David P. Boder Interviews Judah Golen; September 26, 1946; Wiesbaden, Germany

var transcription = { interview: [ David Boder

Germany, Wiesbaden, September the 26th. I think I marked yesterday the records "the 26th" so I will have to make a correction. I am really overstaying my time [intelligible?] and they can't send me one anyway before . . . eight o'clock tonight. I am . . . it is Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish community is in the synagogueâthe synagogue which I've been told has not yet been officially dedicated but has of course Rosh Hashanah services in . . . after the chaplain has said . . . what's the chaplain's name?

Judah Golen

Darling.

David Boder

. . . as Chaplain Darling from the United States Army, Chaplain Darling has said, it's after seven years the first Rosh Hashanah service in the synagogue. I am taking time out. I am tempted to go over there and take part in the services later but I'm taking time out since I have here with me Mr. Judah Golen, a representative of the Jewish agency of Palestine,âfor Palestineâand since I have met a number of these men and women . . . often in Italy and France on railroad trains and so on . . . I have decided to take out this morning out and he has graciously agreed to tell us something about the work of the representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine which, according to him, has about a hundred people working in the various DP camps. Also, Mr. Golen, would you be so kind first of all to tell who you are and then let's go on with the story. The microphone is yours for as much time as you want.

Judah Golen

Well, um, I myself am a Palestinian. Born in Palestine, Jerusalem; the son of parents who were born in Palestineâand the grandson of grandfather and grandmother who were born in Palestine. I had my education in Palestine and in Great Britainâin England. I am an advocate by profession . . .

David Boder

A what?

Judah Golen

An advocate.

David Boder

A lawyer.

Judah Golen

. . . by profession but I am also attached as a legal advisor to the political department of the Jewish Agency. I have volunteered a few months ago to go to Europe and see what one can do for the remnants of the Jews who are still in Europe. My object is really to be in Austria and establish there the connections, and the machinery, for dealing with the Jews who are there and who are passing from Eastern Europe to the Western side with an idea to come later to Palestine.

Judah Golen

[inaudible] . . . wait a minute . . .

David Boder

..go ahead.

Judah Golen

I want to . . . My object is to stay as I said in Austria and open there first of all a Palestine office. The . . . I'm going to have a small mission of some fifteen men and women from Palestine who would be spread all over Austria to the various campsâin the various campsâand do first of all the cultural and instructive work among the DPs. The, um, to tell you how the whole thing started it would be a rather a long story but the first . . . Jews who arrived in Europe during the war and immediately after . . . victory were the Jews from Palestine who served in the Jewish brigades which is now known all over the world. They were the first who reached the remnants of our brothers and succeeded in getting to a far point inâwithin Russia itself. They then organized and helped those Jews to come over to the Allies and . . . rather Western side of Europe. Would you stop the . . .

Judah Golen

Now, uh, after the Jewish brigade had to leave Europe and go back to Palestine for demobilization the Jewish Agency for Palestine decided to send a number of Jewish shluchim which called really "messengers" from Palestine to the Jews in Europe. The Jewish Agency has contacted the UNRRA . . . UNRRA authorities who are very sympathetic and who assisted in having a number of Jews from Palestine come over to Europe. The JAFPâwhich means the Jewish agency for Palestine is now in Europeâin Germanyâas a separate unit attached to the UNRRA. There are now about a hundred of such men and women doing work in the various camps, among the DPs in conjunction with UNRRA.

David Boder

May I ask a question? How is that financially handled?

Judah Golen

Well, the Jewish agency pays their expenses as to if a man has to get his salary for example, he is paid by the Jewish agency. On the other hand the UNRRA keeps the men in Germany and covers, as many other members of the UNRRA, their economic and traveling expenses. I wouldn't say all traveling expensesâa major part is being paid by the Jewish Agency. But various facilities are sympathetically given by the UNRRA. . . . another question?

David Boder

No. Go ahead.

Judah Golen

So, the hundred of men and women are spread all over GermanyâBritish and American Zones. As I said I don't want . . . I want to limit myself to my own function.

David Boder

Yes.

Judah Golen

My immediate object is to leave for Vienna in a few days and come in contact there with UNRRA authorities in Vienna and Austria so that we can establish a unit of the Jewish Agency in Austria. "What are these men and women from Palestine doing in the camp?" First of all, one should realize the mental and physical situation of the Jews who arrived a few months ago from Poland and who are coming here with strong stream from Poland and even Russia.

David Boder

Excuse me, when you speak "arrived a few months ago from Poland" you speak about those what the UNRRA calls "infiltrees"

Judah Golen

That's right. That's right.

David Boder

Well, are you interested only in the "infiltrees?"

Judah Golen

No, no we areâour men are mainly stationed in the various DP camps where you have . . . I mean . . . there's a man or who is coming to a DP camp is a member of an UNRRA team and his duty is to do for these DPs whatever the UNRRA would tell him. But as there are Jews from Palestine, they have the ability and possibility to deal in more cultural work for the Jews in the DP. They are also serving as instructors in variousâI would sayâin vocational work. We have organized in various . . . around some camps in Germany kind of . . . groups of youthâJewish youth, who are taking agricultural and other training. We have . . .

David Boder

Agriculture . . . ?

Judah Golen

Agricultural . . .

David Boder

Isn't that done with the ORTâin conjunction with the ORT?

Judah Golen

It is done with-in conjunction with the ORT in full harmony and in conjunction and with the full help with all AJDC and other Jewish and certainly not forget the UNRRA . . . help.

David Boder

AJDC is the American Jewish Agency?

Judah Golen

No. It's America Joint . . .

David Boder

American Joint . . .

Judah Golen

. . . AJDC is the American Joint Distribution Committee.

David Boder

. . . Committee.

Judah Golen

That's right.

David Boder

American Joint Distribution Committee.

Judah Golen

AJDC: American Joint Distribution Committee.

David Boder

All right.

Judah Golen

Which is well-known and one of the biggest associations not just in America and all over the world. The connection between the Jewish Agency and the AJDC in Europe is rather strong and as far as I could see from the last two or three weeks I have been in Munichâin Munich, in Germanyâthe relations are very good. I have met a great number of AJDC men and ORT men and I see that in one respect, in respect of helping the brothersâall our own brothersâthe men on the [spot?] have understood that is one thing and that is harmony among the workers so that the Jews who are here should only gain by the presence of such an organization. Now . . .

David Boder

Mr. Golen I think you have made here an interesting point. There are two schools of thought some people constantly kick that there is duplicationâthat too many different agencies do the same thing. Just to say personally I want to say right now that I don't agree with that. What do you think?

Judah Golen

Well I associate myself with your view. I don't think there is duplication. 'A:' I consider that there is a lack of men all over. . . . of Jews from more liberated countries like America, Palestine, France, England who can do a great deal for those people who are in the DPs. But as to the question of duplication I don't consider that duplication. What we, the Jewish Agency, is doing now is "A:" . . . the language which is Jewish and the Hebrew language is common with the Jews who come from Poland. Many, many of those Jews do not know English or any other language in which they could converse with the people who come from America. The Jewish Agency is establishing schools with the aid of the AJDCâthe teachers come from Palestine. Some money and other help is being given by the other institutions. The Hebrew language is being taught to the children and other subjects are being taught in Hebrew.

David Boder

Excuse me another point for interrupting I know it is terrible nuisance. What money is considered? Would you say the money comes exclusively from America?

Judah Golen

Well, I would not say that. Although I would say a great deal of money is coming from America . . .

David Boder

But . . .

Judah Golen

But I, from my own experience in Palestine, I know that they have many collections being organized among the Jewish population who count now about 650,000 in Palestine and I know practically every Jew in Palestine has been contributing to these various Jewish institutions whose object is alsoâI mean who includes in that program helping the Jews in the Diaspora. I know that during the war the first, I would say, the first who succeeded in sending over help in money and in other waysâI mean in clothing and books and so on to Europe, to the people who were still in the . . . under the enemy regime, were the Palestinians. But I would not say that they did it themselves. It's known and I know it from my own personal knowledge that the AJDC . . . helped a great deal. I mean they really supplied the money and the Jews of Palestine found a way to send it over, with their own money collected from Palestine, to the ghetto in Warsaw . . . to Poland and to other places in Europe when the Germans were still there.

David Boder

Nu. Continue.

Judah Golen

"Now, what is the Jewish . . . ?" I do notâI am not confident to speak for the AJDC as I am not a member. I can only say . . . speak from my own experience that what I saw . . . the various action or the various helpâaidâwhich is being given by the AJDC is greatly appreciated and it should continue. What I can say is more about the JAFP which is as I said a separate unit in the UNRRAâwithin the UNRRA. Now . . . as I said there are hundreds already in PalesâGermany, both zones, British and American. As far as I know the UNRRA are very, very satisfied with these men because . . . mentally they know how to approach DPs. And the DPs whose aim throughout the war and before the war and now, was Palestine, which they considered the only . . . as I said at the time -wartime- the only thing which remained for them was to go to Palestine. They would take a Jew from Palestine more into their confidence than any other person. Also the question of the language which is more common between the Palestinian Jew and the Jew from Poland whether it's Yiddish or Hebrew because I see I am really surprised to see a great number of Jews coming from Lithuania, Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe speak fluently Hebrewâspeak fluent Hebrewâwhich is again a sign of attachment to the Jewish people and to Palestine. Would you like to know anything?

David Boder

Yes. Well . . . So let us continue about this . . . Let me ask you this question: "In your impressionâyou mentioned the poorâdo all DPs, all displaced Jews, or all of we couldn't say, but what do you estimate? What percentage of the DPs and which age groups long for Palestine and which one would want to go to America, South America, Australia, South Africa and other places?" You couldn't say that everyone wants to go to Palestine?

Judah Golen

Well I'll you exactly how it isâI'll tell you. Immediately after the war and during the war, as far as I know in my conversations with various Jews in various camps, Palestine was the only light which really gave them some energy to . . . stand and to wait until victory comes. I admit that there has been some disappointment among many Jews because external difficultiesâwe cannot ignore the various political difficulties existing in Palestine and outside. The Jews are not the only masters of Palestine and they could not bring over so many Jews as they wanted. But . . . and these difficulties naturally caused the various Jews in Europe to feel bitter at the time against those elements who did not allow them to come to the place where they longed and they thought they belonged. There may be quite a number of Jews who now, after seeing these difficulties, try to find another place to [?] and to have some peaceâpeace of mind and peace of body. People move for South Africa where they have relatives there, people move for Americaâespecially the United StatesâI . . . and people certainly move for Palestine. These are I would say apart fromâand you may have some Jews who would like to go to Australia. I consider that all those Jews who do want to go to places outside of Palestine are Jews who have some relatives in there and some hope that they would be able to enter a new life in those countries. As far as I see prospects are not very large. Neither America, although America has shown a greatâwhat should I sayâgreat generosity . . . I can't . . . whether this is the word . . . towards accepting Jews into their land. This would not solve the problem because the problem is a matter of, at least now, two hundred thousand Jews who are now in Austria and German zonesânot to mention the Jews who are expected here from Poland.

David Boder

What is your estimate of the Jewish population of Europe nowâPoland included?

Judah Golen

Poland included . . . ?

David Boder

. . . counting England. The Jewish population of Europe?

Judah Golen

Oh . . . they are considered to be a million and . . . a million and two hundred thousand Jews all over Europeâincluding Rumania, HungariaâHungary, Greece . . .

David Boder

Yeah.

Judah Golen

. . . we're very few there. But, uh . . . and Poland . . . I would say that Germanyâboth the British and American zone and Austria have now two hundred thousand Jews.

David Boder

Uh-huh. Does the Russian zone have displaced Jews?

Judah Golen

No, no. There are many Jews who do come from Russia and said they have crossed the Russian zone to . . . they come from Russia to Poland and from Poland they come to . . . the Russian zone and from there to Czechoslovakia or to other countries and then they come over to the American zone. This is, the American zone, is the . . . I would say now the immediate ideal of many Jews to come to because, "A:" the kindness shown by the American authorities literally and civilly is so great that people think they can stay here for a while until they come to a more permanent station. This should be really stressed. The, as far as I could know, from people who were in straightâin direct from connections with the various authorities here, I mean the Americansâthe Americans have shown great deal of understanding of the Jewish problems and Jewish difficulties and a great deal of help has been given them physically I would say and spiritually. If you would like to know more about the actions of the JAFP, which is the main object . . .

David Boder

Yes, well if you'd please . . .

Judah Golen

Now the various messengers of Zion who come to the various camps, first thing they do is to organize the Jews in their more cultural work. The . . .

David Boder

Excuse me. One question: "the American Jewish Committee for Palestine have they anything to say about issuing of certificates, who shall get certificates?"

Judah Golen

American Jewish . . . ?

David Boder

No, not the American Jewish . . . excuse me.. the Jewish Committee for . . . The Jewish Agency for Palestine.

David Boder

The Jewish Agency for Palestine.

Judah Golen

Yes, well the Jewish Agency for Palestine as everybody should know is an international . . .

David Boder

I am . . . ashamed [laughing]

Judah Golen

. . . is a body established under the mandates of the League of Nations. The Jewish APF is mentioned under section four which says there should be a Jewish agency representing all the Jews of the world in connection with Palestine. It is more a body of . . . with which the British mandate-ery has to consult with matters connected with the building of the Jewish national home in Palestine. They have to say about the certificates, certainly, because the . . . .I would say the practice is that the British government or rather the administration in Palestineâ[?] in Palestine approves every now and then number of . . . as they call it a "schedule"âa number of immigrants who are allowed to come to Palestine when . . . I mean . . . the various certificates are given, after many deductions made by government for other purposes, to the Jewish Agency and . . .

David Boder

For what purposes are they made?

Judah Golen

Well, they first can deduct a number of Jews who arrived to the country without the . . .

David Boder

The illegal . . . yeah.

Judah Golen

. . . without the previous permission of the government. Then they also have for non-Jewsâa number of certificates is given to non-Jews.

David Boder

What's that?

Judah Golen

Even for Arabs.

David Boder

Who come to Palestine?

Judah Golen

And for Christians. Yes . . . for Christians and Arabs to come to Palestine.

David Boder

Do they take that off of the Jewish quota?

Judah Golen

They take it off of the Jewish quota . . .

David Boder

Why?

Judah Golen

Because, I mean they say, this is not a question of Jewish quota they say it is . . . "how many can Palestine absorb within the next three or six months?" And the figure is let's say fifteen . . . or fifteen hundred or twenty hundred . . . immigrants. Out of that they deduct a numberâusually it is about . . . I would say when it is . . . it's over a hundred anyhow to non-Jewsâwhether Arabs or other Christians who would like to come to Palestine.

David Boder

And what is the monthly quota altogether for Palestine?

Judah Golen

Well it has been, for the last I would say . . . eighteen months, it has been fifteen hundred.

David Boder

A month?

Judah Golen

A month.

David Boder

Yeah.

Judah Golen

This proved to be a figure which cannot satisfyâI wouldn't say even satisfyâit's really just, it cannot serve the purposeâit even causes more bitterness because it is a crumble of last piece of bread of hungry people who are trying to find some . . . some place. Well, as to the question of certificates, for example, the fact that a number of Jews succeeded in getting into Palestineânot waiting for the granting of these certificates they had no patience, they had no power to wait, no strength to waitâthese certificates which were supposed to be given to the Jewish Agency were to be deducted on that account so that for the last three months the Jewish agency has not received any certificates for the purpose of bringing over Jews from the . . . Europe. The hope is that the next few weeks the British government will realize the difficulty which is caused to the various Jews in Europe, Jews in Palestine and the Jews all over the world, and will increase the figure to a height which would at least satisfy, in some respect, the amountâgreat amountâof the Jews asked to come into Palestine. I do not want to go into more wider political issues on this point . . .

David Boder

A-hah.

Judah Golen

Hachshara.

David Boder

Tell me more about that.

Judah Golen

These are "collectives" of trainingâthe uh . . . the thing is these really more already traditionalâeven before the war we had these kibbutzei hachshara in various countries in Europe.

David Boder

[One moment?] . . . kibbutzei hachshara: that is one thing?

Judah Golen

No it is two . . .

David Boder

Or is kibbutzei separate? And hachshara separate?

Judah Golen

These are two words . . . kibbutz is . . .

David Boder

I know that they are two words . . . but is it one organization . . . kibbutzei hachshara?

Judah Golen

Kibbutzei hachshara means "collectives for the purpose of training"âthis is the meaning of the two words.

David Boder

Ya . . .

Judah Golen

That means you organized groups of young boys and girls who go out to the farms, to the fields, in various villages and do agricultural and physical trainingâwork. Even before the warâyears before the warâthe Jews organized the youth, organized themselves in Poland, let's say in Germany, even in Great Britain. Even in America you have these youth groups who leave homeâtheir homesâleave their parents and go to these farms to train themselves in agriculture so that when they come to Palestine they are prepared and they are able immediately to go to the various Jewish settlements and give a hand to the agricultural work in those settlements.

David Boder

Nu.

Judah Golen

Wait a minute I want to say . . .

David Boder

Yes sir.

Judah Golen

So, these young groups of . . . as they are calledâthey are called kibbutzei hachsharaâare organized by Jewish instructors coming from Palestine. Mainly by men who worked in the various settlements. They are taught to plow and they are taught to sew and they are taught to plant and they are taught to work the land, firstly. They are also taught other vocational work such as carpentry and shoe-makingâand how do you say . . . metal . . .

David Boder

And too making metal-work?

Judah Golen

Metal-work . . . and manyâeven fine work such as there's an idea of having kibbutzim to do such fine work as watch-making and others . . . Palestine is a very small . . . -okay?- . . . very small country and we are very short of raw materials so that we should try direct our young men to make a living and get their subsistence from . . . mainly from work. And, the idea is to have . . . organized in Palestine, work such as you have in Switzerland, mainly as you call itâ"fine work." Watch-making and other kinds: (similar) optical . . . optical instruments and other instruments which require more brain and hand than material.

David Boder

A-ha. That is a very good statement. They require more mentality and hand than raw material.

Judah Golen

And, I would say, the Palestinian Jew has done quite successful in this field of work. Even during the war, the Jews in Palestine (headed by the Jewish Universityâby the Hebrew University), had their scientists and their experts in various works help the . . . armyâwhether it's British or American armyâin Palestine who proved to be very helpful in this field of science.

David Boder

Tell me this. That's very good. I am still coming back to the human element you know, as a psychologist rather than a politician. Now, for instance, when I was in Paris last week I unsuccessfully tried to get a hold of a group of people who were sailing from Marseille to Palestine on certificate. Among them were Germans (I mean DPs) and then there were some Polish and then there were children. Now, "how were these certificates [concretely?] distributed?"

Judah Golen

Well, the Jewish Agency has their Palestinian offices all over Europe. I mean when I say now I say "all over Europe" they had it before the war all over Europeâall over the world. Now they have it in those countries where they can have it. They don't have it in Russia but they have it in Poland.

David Boder

Why don't they have it in Russia?

Judah Golen

They don't have it in Russia because the Jewish Agency has not been able to establish direct connections with the Russian government till now. If you ask me why, I can't tell you. Better ask the Russians for this purpose. But we have it in Sweden, we have it in Germany now, in Munich, we have it in other towns around the American zone. Where there is the Palestinian officeâa Palestinian officeâwho do the examining work, who should get a certificate, and who is . . . who should be able to proceed to Palestine immediately under those certificates. As I said, unfortunately, the number of certificates is so small that it's become rather . . . the certificate is less important than anything because of its . . . the difficulty of getting it . . . because of its non-existence, I would say. The Palestinian offices have now almost no work to do. But the Jewish Agency is establishing these Palestinian offices with the hope that certificates would be grantedâin a greater numberâand then the work would start again. "What are the Palestinian offices doing exactly and how do they give the certificates?" There are various categories: "A:" there are relatives in Palestine like fathers who have their sons in Europe or husbands who have left their wives in Europeâthese have the priority. Again, you have sons who have their parents, sisters who have their brothersâthese have, again, the priority. After that comes the efficiency of the man. You have the various movementsâyouth movementsâwho organize their members in various works, [so it should be?] as I've said before, these kibbutzei hachshara. When a kibbutz hachshara.or a group of youth shows itself able and . . . able to go to Palestine, they are given a collective certificate I would say, that means each one is givenâis being given a certificate. And the group goes over to Palestine as a group. There, they are immediately absorbed in one of the settlements so that the economic question is not existing at all. Again you have, before the war we had also a category of "capitalists." That we, as Jews who owned over a thousand pounds, were allowed to be givenâwere allowed to come to Palestine under such certificate. These were also distributed in conjunction with the Jewish Agency. But government itselfâBritish governmentâcould also give certificates for people without even consulting the Jewish Agency (as to this question of these capitalists). We have also "professional certificates." Doctors and other professional . . . professions who would receive certificates in the same way as capitalists received certificates. The . . .

David Boder

Well, is there any territory now . . . spread? Say, you have DP camps all over Europe or all in France and here . . . Now, if you have some certificates do you try to spread them out that some should go to the French groups, some to the others or does that in any way . . . end up coming . . . ?

Judah Golen

Yes, certainly. The Jewish Agencyâthe executive of the Jewish Agencyâwhen they receive this schedule, this number of certificates sit down in Jerusalem after consulting the various Palestinian offices in the various countries and decide how many certificates should be sent to the various . . . .offices. So that they, at the time when the certificates are available, they take into consideration the immediate necessity of the number of certificates needed to a certain place. If, for example, during the war, there was hope to help and to save Jews from Rumania they then sent a greater number of certificates to Rumania at that time. Even now the Agency of certificates would . . . the Agency would be seen more in Germany than in any other place, certainly the number of certificates for the German peopleâfor the I would say . . . sorry . . . for the . . .

David Boder

German DPs.

Judah Golen

. . . German DPs or Jewish DPs in Germany would be sent hereâgreater number of Jews were sent to Germany. This is done after a longâI mean every Palestinian office has lists of men who want to go to Palestine and [others?] are being examined physically by special doctors. They are being given the minimum number of certificates they have at their disposal.

David Boder

Now tell me, you say 'physically examined:" so the healthy person has a greater chance to come to Palestine than the old and the feeble?

Judah Golen

Not a question of health. For example, according to the lawâthe immigration law in PalestineâI would say persons mentally unfit would not be ableâare not allowed to come into Palestine. But, Palestine has absorbed a great number of people who are invalids as a result of the war and who areâwho have become weak in health as a result of the war. On the contrary, they are even given more consideration and are being helped more in social . . . in a social respect than those who don't need this help. I know, for example, being myself in Haifa when a boat of . . . arrived. Most of the people were really physically not well. This is not because . . . this was only as a result of the war. Now I understand that these people are healthy people, and doing their work as any other Jew does work in Palestine.

David Boder

Oh, so they have . . . been rehabilitated.

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

Now tell me yet one thing . . . tell me this: "Is there any special tendency in the religious sense in the selection of . . . DPs?" Do you . . . are the Orthodox or certain religious groups more favored than the liberal groups?

Judah Golen

No there is not such question of "more favored." The Jewish Agency for Palestine consists of all the Jews who are interested in Palestine. In the Jewish Agency you have members . . . I mean in the executive of the Jewish agencyâyou have members representing the Orthodox Jews like the Mizrachi party. You have members representing . . . the younger . . . I would say the Labor party who are also orthodox you have [Hapo'el Hamizrachi?]. And when certificates are available, considerations are being made by the executives consisting of these various members and every group whether religious or not religious would receive the share they deserve (as to their numbers in young men as well as ability in other fields of activity).

David Boder

This concludes spool 160 with Mr. Golen and we are going over to spool 161 because I think I have a few more questions that I would like him to answer which are of great interest to us in America so um . . . Wiesbaden September 26th 1946. My last day in Germany. This is DP Boder speaking and this is a Illinois Institute of Technology wire recording. With a representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. Now I think I have it correctly.

David Boder

Wiesbaden September the 26th, this is DP Boder speaking and I usually don't identify the spool that way but it's my last day in Germany. It is Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish community, maintained by the UNRRA, is having its first Rosh Hashanah services which they are rebuilding with their own hands. And which has been seven years ago, according to Capt. and Chaplain Darling, desecrated. But I am taking advantage of the morning to get some additional material although I would like to record at least a part of the services which I still may do. My interviewee is Mr. Golen a Palestinian-born, a third generation Palestinian, who is working with the Jewish Agency for Palestine here. We have covered all of spool 160 and I am going over now to spool 161. Illinois Institute of Technology wire-recording in the general study of displaced people in Europe without distinction of race or creed. Also, I want to ask you a question about the kibbutz . . . kibbutz.hachshara. I was in Italy . . . they have there self-government. I saw in one room 36 young people. Men and women together, well that is common for all UNRRA camps. They let the Mennonites who seem to be the best organized live men, women, and children together in one barrack. It is not particular to the Jews but it seems to have been . . . and it is not on their fault, so to say, but let me ask you this question . . . Now let's come back and take that what hurts us most: thirty-six young people in one room. Married couples when they are without children also in that same room. Sometimes the cots moved together, sometimes two people in one cot. Of course it's all better than it was in the German concentration camp but "what do you think is the influence and the significance of such life?" "And what can be done in general about it?"

Judah Golen

Well, if I understand your question correctly, you ask "why are men and womenâthirty-six young boys and girlsâliving together in the same room?" I can say for certain the none of these thirty six young men and women would like to be all together in the same room in the sense of sleeping in the same room, and eating in the same room, and conducting . . . conducting their life in that room.

David Boder

Oh now lets have that clearâit's not an ideal.

Judah Golen

No.

David Boder

. . . its not the ideal that it should be that way.

Judah Golen

No,âon the contrary. Well, if you take the kibbutz settlement in Palestine, it is a collective settlement. They have there common room where they have their meetings togetherâyou cannot have a meeting separatelyâwhere they eat together so that labor should be . . . less. If the hundred men and women have their one room for kind of dining hall where they eat together a lot of work is being gained while . . .

David Boder

Saved?

Judah Golen

Saved. But every member of the kibbutz, in Palestine I say, has his own room. If they are married they haveâthese young couplesâhave their room or two rooms sometimes if the kibbutz has economic or financial possibilities to supply that. There is no such thing as living families in the same room together. No human being likes thatâit's against human natureâand these young boys and girls if they do conduct a life together inâas you saw, said you saw in ItalyâI can assure you, even without my having been there, that it's out of difficulty to sheer necessity to get separate rooms. The idea of the kibbutz, of the collective . . . life in the collective form, is notâis not to eliminate and forget the individual element. Not to . . . merge your individuality into the collective. It's to give to the collective whatever you can give and take from it whatever you have to take. But the individual life of the person . . . the family exists in the kibbutz I would say even stronger than in town. If you would come to an existing kibbutz in Palestine you will see that all those stories told about communism and sense of . . .

David Boder

I'm glad you started that . . .

Judah Golen

. . . I thought you would ask me that question or question in this sense. The family tie in the kibbutz is very, very strong. "What has the kibbutz done differently than in town?" They have tried to save [?]âthey are short of labor and, for example, instead of every mother having the necessity to give herâall her time to her child they have collected the children into separate children houses where a few mothers are able to give the whole day work to the children while the other mothers can go out to the field or can do other work for the kibbutz.

David Boder

And where do the children sleep?

Judah Golen

The children sleep in their children houses but the connection to the parents and their children is strong enough. That means . . . let us take the town: when there is a worker who has to leave his home in the morning and go to the factory to work he doesn't see his child every minute of the day. No. Only when he comes home and if he still has, even though let's say if the woman worksâif the woman has to prepare food and to do other things, she has no time to give to her child. While in the kibbutz the child is being taken care [of] by special nurses, or I call them "mothers" because they are members of the kibbutz who have their own children and the other children in these children houses. In the evening, the workerâthe member of the kibbutz, whether it's a mother or a father they come back they have their meal immediately and then they have the evening till the time the children have to go to sleep dedicated to their children, in education (to see that the children prepare their lessons if they are grown-up children), if they are babies they play with them in the little fields there and the most interesting picture in the kibbutz would be if you come at a certain hour let's say it's five o'clock in the evening you would see couples, parents, playing with their own children for an hour and two hours and you would see the parents let's say it's seven o'clock in the evening or half-past seven you see the typical picture of the kibbutz is children on the shoulders of their fathers being taken to the children house to sleep and say goodbyeâgoodnightâto their father. In the morning the parents, if they have time, they see their children immediatelyâ[that] their children are getting up. But the taking care of the children throughout the day is being taken . . .

David Boder

But it's also through itâthrough the night?

Judah Golen

I beg your pardon?

David Boder

It's also through the night -

Judah Golen

Through the . . .

David Boder

. . . they sleep out in the children house?

Judah Golen

Who?

David Boder

The children.

Judah Golen

The children have their own houses where they have their meals and where they sleep and where they have their playground near these little buildings. But the parents, whenever they are free, are allowed to take the children out to their own rooms and see to it that the tie between the parent and the son is kept not less than it's kept in town. I would say as I've said before that these family ties, the connection between the parent and the child in the kibbutz is stronger because the father has time and has the possibility to give his time to the.. to his son. While in town, if the worker as I've said before has to do all day the work he has no time. I don't speak of the ideal . . . more ideal work of America where conditions of work is more . . . is more improved and more settled than in other countries. But in Poland a Jewish worker, if he has work, has to go early morning and come late in the evening he is not able to speak to his son while in the kibbutz the work is so divided that a member has time for everything. And the . . . as I've said, he has time to see his children in the evenings, in the mornings, and if he doesn't go to work on that day or if it's a holiday or the Sabbath, he is spending all his time with his child. All his time . . .

David Boder

Well . . . another question: What age then do the children live in children's houses? Now let us startâthe child is born to the mother say in the hospital . . . ? All right.

Judah Golen

From what . . . ?

David Boder

From what time does such a child come into the children's house?

David Boder

Now another question: suppose a family wants to quit the kibbutz.

Judah Golen

Well, the . . . joining a kibbutz is voluntarily. A member, a person, who wants to join a kibbutz . . . I'll start with joining and then I'll start with quitting . . .

David Boder

All right. Sure.

Judah Golen

A member, a person who wants to join the kibbutz approaches the committee of the kibbutz which is the body running the kibbutz. If the committee considers him suitable they take him on trial for about a year. Throughout the year, whether it's one single man or a couple, they do the work as any other member of the kibbutz and they eat in the dining hallâthere's no difference at all between this member who's on trial and any other members who's already members. At the end of the year . . .

David Boder

A trial member, of course, cannot vote on business . . .

Judah Golen

Oh no. No, that's right. He cannot vote. But I mean as to question of life, as to question of facilities, as to question of work, as to question of accommodation, he is equal in every respect to the members of the kibbutz. If at the end of the year, he proves to be satisfying and he himself feels he can be attached to this kibbutz he is being takenâconsidered a memberâafter the confirmation of the general meeting of all the members of the kibbutz. Usually, a memberâa person who succeeds in remaining in the kibbutz a whole year and still insists on remaining there is a person who is suitable otherwise they would have certainly have leaved there before either by hisâout of his own initiative or by the initiative of the others. There is no such thingânowâas far as I could say as "quitting the kibbutz" I mean a person is freeâafter he is a member is free to leave the kibbutz the way he joined it. When he leaves the kibbutz certainly he is given some financial assistance . . .

David Boder

Oh he doesn't have to buy himself out from the kibbutz?

Judah Golen

Oh no, no. [both laughing]

Judah Golen

He is given some assistance and he . . . if he likes to go to town either his wife likes the life in town or if he himself is . . . has this kind of a feeling towards other places he can go to another kibbutz. Anyhow, the quitting of the kibbutz is entirely freeâout of his, their own . . . is entirely free . . . on the part of the member.

David Boder

Yes. Now let's take for instance a hypothetical case . . . A youngster who didn't know that he has relatives in America has joined the kibbutz, has been working there, has been performing his duties and so on. Then he finds out he gets an inheritance from Americaâsay it doesn't have to be a millionaire uncle . . . a little insurance . . .

Judah Golen

There have been cases of . . . .

David Boder

. . . .and so on and he has the possibility of buying, say, some land or getting some land and going to work for himself. Can he do that?

Judah Golen

Certainly. He is free to do anything he wants. If a member of the kibbutz and I would say many membersâmany people who are now in Tel Aviv, and in Jerusalem, many of them started as members of the kibbutzim. Then they decided to run a rather more individual life and went over to town and they got work there, they got a family, they made a . . . and they are running their life in town without any difficulty at all. A member of the kibbutz who is lucky enough to get an inheritance of hundreds or thousands of dollars can without any difficulty, leave the kibbutz and go to town or go to an other farm or buy land for himself and run his own kibbutzâhis own farm. There's no difficulty in that.

David Boder

Here is this question now, another point: "Who does the land . . . from whoâwhom does the kibbutz get the land and to whom does it belong?"

Judah Golen

Now the kibbutz or the kibbutzim are groups of young men trained already out of Palestineâin Europe wherever they happened to live before they go over to Palestine. The land is being given to them by the Jewish nation in Palestine. When I say the "Jewish nation" I mean there is an institution called the Jewish National Fund for Palestine. The main object of this fund is to collect money from Jews all over the world with . . . for the purpose of buying, acquiring, land in Palestine. This land is being given to the kibbutzim or to groups of young men who settle on the land. But land is also given not only to kibbutzim. Land can be given to [plat?] individuals as well. We have another form of . . .

David Boder

Is that given in permanent possession?

Judah Golen

No.

David Boder

Can it be inherited?

Judah Golen

It's on lease for a hundred years but it is going over to inheritance. It remains the property of the Jewish nation but no person would be displaced as long as you work the landâas long as he proves that he does his duty as a farmer and as a Jew in Palestine.

David Boder

Can he sell it or transfer it?

Judah Golen

He cannot sell it but he can transfer it with the consent of the directorship of the Fund to another person. A person who has started land and who seems to be unable physically or for any other reason he has to leave the land, can have his land transferred to another [person?]. But . . . as he has not paid for it he cannot get anything for it. He may get some payment just to assist him in settling his life in some other way either in town or in some farm, in a profession or so on but the land is not his property. It is the property of the Jewish nationâof those who have contributed towards buying this land.

David Boder

Now, how is the kibbutz run? You wanted to talk about this . . .

Judah Golen

There are various . . .

David Boder

. . . so I ask the question.

Judah Golen

Yes. That's right. There are various forms of kibbutzim. But the usual form is . . . there is . . . a committee elected once a year by the general meeting of the members. This general meetingâthe general meeting of the members is the deciding factor in the kibbutz. This is, I would say, the top of democracy expressed in these kibbutzim. The general meeting elects once a year a committee of some nine to ten members according to the size of the kibbutz according to the number of the kibbutz and each member has a job to do, each member . . . is doing a certain part of the work of the kibbutzâI mean is rather in charge of a certain part of the kibbutz. There is one member who is in charge of the cultural work of the kibbutz[what the occasions were?], there is one other member who would be in charge of the distribution of work in the farm. There is one who would be in charge of connections with outside, there is one who be in charge of the business side of the kibbutz. Because a kibbutz is not just a farmâthe kibbutz will sometimes consist of over a thousand men is more a kind of a little colony. A thousand men is . . .

David Boder

You mean a thousand souls . . .

Judah Golen

Thousand . . .

David Boder

A thousand souls . . .

Judah Golen

Yes. A thousand soul that's right. Thank you. And this committeeâevery member of the committee runs his own field of activityâthe committee meets three or four times a week and decides things. The general meeting of the kibbutz meets once in a week as well. When there are . . . usually when there are . . .

David Boder

You mean a town meeting? The whole adult population?

Judah Golen

The whole . . . yes. The members . . . men and women who are considered to be members of the kibbutz. The children up to a certain age cannot becomeâare not members, but when they become seventeen years old they almost automatically are joined to the kibbutz and become members of the kibbutz with the right to vote and express opinions and so on. Now . . . "how is it run?" As I said these members, each member of them hasâis in charge of a certain field of activity and the fields are quite numerous so that the . . . and the coordination between the members is being expressed in the various meetings these members have almost three or four times a week.

David Boder

Now, here is one . . . the next thing. Suppose . . . "How high is the education that a child in the kibbutz can get or the childâthe son of a kibbutz memberâcan get?" " . . . "or a girl?"

Judah Golen

You can have . . . if the kibbutz consists of more than two or three hundred menâsoulsâand they have a number of children they have there an elementary school. First they have a kindergarten taken care of by the various nurses and kindergarten . . . teachers if you can call them this wayâtrainers. Then you have elementary schools practically in every kibbutz divided into classes as in any other school system. Then you have the secondary school would be more a combined school from the whole neighborhood of kibbutzim. You can take five, six kibbutzim in one neighborhood and they establish a secondary schoolâa kind of "gymnasium" -in one of the settlements where all the children or the boys of the various kibbutzim have their study. When the children come to the age of sixteenâseventeen, as I said, they can become members of the kibbutz but if some of these boys show special talents in some field of science or literature they are given the possibility to go and study . . . take further studies in townâin universities. Either it's Hebrew university or even to go abroad. We have had . . .

David Boder

Does the kibbutz pays for that?

Judah Golen

Certainlyâkibbutz pays for everything. The kibbutz is in charge of the person from the moment he is born to the moment he wants to quit the kibbutz and anything he is in need of he gets from the kibbutz.

David Boder

Now let's reverse the situation, suppose I have a nieceâa member of the kibbutzâand I send her, say, a gift for Rosh Hashanah or when, of a hundred dollars . . .

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

. . . assume that.

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

Can she keep the hundred dollars?

Judah Golen

She can keep the hundred dollars, certainly, but she can do nothing with it in the kibbutz because there is no money in the kibbutz, there are no shops in the kibbutz.

David Boder

Well, can she go to Haifa and buy herself a new hat?

Judah Golen

She can go to Haifa and buy herself a new hat and a new dress if the money is enough for that. And . . . I mean there is private property in the kibbutz. If you come . . . if you go into a room of a family in the kibbutz every member tries to decorate his own room according to his own taste and if he has the ability to buy things a make his room richer, look richer, then he can do it and it's his own property. When he leaves the kibbutz he can take it with him. But in general, people do not have money in the kibbutz because they have no need of money. They get everything they need from the kibbutz itself.

David Boder

Well, who decides whether they need it or not?

Judah Golen

Well, for that there is a committee as I said and there is a general meeting. If, let us say, a general meeting decides to . . . buy some kind of . . . .clothes, new clothes, for the kibbutzâfor the membersâthe majority, usually the great majority decides in such a thing, then the members get it. If they decide to buy a library or get new books . . . they get the new books. If they decide to buy a kind of . . . I would say a . . . cinema or whatever they have it for . . . entertainment they can buy and they have it.

Judah Golen

And in the kibbutz, one can run life as one runs life in the town.

David Boder

Yeah. Now suppose let's go that . . . I'm talking from an American standpoint. Suppose I come to Palestine and I bring my automobile to be able to visit the country and I later leave it as a gift to a member of the kibbutz. Can he keep the car?

Judah Golen

The man can keep the car for himself. And if you . . . as long as he has time he can use it. Certainly.

David Boder

And money for gas?

Judah Golen

Of his own, certainly. Unless the kibbutz decides that the . . . machine or the . . . car serves for the kibbutz purpose then they give their own petrol . . . their own traveling expenses. But the property can remain the property of the member.

David Boder

It wouldn't be expropriated for the kibbutz?

Judah Golen

Not at all. No. No, not at all. There's no such thing as expropriation if a member has . . . But, usually, members do not look for such things as I said.

David Boder

Yes. I understand it. I simply want for our American friends to have these things clear.

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

That if and when a member of the kibbutz has somehow an automobile that has been honestly acquired and has the money to run it he will be able to run it.

Judah Golen

No doubt about that. A member can have a camera which is valued more than even a car sometimesâit's his own property. And nobody will ask him how he got it or "why doesn't he give it to the use of the kibbutz?" Usually a member who has something which can serve for the purpose of the whole communityâpublic opinion would make him so that he should really give it. I mean he would himself gladly give it to the kibbutzâI mean if there is a photographer who has a camera . . . would certainly be glad to take pictures for the whole members of the members of the kibbutz at the expense of the kibbutz.

David Boder

Now let us have this further.

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

You see I am a kind of a teacher and I see before me my hundred twentyâhundred fifty students . . .

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

. . . and I feel a lot of heckling and a lot of questioning. Let's take this: Suppose a member of the kibbutz has a watch to repair and an other member of the kibbutz has learned in the art of somewhere watch-making, repairs it for him. Can one pay to the other privately for it?

Judah Golen

No. There's no such thing as money as I said and members do not have money. But, if a member has a watch and he has to repair it, the kibbutz will pay for repairing that watch either in town or in the kibbutz. That means if a man knows the work of watch-repairing or watch-making in the kibbutz, he will not be paid, it will be his profession and he gets for the work he does his food and his clothing and his health service and he's being taken care of by the various people aroundâhe should have been taken care ofâfor that he gives his work, whatever he can do whether its watch-making or whether its another way. He will not pay his friend. "A:" his friend will not ask for money, "B:" the kibbutz is responsible to the watch to run smoothly and they will pay for the repairing expenses.

David Boder

A-ha. Now let me tell you, the executives of the kibbutz, do they get paid?

Judah Golen

No. There is no such thing as "paid" at all in the kibbutz. The kibbutz as a whole is paid with the outside marketâif they sell their goods or their food, they get money. For this money the committee buys things for the members of the kibbutz. And they get it directly without having money pass through the hands of each individual. There is no need for money because you can do nothing for money. If he goes to town, he is being given an amount sufficient to . . . have him . . . to make him able to spend a fortnight or three weeks in town. Usually members of the kibbutz have their leave once a year for a fortnight or three weeks . . .

David Boder

Uh-huh.

Judah Golen

At that time they are given . . . being given money, they are given money to spend in town if they want to spend their time in town and for traveling expenses and so on. But generally, people of the kibbutz as I said do not have money because they don't need any money; they have all their necessities supplied by the kibbutz.

David Boder

Now let's have this point more: the products of the . . . excuse me . . . the products of the kibbutz are being sold on the open market, the proceeds are coming into the management of the kibbutz, and they then with the kibbutzâthis management of the kibbutzâdecide how these products should be distributed.

Judah Golen

That's right.

David Boder

Well, is there any special reward for the more efficient worker against the less efficient worker?

Judah Golen

No. No such thing as a "special reward." More efficient workers are glad to give their efficiency to the whole community.

David Boder

Well, what do you do against loafingâagainst the tendency to be a parasite . . . not to work?

Judah Golen

There is no such thing as "parasite" because, as I said there is no law and order but there is a public opinion in the kibbutz which would not let a member sit in doing nothing. The moment he spends a day . . . he wastes a day . . . nobody will tell him a word, nobody will say anything. Certainly if he says "I don't want to go out to work"âpublic opinion would be so . . . I would say . . . depressing upon him, pressing upon him, that he will not be able to stay in the kibbutz more . . . to stay in the kibbutz more than a day or two and leave it if he wants to be a parasite. But as I said members who prove their attachment to the kibbutz after a year of trial would remain in such a kibbutz if not, they would leave of their own will.

David Boder

So there wouldn't be, you see I am talking for instance like a personnel-man. I know that for instance when civil-service employees are allowed thirty days leave and thirty days for sickness they manage to be sick those thirty days in the year. [laughing]

Judah Golen

Oh, well, no such thing would be in the kibbutz as I said, public opinion and collective spirits of the people . . . because if a man doesn't want to work his place is to go perhaps to in townâto town. Public opinion would not allow a memberâand as I said only public opinionâthere's no such thing as rule, there's no such thing as thing as punishment, no such thing as fine and there's no such thing as requesting openly from a member to do his job. Public opinion is the ruling power and I would say, the moving spirit of the whole running of the kibbutz. And a member would not be able to see around him working men while he does nothing. He will have to do a job. If he is sick then it is the duty of the kibbutz to take care of him, even if he is sick for more than a month or two months. I know members who stayed in a kibbutz two years and they unfortunately became ill, they got TB as a . . . from some . . . result or another and they are being taken care of for years without doing any work. The kibbutz pays thousands of pounds a month for members to be cured in some resort or some other place; in Palestine or outside. I know even of members who have been sent to Switzerland to be cured at the expense of the kibbutz. Members who stayed in the kibbutz only two or three months but who proved their desire to work in the kibbutz and the kibbutz feels it's a duty to take care of its members.

David Boder

All right. Now let's come again to this searching questioning when you have a population of say three hundred or four hundred . . . sure enough you are right it is a selected population but then there are young people growing. How do you handle your problems of possible delinquency?

Judah Golen

What do you mean by "possible delinquency?"

David Boder

Well, somebody steals, somebody kills, somebody . . . commits a crime which of course in a certain percentage during years or so on in any human community?

Judah Golen

Well, the collective system or collective settlement system has been existing in Palestine since 19 . . . I would say 1908. It's overâit's about forty years. I don't know of any case of stealing in a settlement. I don't know there is no such thing in a settlement because a member who wants to steal would better go to town and try his . . . .

David Boder

To the city you mean?

Judah Golen

To the city and try his . . .

David Boder

Because "going to town" in America would mean something else. [laughing]

Judah Golen

I see. [laughing] . . . go to the city. The fact that there is no such thing as murdering or there is no police in the kibbutz and there is no such thing as stealing or committing any other crime. There is no such thingâI cannot give an answer to a question which is not existent.

David Boder

All right.

Judah Golen

If a member would steal he would not be in the kibbutz as I said. He would not be in the kibbutz the same way as if a member would steal "strength"âwould not workâit's also a way of stealing. If he still has energy and sits in the dining hall and eats and drinks and sleeps and doesn't work he wouldn't be able to exist there at all. Nobody would tell him a word and he wouldn't be able to exist.

David Boder

Now here is one point. Let's take more abstract and I don't know how ready you are to answer these questions.

Judah Golen

I'll do my best.

David Boder

Well, I say. Now, for instance, there are various political groups. Say, terroristic groups that at least the English tell us.

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

Now if such people served in the kibbutz . . .

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

How is that dealt with?

Judah Golen

If there are terrorists in the kibbutz?

David Boder

No I mean if such a person say a kibbutz has a member whose views are with the terrorists. There are various shades . . .

Judah Golen

Now . . .

David Boder

There are [?], there are these and that and that . . .

Judah Golen

The kibbutzim . . .

David Boder

To what extent is there a freedom of opinion or action within the kibbutz . . . political action within the kibbutz.

Judah Golen

The kibbutzim usually consists of persons of the same political views. Most of the kibbutzim, I would say all of the kibbutzim are Labor people and belong to the Labor party. They have . . .

David Boder

Is that the . . . Histadrut?

Judah Golen

Histadrut. That's exactlyâthey belong to Labor partyâto the Labor organization I would say, the Histadrut. And they have their various parties there are mainly two or three parties in Palestine like the Palestine Labor Party, and then you have the . . . Akhdut HaAvoda and then you have also the Hashomer Hatzair. All these three parties areâhave their own kibbutzim. I mean you can have kibbutz members belonging to two different parties. Anyhow, these different parties are disciplined . . .

David Boder

They are?

Judah Golen

Disciplined?

David Boder

Yeah.

Judah Golen

And no member would do anything against the authority and against the . . . wish of the head of these partiesâheads of these parties. When you say "a terrorists who is in a kibbutz" there is no such thing as terrorists in a kibbutz. There is a defense organization which is all over Palestine. Practically every Jew belongs to this organization. Which has been established . . . which was established many, many years ago. The first who established it was Joseph Trumpeldor who was killed in the north of Palestine by Arabs at the time. He came up with the idea that Jews cannot and should not rely on others especially when such others are not existent or when such others are not wishing to help. They should rely on themselves. And the Hebrew proverb: "Im ein ani li, mi li?" served as a . . . which means "if I am not for myself there will be nobody for myself," this served as a directing . . . what would I say . . . as a . . . slogan . . .

David Boder

Slogan.

Judah Golen

. . . slogan to the many members of the defense organization. Now practically every young boyâJew, men or women, is attached to this defense organization.

David Boder

All rightâdo you have arms? Do they have arms?

Judah Golen

If they have arms? I can't tell you whether they have arms but what I understood that Jews out of experience throughout the last thirty years of the . . . in Palestine, came to the conclusion that they cannot rely on other elements but themselves and it seems they must have collected arms to defend themselvesâand only to defend themselves.

David Boder

Here is a questionârather a maybe leading question. A few weeks ago in a British paper I saw a quarter-of-a-page ad to trying to recruit soldiers for the service in Palestine. It had a headline: "It is a man's job."

Judah Golen

Yes.

David Boder

Why couldn't the British recruit these soldiers from the Jewish population?

Judah Golen

Well it seems that the politics are not always as they say . . . everywhere and are not always to be understood so swiftly and directly. If the British have some interest in Palestine they wouldâin order to carry out such interest, in order to come to the object of what they have they would recruit people who they think would serve their own purpose better. You ask "why don't they recruit Jewsâthe Jewish people in Palestineâfor that purpose?" The question is what is the purpose? At wartime when there was the war they tried to recruit as many Jews as they were able toâto put them to the front. And many, many Jewsâover thirty-five thousand Jews joined the British Army and fought in all fieldsâin Europe, in North Africa, Syria and other places. Now, if the British authorities try to recruit menâit means to, they think, to keep order in the Middle East and they would certainly like to have British people more than Jewish people from Palestine.

David Boder

Anything else you want to tell us?

Judah Golen

Well, I would not . . . I would like to make this question of defense a bit clearer.

David Boder

Yeah, go ahead.

Judah Golen

The . . . when I say the 'defense organization,' in Hebrew we call it Haganah,

David Boder

Yeah.

Judah Golen

It doesn't mean that there is a special organization who does an independent work against anybody. The idea is more rooted within the Jewish existence in Palestine. We had some experienceâsome bitter experience in 1920 . . . 1921, '29, '36, and '39 where many Jews were killed as a result of some antagonism between the Jews and the other . . .

David Boder

Other?

Judah Golen

. . . others . . . in the population, other peoples in Palestineâsuch as the Arabs. At the time we relied in some way or another on the British authorities but whether it is willingly or unwillingly these British authorities were sometimes lagging behind in preventing [fronts?] against the Jews and the Jews had to take . . . yes?

David Boder

This concludes spool 161 we are going to spool 162.

David Boder

Wiesbaden, Germany September the 26th, I am over-staying here one day. I am continuing the interview with Mr. Golen a lawyer, third-generation Palestinian and maybe it is my ignorance that I am asking him some elementary questions but I know that at least in my circles there are a lot of people who would want to know the same things and therefore we are continuing. We . . . I want to . . . we have had discussing that question of self-defense and armed forces in Palestine. What would you have to add to it about the Haganah?

Judah Golen

The word haganah itself means defenseâself defense. The Jews in Palestine, as I've said beforeâafter having experienced so many atrocities all over the world, all over history, have decided to be in some respect the masters of their own life and in this respect they have organized without even any . . . instigation on the part of any leadership but within themselves they have organized themselves into a defense force. This defense force is comprised of practically every Jew who is able to give a hand in the defense machinery. Their object is certainly not aggressiveâit has never been aggressiveâthey have proved their . . . the right of their existence in the various riots which took place since they have tried to come back to Palestine. They never meant to take anything away from others by forceâwhether it's land, whether it's property, whether it's any other right or ownership. What the thing is . . . the idea is to keep whatever they have got for themselves and not to allow others to take it away which we have seen in so manyâso many times to have been carried out. The haganah has been appearing in the various [press?] and has been heard all over the world as a result of the last act being carried out in Palestine. One should distinguish the haganah from any other terrorist or from any terrorist organization. The haganah it would not be justified it would be entirely incorrect to call the haganah a 'terrorist organization.' It's true, there are some . . . there are two organizations who would be . . . would consider themselves . . . terrorists in the sense of attacking British property or rather Palestinian government property. These are young men who experienced hardships out of Palestine, who psychologically were badly influenced as a result of what had gone over . . . what has passed from themselves and from their parents. Young men who lost their families and who hoped to be able to establish themselves in Palestine after experience . . . experiencing so many disappointments as a result of political difficulties they have gone over to accuse the British in that and from the point of accusing they have also tried to carry out certain terrorist acts as I said, destroying property of the British. They are not in the sense ofâthere are differences even between themselvesâbut they are not under any Jewish organization or Jewish authority. And the Jewish institutions openly and sincerely oppose to such and undisciplined, and I would say unwise, acts being carried out by these young men.

David Boder

Nu.

Judah Golen

Yeah?

David Boder

I have another question here. WeâI think you are expected to make a talk to the community here?

Judah Golen

Well . . .

David Boder

Yeah, we have to go . . .

Judah Golen

Yes. I think in the evening . . .

David Boder

Oh, you will do that in the evening? That's different. Oh, then we have time. Now here is this . . . Mr. Golenâare you Dr. Golen?

Judah Golen

I'm Mr. Golen because the Palestinian and English degree do not give a "Dr."

David Boder

. . . in Law.

Judah Golen

In Law.

David Boder

All right now here is this one more question. You think there is a possibility of peaceful . . . living and understanding between the Jews and the Arabs even if the immigration should be raised, say, by about two-hundred thousand souls [?] in the next few years?

Judah Golen

I as a Jew consider that there is ample opportunity and possibility of having peace in Palestineâonly and . . . only if the Jews are given the right to come to Palestine. I would say the Arab nation as a whole is not so much afraid of the Jews who want to come to Palestine as it's being tried to be . . . as people try to show it. It's true that there are a number of Arab leaders who consider it their duty to arise within the Arab population such fears but from experience till now we know that the more the Jewsâthe more Jews arrive in Palestine the better off were the Arabs in Palestine, economicallyâand not only economicallyâsocially, politically, and many other respects. One thing should be clear, clearly told. Palestine is not and cannot be a country for one nation only. Palestine was the cradle of three religions, Palestine is the land of many nations, and Palestine originated . . . [?] origin the Jewish people and various other nations. It cannot be the land of one nation. This has also been establish by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. In this sense what the Arabs say that "no Jew has any right to this country called Palestine" is, I would say, a mistake and a historical mistake. The Jews say that they cannotâthey will never displace any Arabs from their country but to that I would like to add that every Jew has a right to this country as long as no Arab is being displaced and the intention of the Jews is to come to Palestine and develop the country in such a way that would let both people live peacefully . . . each at the side of the other.

David Boder

By "developing" you mean they will reclaim a narrow fruitless land [themselves?]?

Judah Golen

They have . . . certainly. Palestine is a neglected country. It has been neglected for the last few hundred years. History shows us that Palestine used to be a most . . . one of the most fruitful countries in the Middle East. It had millions of population about two thousand years ago. And with energy, finance, work, and strong rule Palestine can return to its original situation. The Jews who have come to Palestine during the last fifty years have mainly developed neglected land. Such land as can be found. The Jews own now only six percent of the land of the country. So you have another 96 . . . 94%. Out of that you have some land belonging to the Arabs, developed by them, more extensively than the Jewish development but in addition to that you have large tracts of land entirely neglected. You have almost half the size of Palestine which is called the Negevâthe southern part which is now a desert. The Jews claim it and they hope to be able to reclaim it. That means to develop the land, to plant there, they have already a few stations thereâkind of an experimenting station . . . where they try to find water by all meansâscientific meansâin their hands. And they have proved already a success. In the middle of the desert down south of Palestine near the Sinai, near the [?] you have Jewish settlements where no person thought of any possibility to plant trees there and to sew crops there. Now they are gathering the fruit very happily. We have remnants of old towns in the times of the Crusades there, which shows that this desert was once inhabited. What we want is to inhabit those neglected settlements again without affecting in any way the people who are already in Palestine.

David Boder

Well, Mr. Golen that was the most stimulating interview. I [really have?] taken time out simply because I couldn't get any DPs this morning and between going and looking at Wiesbaden or enjoying the sights [around?] Wiesbaden I preferred to spend the morning with you and I appreciate you giving me your time. [Golen says something off-mic]

David Boder

Yes, all right, let's have that. There was still one more pointâit's like a rolling snowballâone question brings up the other one again and again. We are coming now to the religious question in Palestine and I'm going to take advantage of it. Here it is. Take the microphone and take your time.

Judah Golen

Well, I thought that this questionâthe question of religionâwould interest you and I would like to touch on it very shortly, I would say. "A:" you have, many people have asked, "how is religion being . . . what shall I sayâhow is that existing in, first of all, in the certain settlements?" People thought that the settlements are irreligious or anti-religious or whatever they called them . . .

David Boder

. . . fanatical?

Judah Golen

Or fanatical religious, [no?]. Well I know that religion, as any other view or way of thought, is liberally practiced in Palestine. Is liberally practiced also in these very settlements. "A:" . . .

David Boder

By liberally you mean "religious tolerance" or "a great deal of religion?"

Judah Golen

Well, I mean religious tolerance and a great deal of religion in certain settlements. You have settlements where all the group is religious that means Jews who belong to the party of the Mizrachi and who also adopted the idea of collectivismâof having a settlement and running their lives in the same way and form as the other settlements.

David Boder

Who are the Mizrachi? I hear that name so often, I . . .

Judah Golen

Mizrachi is . . .

David Boder

Pardon my ignorance.

Judah Golen

Mizrachi is one of the political parties of the Zionist organizationâof the Jewish Agency, if you want to say. It's rather the Zionist organizationâthere are Jews all over the worldâreligious Jews who could consider that they have to combine work and religion in the . . . with the view of "up-building" the countryâof Palestine. And these younger boys of the Mizrachi have established settlementsâreligious settlementsâthat means where they can practice their religion and they can carry on with their work without any body interrupting them. When I say without any body interrupting them it doesn't mean in other settlements religion is being interrupted. On the contraryâin every settlement, practically every settlement, you have a shulâa synagogueâwhere all the parents go to pray and where the younger people whoever want, can go and pray. Religion is being taught in schoolsâin the settlementsâBible and other Jewish, religious . . . learning. But it is free, nobody would force you to be religious but nobody would be sad you [can't be?] religious.

David Boder

Well would they allow you to smoke on Saturday?

Judah Golen

They would not allow you to smoke openly. It will . . . in the settlement you ask?

David Boder

Yes.

Judah Golen

The same as you would do in any place of Palestine or any other place in the world. Any person who is not religious is allowed to do whatever he likes but on one conditionânot to rouseânot to rise any bad feelings on another person. That means not to cause a religious person any suffering. No [?], what you callâno "open smoking" should be practiced where there are religious Jews. And in the religious settlements, certainly, there is no question of smoking on Saturday because they keep Sabbath fully and to the last point. But even in town Jews . . . I can't say that the Jews wouldn't smoke on Shabbatâthey will smoke on Shabbat but they would see to it that none smoke it or rather that religious Jews should not see it.

David Boder

Well, wouldn't you consider that it's about time to start a movement of tolerance and teach those Jews to respect the religious views of other Jews?

Judah Golen

No doubt about that. I think that Palestine in this respect has shown a great deal of tolerance. On the one part the religious Jews understand that they cannot make every Jew religious by force, they are trying to preachâto induce opportunity to be more religious, but they don't use force. There is a small force of younger, fanatic religious Jews who try to interrupt the traffic on the eve of Shabbat but they are really a very negligible part of the whole and really can't be taken into consideration. In general, as far as I can say from my own experience, tolerance is one of the main . . . I would say . . . characteristics of Palestine. I don't want to . . .

David Boder

I understand. I don't want to be . . . attack this, but we want to know these things. I . . . Do you have liberal synagogues in Palestine?

Judah Golen

We have no synagogues [?] because liberal synagogues are mainly in the United States and not many liberal Jews went over from the States to Palestine to establish a liberal synagogue. I know of one personâRabbi Wilhelm who is a liberal Jew and he conducts a certain liberal synagogue in Jerusalem but I cannot say that the people are many people . . . the members of this liberal shul because they originate mainlyâthe Jews mainlyâfrom Poland, Russia and other countries where no liberal Jews are in existence . . .

David Boder

Well you see, I didn't ask whether they should belong or not but is such a synagogue tolerated?

Judah Golen

As I say there is one [?] . . . Rabbi Wilhelm is liberal and if many Jews are liberal . . .

David Boder

Liberal against orthodox Jews.

Judah Golen

Yes, I understand . . . many Jews from America would come over to Palestine and establish a liberal shul I am more than certain that nobody would sayâwould tell them "don't do that"âthe same way as they don't do it in America.

David Boder

Now will you please tell me a few words about those [?] I met in France. [?] Russians, who have joined the Jewish faith not for the sake of marriage but out of religious conviction. Are there many in Palestine and how are they being treated?

Judah Golen

I'm sorry I really I cannot tell you very much on that subject. I know of a number of Russian Christians who came toâmigrated to Palestine after having been converted into Jewishâinto Jewish religion in Russia. As you said out of their own conviction, nobody forced them, nobody asked them, because for a Christian to become a Jew it's much more difficult than vice versa.

David Boder

In what way?

Judah Golen

In the way that . . . the Jew would not encourage a Christian to become a Jewâthey would say as long as you are in your own creed, keep your own creed. But if this Christian would insist and would prove himself, very convinced that the Jewish religion is hisâshould be his religionâthe Rabbi would help him to become a Jew. But there would never be a movement encouraging or trying . . .

David Boder

. . . persuade.

Judah Golen

. . . trying to persuade Christians to become Jews. These Russians have been converted into Judaism out of their own will. I cannot speak much about it because they are not very well known in Palestineâthey are very fewâI know of very few in the settlements even and they are members as any other memberâthey speak Hebrew and you cannot distinguish between them and the other Jewish in the settlement. I am . . . for me it's rather new to seeâto hearâit that you met such [?] in France.

David Boder

Ya. They were one time they told me in HÃnonville hundred and fifty of them.

Judah Golen

How many?

David Boder

About hundred and fifty.

Judah Golen

In France?

David Boder

Yeah. I mean in one settlement.

Judah Golen

I see. It's interesting to know. I know of one thing I met, near Munich, in Funkenkaserne it's a kind of a transit camp . . .

David Boder

Yes.

Judah Golen

. . . transit camp, some Russian women. They are not Jews but they met Jews in the Russian Army and they got married and became Jews and its interesting that these Jews in the Russian army still kept their faith and connection with Jews and now when they have the possibility to leave Russia and come over to Germany with the object of going to Palestine they took with them their wives who are Russian Christians but who have attached themselves to their husbands and they would like to share their faith in Palestine as well. These are very few . . .

David Boder

Well, this finally concludes the interview of two-and-a-half spools with Mr. Judah Golen. Pardon . . . in Wiesbaden, September the 26th, 1946. We are concluding this at seventeen minute indicator of the spool. We have spent with Mr. Golen a good two hours; we have taken ninety-five maybe hundred minutes of recording. I appreciate his patience; I have learned a great deal. Illinois Institute of Technology wire-recording.