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Mr. TRIPP. Not in the Service, no.
Mr. TRIPP. Well, it was reported to me that a man named Arthur Greenleigh, who was at that time the director of the United Service for New Americans in New York, asked for a meeting with the heads of the other three big agencies—Catholics, Lutherans, Church World Service-with the view of having me removed from the program because I had been a stumbling block in the DP program. They held discussions, that were reported to me, for 1 day, and took a recess at night, without reaching a decision. The next day, Mr. Greenleigh told one of them, Mr. Elliott, that there was no need for any further discussions, they had arranged for my removal; and I was removed; that's all. Mr. EILBERG. But your position is that in holding back some of there people you were only carrying out your responsibilities?
Mr. TRIPP. Well, they had other duties they could assign me to, and they did.
Mr. EILBERG. But during the period that you were on the displaced persons job, you were only asking that we wait until these checks came through?
Mr. TRIPP. I tried to do the job as I thought it should have been done, and I was investigated several times, both by the predecessor of this committee, the Walter committee—they investigated me in Europe twice, the Senate committee did, twice, and I think there were five or six investigations by the Service; and somehow I weathered the storm, so I must have been doing something right. Mr. EILBERG. Ms. Holtzman? Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am sorry I missed some of the testimony you have given, but as I understand it, the Displaced Persons Commission did the screening to determine whether or not people engaged in atrocities or war crimes-
Mr. TRIPP. Oh, no; I didn't say that. I said they made the finding of eligibility and they based that on the file they received from the International Refugee Organization, plus the report of investigation conducted by CIC.
Now if the CIC investigative report contained-it was a mimeographed form-and it contained a statement that there was no evidence to indicate that the applicant had engaged in any movement hostile to the United States—they don't say definitely whether there is no evidence of it-and on the basis of that the DP Commission would find that there was no reason to deny under section 13 of the DP act.
However, the CIC also sent for these checks, including the Berlin Document Center, and the provost marshal's office, and the DP Commission would process the case for visa issuance and immigration examination before the reports came in from those requests for checks.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Let me just clarify a few things: The CIC report would say that these people engaged in no movment hostile to the United States?
Mr. TRIPP. Yes. The orginal section 13 was a very short section and it stated that no one should be found eligible, I believe, or no
visa should issue to any person who engaged in any movement hostile to the United States.
That was the basis for our finding that military service was a movement hostile to the United States.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What about persons who engaged in war crimes or persons who engaged in atrocities, say, concentration camp guards, what section would they be processed under?
Mr. TRIPP. They would be under the “hostile to the United States," under the amended section 13, why, it was spelled out and it was also spelled out in the Refugee Relief Act. They put the wording in “persecution for race, religion or national origin,” but in the original section 13 they didn't have that.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Do you know as a matter of fact whether or not in determining whether a person was engaged in a movement hostile to the United States, the CIC reviewed activities such as the commission of atrocities?
Mr. TRIPP. Do I know any?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. You said that the CIC made a determination with regard to whether or not a person was involved in a movement hostile to the United States?
Mr. TRIPP. Yes.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I would like to know how you know that in making such a determination the CIC took into account the issue of whether this person had been engaged in atrocities or war crimes.
Mr. TRIPP. They didn't say that he never engaged in a movement hostile to the United States; but that there is no evidence that he had engaged in it. They were splitting hairs. The idea was the DP Commission was to slough off the responsibility for making that finding, so—
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Let's go back. Either I am not stating my question clearly or you are not answering. I am not interested in the issue of evidence or no evidence; I just want to know whether you know if the CIC looked at whether or not the person engaged in atrocities or war crimes in making this determination about not being engaged in a movement hostile to the United States-in other words, would the CIC take a look to determine whether or not this person was a concentration camp guard or official?
Mr. TRIPP. My undersanding is the CIC would send for the Berlin Document Center check, but they completed the investigation before that came in.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The CIC would complete a check before they received the Berlin Document Center material?
Mr. TRIPP. Yes.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. And they would send a statement to the International Relief Organization that they had no evidence that a person was
Mr. TRIPP. No, no. They sent their report to the Displaced Persons Commission.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. They sent a report to the Displaced Persons Commission saying they had no evidence a person was engaged in a movement hostile to the United States, even though they had not received information from the Berlin Document Center?
Mr. TRIPP. That is right; they had no evidence yet.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did they ever correct a report after they received the information from the Berlin Document Center?
Mr. TRIPP. Yes; as soon as they received it, they sent it to the Displaced Persons Commission, and these were the cases I referred to here earlier, of some 70 cases that were reported to our office in Washington after entry, because the Berlin Document Center check caught up with them, but that doesn't mean—that's not evidence that they persecuted.
The movement, that is, evidence that they were one of the groups that might be called Nazi collaborators, they served in the military unit, or they got naturalized, or they did something else where they were helpful to the Nazi government.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did the CIC make any inquiry of countries in Eastern Europe?
Mr. TRIPP. No, no.
Mr. TRIPP. No, they had no authority to do that. The CIC only
. ish Zone or the French Zone?
Mr. TRIPP. In the British Zone, the Displaced Persons Commission had their own investigators, I believe; and in the French Zone they worked in collaboration with the Surrete and the British Intelligence, but they had their own investigators.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. If somebody were seeking admission from the British Zone or the French Zone, there would not be a CIC report?
Mr. TRIPP. No, there wouldn't be one. They would be done by the Displaced Persons Commission. You see, the act required an agency to be named by the President to make the investigation and report, and by Executive order the Displaced Persons Commission received that designation. They didn't have the force to do it without hiring people, so they passed the job on to CIC in the American Zone.
Most of the DPs were in the American Zone, although there were large numbers of others; but most of them were in the American Zone, and that way they could keep the investigator force of the Displaced Persons Commission down.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. With regard to processing persons for admission who were Eastern European in origin or came from the Soviet Union or the Baltic States, did it concern you that you didn't have information from those countries about whether or not these people engaged in war crimes or in atrocities?
Mr. TRIPP. It concerned me that we didn't have—some of them, we didn't have a good background check on them.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did you express this concern to any of your superiors?
Mr. TRIPP. Oh, yes.
Mr. TRIPP. Well, they held meetings here in Washington, mostly with the Displaced Persons Commission, and State, and they would come up with a plan, and they would relay it to all three agencies overseas. Sometimes they would adopt my recommendation and sometimes they wouldn't.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did you ever make a recommendation that information on people's background be obtained from countries in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union?
Mr. TRIPP. No.
Mr. TRIPP. Because there was no way you could do it. You run into the State Department problems of jurisdiction and—well, one of the things is, if they allow-to put it simply-if they allowed American investigators to go into, we will say, into Poland, why, they might in turn demand the right to send Polish investigators into the United States.
These are all things that I don't know too much about; but the State Department has to watch those things all the time.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did you ever discuss with the State Department getting information from countries in Eastern Europe?
Mr. TRIPP. No; they would have to make official representations to the Polish Government before they could send investigators in. They would have to get permission.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I am not even talking about investigators; I am talking about making requests for information.
Just treat it as though it were a Berlin document
Mr. TRIPP. You would have to make it through the consulate; you couldn't make it direct.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I know, but did you ever ask that such a request be transmitted to an Eastern European country or to the Soviet Union with respect to any person coming to the United States under the Displaced Persons Act, and if not, why not?
Mr. TRIPP. I asked once for some information from Poland, to be obtained through the consulate, and I didn't get any action; and I didn't know as much then as I knew later on. I didn't understand the State Department problem. So I dictated a letter to the keeper of the records in this particular community and asked for a record I wanted, and it came back, but I found out afterwards it could have been very embarrassing to the Department of State, so I didn't do it again.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Was the record helpful in making your determination about admission of this person?
Mr. TRIPP. It was a birth record I was after; it came back right away. It would have been very embarrassing to the Department of State: it could have been.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. So the Department of State directed you never to do this again?
Mr. TRIPP. What is that?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The Department of State directed you not to do this again?
Mr. TRIPP. They didn't ask that I do it; I didn't even tell them. I found out what their problem was after I had done it.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What was their problem? They did not want to make requests of Eastern European countries or of the Soviet Union for information; is that what they said to you?
Mr. TRIPP. Let me put it this way: To take another situation where I got into trouble, almost got into trouble the same way, after I came back from Europe I went out to the Pacific, out to Guam, for a while, to do some work for Navy and Interior, on loan,
and I came back and we were writing up regulations that would take care of the people in the Trust Territory of the Pacific, and I wanted to set up a consulate in Saipan or one of the islands of that group, the Marianas, and the State Department representative explained it to me, that under the terms of the Trust Territory and general diplomatic practice, if they did that, the Russians could in turn, or some other agency, could in turn, demand the right to put a consulate in the Trust Territory area. It's one of those things that the State Department understands; they have to weigh one thing against the other.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I am not sure that anybody understands, what the State Department claims it does. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Tripp, we thank you for being here today and for your candor, and it is nice to have a witness who doesn't withhold information. We do believe that you have attempted to be honest in every respect.
We thank you very much for coming to Washington and participating in these hearings. This hearing is adjourned. Mr. TRIPP. Thank you. (Whereupon, at 1:45 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]