3:42 PM EDT

Lynn Woolsey, D-CA 6th

Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 226) to recognize John Pehle for his contributions to the Nation in helping rescue Jews and other minorities from the Holocaust during World War II, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

The text of the resolution is as follows:

H. Res. 226

Whereas some 6,000,000 Jews were slaughtered pursuant to Adolf Hitler's diabolical plan for the total extermination of the Jews during the Third Reich, and even more would have perished had it not been for the efforts of a number of United States Government officials who spoke out forcefully against American policy and persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the need for extraordinary measures to save Jewish lives;

``Whereas on November 9, 1943--the 5th anniversary of Kristallnacht, when pogroms against Jews and the burning of synagogues and Jewish businesses and homes were carried out throughout Nazi Germany--identical Congressional resolutions were introduced in both houses of Congress calling for the creation of a United States Government commission ``to formulate and effectuate a plan of immediate action designed to save the surviving Jewish people of Europe from extinction at the hands of Nazi Germany'';

``Whereas the Senate version was introduced by Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa with the support of Elbert Thomas of Utah and Edwin Johnson of Colorado and was unanimously approved in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on December 20, 1943, and scheduled for a full Senate vote in early 1944;

Whereas the House version was introduced by Representative Will Rogers, Jr., of California and extensive hearings on the resolution were held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee;

``Whereas United States Government agencies were receiving extensive credible information about the extent of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and other minorities in Europe, nevertheless, the policy of the United States as developed and implemented in the Department of State opposed American government action to save the lives of Jewish and other minorities who were being systematically exterminated by the Nazi German government;

``Whereas in 1943 and early 1944, an extraordinary group of officials at the United States Department of Treasury sought to change those policies and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau directed the preparation of a memorandum to the President of the United States urging more direct and forceful American action to aid Jewish victims of the Nazi atrocities, and this document, prepared by Josiah DuBois, Jr., Assistant General Counsel of the Treasury Department, and John Pehle, a 33-year-old

attorney in the Foreign Funds Control unit of the Treasury Department, was presented to President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Secretary Morgenthau, Randolph Paul and Pehle on January 16, 1944;

Whereas President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9417 on January 22, 1944, affirming that ``it is the policy of this Government to [Page: H6201]

take all measures within its power to rescue the victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death and otherwise afford such victims all possible relief and assistance consistent with the successful prosecution of the war'' and creating the War Refugee Board, composed of the Secretaries of State, Treasury

and War, to carry out this policy;

Whereas John Pehle was appointed the Acting Executive Director and subsequently Executive Director of the Board and Josiah DuBois, Jr. was appointed General Counsel of the Board;

Whereas on January 25, 1944, the Board issued a critically important diplomatic cable to all United States diplomatic missions abroad ordering that ``action be taken to forestall the plot of the Nazis to exterminate the Jews and other persecuted minorities in Europe'' and developed new programs to increase the flow of Jewish and other refugees from Nazi persecution to neutral countries in Europe, including Turkey, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, and Sweden, from where they were assisted to go to

North America, Palestine and North and South America;

Whereas the Board assisted the International Red Cross to provide food parcels to ``stateless'' civilians in internment camps, to support and protect some 3,000,000 Allied and Axis prisoners of war, and to streamline Federal licensing procedures for the transmission of funds to pay for Red Cross relief supplies and rescue operations, thus saving the lives of thousands of Jews and other internees;

Whereas in April 1944, John Pehle, on behalf of the War Refugee Board, urged all neutral nations to increase their diplomatic representation in Hungary to help prevent the accelerating deportation of Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau and other Nazi extermination camps and to begin providing vital funding and other resources to assist in saving Hungarian Jews from concentration and extermination camps;

Whereas the War Refugee Board sought out Swedish citizen Raoul Wallenberg and, with the support of the Swedish government and its legation in Budapest, supported one of the most extensive and successful rescue efforts during the Holocaust; and

Whereas subsequent academic studies have credited the War Refugee Board with rescuing as many as 200,000 Jews from Nazi occupied countries through the efforts of Wallenberg and others: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) honors the efforts and contributions of those who worked for the establishment of the War Refugee Board and for a more active United States policy to rescue Jews and other victims of Nazi repression who were in imminent danger of death and to provide these persecuted minorities with relief and assistance during World War II; and

(2) commends in particular the actions of Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Josiah DuBois, Jr., and John Pehle for their dedication and devotion to helping rescue Jews and other persecuted minorities in the Holocaust.

3:42 PM EDT

Eni Faleomavaega, D-AS

Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.

3:43 PM EDT

Lynn Woolsey, D-CA 6th

Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Lantos, chairman of the committee and my Bay Area neighbor, for working so closely with me to bring this resolution to the floor today. As the only Holocaust survivor in the Congress, his support of this resolution means very much to all of us, and particularly to me.

H. Res. 226 is a resolution to recognize American government officials who played a critical role in the creation and activity of the War Refugee Board in an effort to help rescue Jews and other persecuted minorities during the years of the Holocaust.

Because of their actions and because of their bravery, an unknown number of people were saved from the horrific reign of Adolf Hitler and his followers. Specifically, we are commending the actions of Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Josiah DuBois and John Pehle for their dedication and devotion to helping rescue Jews and other persecuted minorities during the Holocaust.

To many, World War II and the Holocaust may seem long, long, long ago. For others, however, this is a memory which will be imprinted in their soul forever. Six million Jews were killed under the brutal and evil reign of Adolf Hitler while many countries turned a blind eye to their ethnic cleansing and genocide.

During this dark time, some brave men and women stood up and demanded that every person, no matter their ethnic background, be treated justly and humanely. The people serving the War Refugee Board sent a historic cable to the diplomatic missions ordering that ``action be taken to forestall the plot of the Nazis to exterminate the Jews and other persecuted minorities in Europe.''

[Time: 15:45]

They developed new programs to increase the flow of Jewish and other refugees from Nazi persecution to neutral countries.

After the horror of the concentration camps and extermination campaigns were revealed, the world said ``never again.''

And yet, Mr. Speaker, we look around the world to see hauntingly similar events occurring, particularly in places like Darfur. Mr. Speaker, if we truly wish to honor the memory of the Holocaust victims, we must come together to stand up in the face of bigotry and hatred all around the world today. The action of the War Refugee Board is an amazing example of courage, human kindness, and compassion.

Today, we rise to recognize their service to this country and to humankind. We rise to remember the Jews and minorities who perished under a reign of terror. But it is with hope that we look to the future, a future of peace and human dignity where ``never again'' means never again.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

3:46 PM EDT

John Boozman, R-AR 3rd

Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, H. Res. 226 recognizes American government officials who played a critical role in the creation of the War Refugee Board in an effort to help rescue Jews and other persecuted minorities during the Holocaust.

In the early stage of World War II, there was an extensive flow of information about the extent of Jews and other minorities being systematically murdered by the Nazi regime.

A heroic group of U.S. Government officials from the Treasury Department, including Secretary of the Treasurer, Henry Morganthau, as well as Joseph DuBois and John Pehle, urged President Franklin Roosevelt to take more direct and forceful action to help the victims of the Nazi atrocities.

President Roosevelt later signed an executive order creating the War Refugee Board. Mr. John Pehle became the executive director of the board which helped to rescue Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution and prevented thousands of people from dying in extermination camps.

Furthermore, the board assisted the International Red Cross to provide food and shelter to over 3 million prisoners of war. Efforts by those who worked to establish the War Refugee Board, particularly of Secretary of Treasury Henry Morganthau, Joseph DuBois, and John Pehle, were instrumental in saving thousands of lives during the Nazi extermination policy.

H. Res. 226 recognizes and honors these government officials for their efforts, and I urge support for this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

3:48 PM EDT

Lynn Woolsey, D-CA 6th

Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment.

(Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

3:48 PM EDT

Lynn Woolsey, D-CA 6th

Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment.

(Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

3:49 PM EDT

Eni Faleomavaega, D-AS

Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey) not only as chief sponsor of this proposed legislation, but also for her leadership and her compassion and commitment in the field of human rights for fellow human beings all over the world.

I cannot help but stand here on the floor and share with my colleagues some of the thoughts that came to my mind when my colleague from California was explaining about the provisions of this important legislation. [Page: H6202]

Usually I am not a person who gets emotional watching movies, but recently I watched the movie ``Freedom Riders.'' I cannot help but recall the experience that these teenagers in Long Beach went through, and how creative this teacher was in trying to get kids who were from basically low-income areas and who had no idea or concept what it means to read. Somehow the teacher was able to get these high school students to read ``The Diary of Anne Frank.'' It got to the point where the students became

so interested in what happened when they read this book, ``The Diary of Anne Frank,'' that they invited a Holocaust survivor to speak to them in Los Angeles. She testified personally what it meant to be not only a prisoner but I would say a slave during the Nazi period and the terrible time that the Jewish people went through during that period of their history.

I thank Chairman Lantos not only for his leadership, but as a Holocaust survivor himself, I cannot think of a better person who can share with our colleagues what it means to be part of that period and the pain and suffering 6 million Jews went through during that process.

I recall a statement made by one of the great poet philosophers, Santayana, who said: ``Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'' Some say why should we worry, this happened in the past. Why worry about it. I think we have to remember so these things never happen again.

Yes, I visit the Holocaust Museum and what do I say: Never again. Never again. That racism and bigotry and hatred should never be a part of the legacy of our great Nation.

I commend my friend from California for bringing this resolution before the Members for their consideration, and I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

3:52 PM EDT

John Boozman, R-AR 3rd

Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I am remiss in not complimenting the gentlewoman from California for bringing this forward. It is very, very important that we do remember what people have done and when good people have stepped forward.

We are sitting here and you always want to do your best on the pronunciation of names, and it is sad we don't know these names better than we do. I think you bringing forward this resolution, again it just highlights the importance that we do remember what has happened in the past and we keep it from happening in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.