We come to you as representatives of all sections
of the Jewish community of the United States.
Within recent months all Americans have been horrified
by the verification of reports concerning the barbarities against the
inhabitants of countries overrun by Hitler's forces. To these horrors
has now been added the news of Hitler's edict calling for the extermination
of all Jews in the subjugated lands.
Already almost two million Jews, men, women and children,
have been cruelly done to death, and five million more Jews live under
the threat of a similar doom.
The record of these heinous crimes against the Jews
in Nazi Europe is detailed in attached memorandum. Every device of a
perverted and malignant ingenuity is being employed to hasten the process
of their destruction. The result is a crime so monstrous as to be without
parallel in history.
The victims of his brutality are guilty of no crime
save that they are the children of the people through whose divine law
and through whose prophets the world was given the ideas which constitute
a basic part of the civilization that the Nazis seek to destroy. Through
the bodies of those innocents and defenseless victims the Nazis strike
at civilization itself. Death and destruction follow every hero in the
wake of the Nazi armies. Lands have been laid waste and their peoples
destroyed or enslaved.
In the midst of their suffering, however, the peoples
of Europe are sustained by a hope that the victory of the Democracies
will destroy the Nazi scourge, and restore freedom to the world. European
Jews share that hope. But will they live to see the dawn of this day
of freedom? Unless action is taken immediately, the Jews of Hitler Europe
In this hour of deepest anguish and despair we turn
to you, Mr. President. You are the symbol of humanity's will to fight
for freedom. Your voice awakened the conscience of the world to the
great crime of Lidice. When hundreds of innocent French hostages were
led to execution, yours was the prophetic word of democracy and human
We ask you now once to raise your voice – on
behalf of the Jews of Europe. We ask you again to warn the Nazis that
they will be held to strict accountability for their crimes. We ask
you to employ every available means to bring solemn protest and warning
to the peoples of the Axis countries so that they may be deterred from
acting as the instruments of the monstrous designs of their mad leaders.
We urge that an American Commission be appointed at
once to receive and examine all evidence of Nazi barbarities against
civilian populations, and to submit that evidence to the bar of public
opinion and to the conscience of the world.
It is our earnest hope that such action as you initiate
will be joined with similar action by all the United Nations.
We are of the belief that you can speak the word and
take such action as will strike fear into the hearts of the enemies
of civilization and at the same time bring hope and faith to their victims.
In this spirit, we appeal to you, Mr. President. Speak
the word! Institute the action!
Maurice Wertheim, President
Dr. Stephen S. Wise, President
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
Adolph Held, President
Henry Monsky, President
Jewish Labor Committee
Israel Goldstein, President
Rabbi Israel Rosenberg,
Synagogue Council of America
Chairman Union of Orthodox
Rabbis of the United States