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A Response from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library

According to Claudia Anderson, Supervisory Archivist at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library:

"Stories circulate in the Austin Jewish community that LBJ helped a number of Jewish refugees enter the United States just before and during World War II.

"The LBJ Library has very little documentation concerning this. In 1989, a student at the University of Texas, Louis Gomolak, wrote a dissertation in which he said Johnson assisted many refugees. His main sources were interviews he conducted with members of the Austin Jewish community.

[Does anyone have more information on and email address for Dr. Gomolak?]

"The key document cited by Louis Gomolak is a short speech given by Jim Novy on December 30, 1963, when he introduced President Johnson who was speaking at the dedication of the Agudas Achim Synagogue in Austin.

"The LBJ Library have a copy of the notes that Novy used that day, The notes are from the Personal Papers of Jim Novy, and the folder is 'Papers of Jim Novy [3 of 3].' Jim Novy was a friend of Lyndon Johnson's and a member of the Agudas Achim congregation. "

Click on the pictures to zoom in on the notes:

1 comment:

FluffyRoss said...

I have been a friend of/business colleague of attorney Julius Yacker, for 40 years. We practiced in the Chicago. I heard of Julius' LBJ memories for years.

Julius was born in Mercedes, Texas, the grandson of Russian immigrants. A Russian spelling of the surname is/was "Yakir", and there's a painting extant of just such a Jewish Russkie general.

Julius' family operated a homely little department store in Mercedes...for the Hispanic poor, the Jewish poor, the regular ole 'Merican poor.

Julius' mother was LBJ's secretary in Texas. When LBJ went to Washington, he took along Mrs. Yacker. The family, including Julius, left Mercedes and moved to were hard-to-get. It was a serendipitous move: Julius' brother ultimately was admitted to West Point, and still teaches on the east coast.