THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 53
Chapter 2: Brussels
 
 
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Brussels 53

bten feet of the car when I was seized by three plainclothes- bmen who identified themselves only as “police.” I struggled bwith them and demanded to see their credentials. They bdisplayed credentials as members of the Sûreté État (State bSecurity). Shoshan and Sperling demanded to be allowed to bcome, too, and all of us were taken by car to the Sûreté bbuilding. Inside, we were separated and questioned. I re- bfused to answer any questions until I was told why I had bbeen arrested and until I saw the American consular bofficials.

bThe hours passed. There was no kosher food and, in any bevent, I refused to eat until I received a reply to my ques- btions. At about 2:30 PM the American Consul General, Miss bAlta Fowler, appeared and ruefully informed me that bunder Belgian law I could be held without charges for btwenty-four hours. It was not until 5:00 PM that I was called binto the offices of top Sûreté official A. Reuss. An articulate band genial man, he apologized for the incident and stated, b“It was not my doing. My government has been under great bpressure by the congress [conference]. They have informed bme that you are ‘undesirable.’”

bI could well understand the Belgian Government’s posi- btion even as I sat and pondered the irony of a Christian’s bapologizing to a Jew for the actions of his fellow Jews. I knew bthe tremendous pressure the Belgians had undergone at the bhands of the Soviets. Now, if the Jews themselves were bsaying that someone was “undesirable,” they would cer- btainly take the “necessary steps.” He told me that if the bconference would allow me to enter the hall, he would have bme freed. The conference, it was clear, refused, because a btelephone call from the Minister of Justice came through bhalf an hour later informing us that Shoshan would be freed band that I would be expelled.

b“I will tell you,” Reuss smiled, “that the airport is already bsurrounded by reporters.” It was little comfort to know that baside from immorality and the cardinal sin of acquiescing in bthe handing over of a Jew to non-Jews, the conference bleadership was also guilty of stupidity. Not for a million bdollars could we have acquired the kind of publicity that the b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 53
Chapter 2: Brussels