration increased to a monthly rate of 10,000. These happened to be the months after the publication of the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry's report, which recommended opening Palestine's doors to 100,000 DPs. The hope of reaching Palestine soon, on the basis of these recommendations, also led many Hungarian and Romanian Jews to enter the American zones and to gain DP status. The Army was naturally less than happy about such an influx. The DP camps became overcrowded and Army resources were "greatly overtaxed," as a confidential military memorandum of June 1946 indicated.37 However, military authorities showed great restraint and tolerance. Bernstein had obtained McNarney's agreement not to intervene if the monthly rate did not exceed 5,000 refugees. When this number doubled in May and June, the Adviser suggested that the Army be prepared to house and feed an additional 40,000-50,000 newcomers during the summer months, to which McNarney, the humanitarian, again consented.38

The pogrom of Kielce in Poland, significantly changed the situation. On 4 and 5 July 1946, 41 Jews were murdered and 75 were beaten in and around the small town of Kielce, south of Warsaw. This pogrom, which was planned in advance, was carried out with the active help of the local police, while the Catholic Church refused to intervene.39 The Kielce pogrom was a clear reply to those who had been asking themselves whether life for Jews could be reconstructed in Poland in the foreseeable future. The mass movement to get out of Poland began in near hysteria.

The Brichah, the Zionist underground that directed the movement of Jewish immigration through European countries to Palestine, notified Bernstein of its plan to organize the immigration of 80,000-100,000 Polish Jews. This figure was much higher than that which Bernstein had discussed with McNarney less than two weeks earlier. Now the Adviser found himself in a delicate position. Could he ask the Commanding General to change his mind for the third time in a mere six weeks? To save himself embarrassment and to provide legitimate reasons to ask for the alteration of his own projection, Bernstein complied with an urgent summons to inspect the Polish scene at first hand. After conferring with McNarney, he flew to Poland, accompanied by Herbert Friedman, a chaplain in Berlin, who later became his assistant in the Office of the Adviser. During the last week of July, Bernstein visited Warsaw, Lodz, and Silesia, discussing the problems with Jewish leaders as well as with victims of the recent pogrom. He learned at first hand of the violent antisernitism and saw the desperate attempts to leave Poland: ". . . we tried to sound them out ... [but] nothing we could say would deflect them from their intention to get out." After returning to Frankfurt, the Adviser took up the matter immediately with General McNarney, urging him "to anticipate . . . and be willing to receive" 100,000 Polish refugees. In the detailed report he submitted, he suggested utilizing all available facilities, not only in the American zone, but also in the British and French zones, and even in France and Italy. Jewish organizations, such as the JDC and the Jewish Agency for Palestine, should also be asked to pay their share. However, he opposed the Zionist plan to evacuate all Jews from Poland.40

With every new wave of refugees, military authorities once again discussed the prospect of closing the eastern borders. After lengthy deliberations, an Army order, issued in December 1945, excluded the infiltrees from DP camps, though it did not close the borders. Separate assembly centers were established for the newcomers, who were deprived of the status of "persecutees," so that their food rations, as well as other facilities, were inferior to those of the United Nations Displaced Persons. But this discrimination was abandoned in February 1946, and infiltrees were again entitled to enter regular DP camps.41

The influx of Polish Jews intensified the discussion in the Administration about closing the borders. The War Department proposed to close the borders on 1 September 1946. Jewish organizations made a coordinated effort to prevent this. Bernstein tried to influence military authorities in Europe, and the representatives of the American Jewish groups met on 22 July 1946 with Robert P. Patterson, Secretary of War, and Dean Acheson, Under-Secretary of State. The Jewish lobby appealed to Senators, Congressmen, and other politicians, calling on them to write directly to President Truman to remind him of the humanitarian and political implications of such a policy. In view of the coming mid-term elections, the Truman Administration would suffer much more from the necessity to fight, and even shoot at, Jewish infiltrees who were escaping for their lives, than by the inconvenience of feeding and housing an additional several thousand people.42 Although the Secretary of War supported the closure of the borders, the State Department favored less drastic action. The Assistant Secretary of State, General John H. Hilldring, who was a warm friend of the Jewish DP cause, informed Moses A. Leavitt of the JDC on 31 July 1946 of the Administration's intention not to close the eastern borders. Hilldring did, however, call for a voluntary halt in Polish emigration, appealing to the JDC leader: "I sincerely hope that we may count on you ... to assist in limiting to the very minimum the number of persecutees who seek refuge in our zone."43

Hilldring's suggestion that the JDC could stop the influx of Polish Jews to the West irritated JDC leaders because it was based on the false assumption that the JDC had directed it, while the truth was that "nothing short of shooting could prevent this movement," as a JDC representative pointed out. Accordingly, Edward M. Warburg, the JDC chairman, replied to Hilldring that while his organization had "never participated in any organizing of this movement," the JDC policy was nevertheless to assist Jews in distress.44 In point of fact, no Jewish group initiated the mass movement. Even the Brichah was caught unaware by this mass exodus.45

The Truman Administration was exposed to British as well as Jewish pressure. The Foreign Office led a diplomatic campaign to block Jewish emigration in Europe, under the pretense that these people were terrorists whose aim was to infiltrate to Palestine and to stimulate an anti-British revolt there. American military officials in Europe were in favor of the British demand and were actually ready to accept it.46 Thus, on 6 August 1946, General McNarney declared that "all organized movement of Jewish refugees will be turned back from the American zones of Germany and Austria in the future." Bowing to British pressure, McNarney also said that America "had never adopted a policy of the American zone being a station on the way to Palestine."47

NOTES

1. New York, joint Distribution Committee Archives [hereafter cited as joint Archives], files Germany, DP, General, Jan.-June 1945: "International Red Cross Special Report About the Situation of Jewish Refugees in 'DP Centers' in Austria and Germany," 20 June 1945, Report by Sgt. M. Hauser; Abraham J. Klausner, "Detailed Report on the Liberated Jew as He Now Suffers," 24 June 1945. Also Leonard Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors of the Holocaust (New York, 1982), pp. 47, 58-61; Judah Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews (New York, 1953), pp. 68-70, 120-21, 125,153.

2. joint Archives, files DP 1945-1946: Earl Harrison's Report, 24 Aug. 1945; and Joseph Schwartz's Report, 19 Aug. 1945. For a detailed discussion of Harrison's mission, his report, and its repercussions, see Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, pp. 35-71.

3. Washington, D.C., National Archives, Suitland, Maryland, Record Group 332 [hereafter cited as NARA, Suitland, RG 3321, box 52: AGWAR (from Stimson) to USFET Main (for Personal Attention of Eisenhower), confidential cable, 10 Aug. 1945.

4. NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52, file 1: USFET Main (signed Eisenhower) to AGWAR, restricted cable, 10 Aug. 1945; the quotation was taken from ibid: Lowett to Commanding Generals of 3rd and 7th Army, 10 Aug. 1945.

5. NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52, file 1: Truman to Eisenhower, 31 Aug. 1945; USFET Main (from Eisenhower) to AGWAR (personal for President Truman), 14 Sept. 1945.

6. joint Archives, files Germany, DP, Aug.-Dec. 1945: Philip Stuchon to Moses Leavitt, 4, 11 Oct. 1945; cable, JDC Paris to JDC New York, 20 Sept. 1945. Also Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews, pp. 120-22.

7. New York, American Jewish Committee Archives [hereafter cited as AJC Archives], files Germany, Emigration-Immigration, Jewish Agencies: A.G. Brotman to John Slawson, 7 July 1945; ibid., files DPs, Germany West, 1945- 54: Simon Segal to John Slawson, 17 July 1945; ibid., files Germany, Emigration- Immigration, Adviser: Jacob Blaustein to Joseph C. Grew, 23 July 1945; Grew to Blaustein, 26 July 1945; NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52, file 7: U.S. Embassy (signed Tindall) to USFET Main, 7 Aug. 1945.

8. NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52: General G.L. Adcock to Chief of Staff, 11 Aug. 1945; USFET Main (signed Eisenhower) to U.S. Embassy London, 14 Aug. 1945; USFET Main (personal from Eisenhower) to AGWAR (for Secretary of War), 10 Aug. 1945.

9. joint Archives, files Germany, DP, General, Aug.-Dec. 1945: Judah Nadich, "Report on Conditions in Assembly Centers," 16 Sept. 1945.

10. Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews, pp. 30, 48-49.

11. joint Archives, files Germany, DP, General, Aug.-Dec. 1945: Nadich, "Report," 16 Sept. 1945. Nadich reports of 27 Sept. and 22 Oct. 1945 in Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews, pp. 147-48, 223.

12. Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews, pp. 130-31, 145-46, quotation on p. 133.

13. Ibid., p. 123.

14. AJC Archives, files Emigration-Immigration, DPs, Germany West, 1945-54: Segal to Slawson, 17 July 1945; NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52: AGWAR (from McCloy) to USFET (for Eisenhower), 14 Sept. 1945.

15. Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews, pp. 235-36; NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52: AGWAR (from McCloy) to USFET (for Eisenhower), 14 Sept. 1945; Leo W. Schwarz, The Redeemers: The Saga of Years 1945-52 (New York, 1953), p. 44.

16. Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, p. 46; Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews, p. 241.

17. Nadich, Eisenhower and the Jews, pp. 231-32, 238; NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52, file 1: Simon H. Rifkind to the Chief of Staff, 5 Nov. 1945; W.B. Smith to Ben Gurion, Nov. (n.d.) 1945.

18. NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52, file 1: Rifkind to Chief of Staff, 1 Nov. 1945; Smith to Truscott, 21 Nov. 1945; Truscott to Rifkind, 24 Nov. 1945.

19. Ibid.: Smith to John H. Hilldring, 22 Nov. 1945.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.; see also joint Archives, files Germany, DP, General, Aug.-Dec. 1945: Jacob Trobe to Rifkind, 11 Nov. 1945.

22. Jerusalem, Hebrew University, Institute of Contemporary Jewry, Oral History Division, Project no. 4 [hereafter cited as ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4]: Joseph Schwartz Interview, 14 Aug. 1962; Joint Archives, files Germany, DP, General, Aug.-Dec. 1945: cable, Trobe to Schwartz, 24 Dec. 1945; ibid., files Germany, DP, Jan.-June 1946: Edward Warburg to Simon Rifkind, 2 Jan. 1946.

23. joint Archives, files Germany, DP, Jan.-June 1946: Greenleigh to Leavitt, 10 Apr. 1946; Schwarz, Redeemers, p. 120; ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Bernstein Interview, Sept. 1962 (n.d.).

24. ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Louis Levinthal Interview, 29 June 1962; Author's interview with Emanuel Rackman, 16 May 1984; Philip S. Bernstein, "Jewish Chaplains in World War ll," American Jewish Year Book 47 (1945-1946): 173.

25. Author's interview with Rackman, 16 May 1984.

26. ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Bernstein Interview, Sept. 1962.

27. Author's interview with Rackman, 16 May 1984.

28. ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Bernstein Interview, Sept. 1962.

29. Ibid., Levinthal Interview, 29 June 1962; Bernstein's statement was taken from Joint Archives, files Germany, DP, Jan.-June 1946: Bernstein to L. Kenen, 29 June 1946; author's interview with Rackman, 16 May 1984; author's interview with Abraham Hyman, 23 May 1984; AJC Archives, files Emigration- Immigration, DP, Germany West 1945-54: Bernstein's "Report on the Situation of Jewish DPs in U.S. Zones," 6 Dec. 1946.

30. ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Bernstein Interview, Sept. 1962; Schwarz, Redeemers, pp. 149, 219; Ephraim Dekel, B'riha; Flight to the Homeland (New York, n.d.), p. 15.

31. joint Archives, files DP, 1945-46: "Address by Rabbi Bernstein at Biltmore Hotel," 1 Oct. 1946; AJC Archives, files EmigrationImmigration, DP, Germany West, 1945-54: Bernstein, "Report on the Situation," 6 Dec. 1946; joint Archives, files DP, Jan. 1947-May 1948: Bernstein, Report to the Secretary of the Army, 26 Oct. 1947. In all these sources Bernstein clearly complained of the negative approach of the Army's lower echelon to the DPs. Therefore, Hyman's statement to the contrary does not seem to be accurate. Author's interview with Hyman, 23 May 1984.

32. ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Bernstein Interview, Sept. 1962. See also Bernstein, "Status of Jewish Displaced Persons," Department of State Bulletin 16 (29 June 1949): 1308-11.

33. ICJ, Oral Hist. Div. no. 4: Berstein Interview, Sept. 1962; joint Archives, files DP, Jan. 1947-May 1948: Bernstein, Report to the Secretary of the Army, 26 Oct. 1947; AJC Archives, files Emigration-Immigration, Adviser: Levinthal's Report, 19 Aug. 1947.

34. joint Archives, files DP, 1945-46: "Address by Rabbi Bernstein at Biltmore Hotel," 1 Oct. 1946.

35. Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, table A2, p. 278. See also below, n. 60.

36. Bernstein, "Displaced Persons," American Jewish Year Book 49 (1947-1948), 520; Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, p. 109; joint Archives, files Germany, DP, Aug.-Dec. 1945: esp. detailed report of Joseph Levine to Moses Leavitt, 24 Oct. 1945.

37. Bernstein, "Displaced Persons," p. 521; NARA, Suitland, RG 383.6, box 130, file 4: Confidential Memo: "Displaced Persons-Refugees and Expellees," June 1946.

38. joint Archives, files Germany, DP, Jan.-June 1946: Bernstein, Report to Kenen, 29 June 1946; Yehuda Bauer, Flight and Rescue: Brichah (New York, 1970), pp. 243-44; Dekel, B'riha, p. 44.

39. Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, pp. 107-108.

40. ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Bernstein Interview, Sept. 1962; Bernstein, "Report on Poland," Memo to General McNarney, 2 Aug. 1946, cited in Bauer, Flight and Rescue, p. 246.

41. Bauer, Flight and Rescue, p. 191; NARA, Suitland, RG 332, box 52: Adcock to Bull, 14 Dec. 1945.

42. joint Archives, files DP, 1945-46: David R. Wahl to Meir Grossman, 23 July 1946; John C. Hyman to Isaac H. Levy, 25 July 1946; John W. McCormick to David Wahl, 22 July 1946.

43. Ibid.: Wahl to Grossman, 23 July 1946; Hilldring to Leavitt, 31 July 1946; ICJ, Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Joseph Schwartz Interview, 14 Aug. 1962.

44. joint Archives, files DP, 1945-46: H. F. Linder to Edward Warburg, 16 Aug. 1946; Edward Warburg to John Hilldring, 23 Aug. 1946.

45. Bauer, Flight and Rescue, p. 321.

46. ICJ Oral Hist. Div., no. 4: Schwartz Interview, 14 Aug. 1962.

47. New York Times, 10 Aug. 1946.

 

Chap 7

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