The Bergson Group, Emergency Conference

Part 4) of The Bergson Group, A History in Photographs

The Roosevelt administration claimed nothing could be done to rescue Europe’s Jews except to defeat the Nazis on the battlefield. It characterized its approach as “rescue through victory.” The Bergson Group, which headlined its newspaper ads with slogans such as “It Can Be Done,” insisted that rescue was possible. In July 1943, the Bergsonites staged a four-day Emergency Conference to Save the Jewish People of Europe. Held at the Hotel Commodore in New York City, the assembly featured military and political experts who argued that various means of rescue were still feasible. More than 1,500 delegates attended the gathering. On its final day, the conference officially transformed itself into the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe.

Preparing for the conference. L to R: Rep. Andrew Somers, Bergson Group national secretary Gabriel A. Wechsler, Sen. (and Bergson Group national chairman) Edwin Johnson.
Rear Admiral Sitrling Yates speaking at a July 1, 1943 press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria, in New York City, to publicize the forthcoming Emergency Conference. To his right is Stella Adler. To his left are the writer Dorothy Parker and Bergson Group leaders Gabriel Wechsler and Alex Rafaeli.
Italian anti-fascist leader Count Carlo Storza (at left) confers with the former Chilean ambassador to the United States, Carlos Davila, at the Emergency Conference, where they both served on the Panel on International Relations.
Bergson Group leaders conferring at the Emergency Conference. L to R: Prof. Max Lerner, Sen. William Langer, Eri Jabotinsky, Rep. Will Rogers, Jr., Arieh-Ben-Eliezer, Alex Rafaeli.
New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was one of the featured speakers at the conference. Here he is shown at the conference with, L to R, writer Emil Lengyel, Bergson Group national secretary Gabriel Wechsler, and Judge Michael Potter, one of the organizers of the conference.

The Bergson Group
Part 1)          A History in Photographs
Part 2)          Leadership
Part 3)          We Will Never Die
Part 4)          Emergency Conference
Continue to Rabbis March »
Part 6)          Capitol Hill
Part 7)          A Flag is Born
Part 8)          Voyage of the Ben Hecht