The end of the war brought tremendous new challenges. Within weeks of the cease-fire JLC representatives were touring Europe to judge for themselves what was most needed. JLC officers Nathan (Nahum) Chanin of the Workmen's Circle, Charles Zimmerman of the ILGWU, and Jacob Pat sent back searing accounts of the condition of Jewish survivors and the destruction of Jewish life. Chanin's voluminous correspondence with the New York office reflects his fluctuating emotions. Interspersed with exasperated accounts of bureaucratic bungling and petty squabbles, there are sudden flashes of joy: "X is alive," "Z survives, is in Germany." Chanin visited the children's homes and hospitals, where help was most needed.

In 1946 the JLC waged a massive propaganda campaign, directed both at organized labor and at Congress, to urge passage of the Stratton Bill, which would have admitted 400,000 refugees to the United States under unused immigration quotas from the 1930s and early 1940s. Both the AFL and the CIO, and many of their constituent unions, relaxed their opposition to mass immigration and pushed hard for the bill. The failure of this effort had a profound effect on the JLC's attitude toward a Jewish state in Palestine. The need for a safe haven was only too obvious.



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