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Myerson Asks American Students To Attend Helsinki Youth Festival

By Lawrence W. Feinberg

Michael Myerson, chairman of the United States Festival Committee, last night asked Harvard students to attend the World Youth Festival in Helsinki, Finland, this summer in order to meet foreign students and "just to hear what other people are saying."

He added, "You might also get a chance to hold hands with an Italian girl."

Noting attacks by the National Student Association. Myerson agreed that to a very large extent the Festival is Communist controlled just as to a very large extent the world is Communist controlled."

"Not a Bad Thing"

But just because something is Communist-dominated," he continued, "it not a bad thing. I don't want to discuss my own politics but everything that's Communist isn't bad," he maintained.

The United States Festival Committee. Myerson stressed, is simply making arrangements for individual Americans to attend the ten-day event which will begin July 27. Unlike previous Festival Committees, it will not take stands on political issues, he explained. "Americans will go as individuals, not as a delegation. Everybody will speak for himself. I am convinced and very strongly feel that nobody will take a position on behalf of other people."

Applications for participation are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, Myerson said. So far, about 125 applications have been filed out of an expected 400 and the Committee has accepted all of them.

"Don't Know Your Politics"

"We don't care if you're a Goldwater Republican," he declared. "In fact we don't know what your politics are since we don't ask for that information on the application."

Later, he added that the Committee is concerned about "behavior." "It's decidedly rude," Myerson explained "to yell out 'overthrow your Red masters' when a group of Russians leave a train. As in the past it is also liable to be injurious to one's person."

Besides recruiting in the Ivy League and at colleges with strong peace movements, the Committee is making a special effort to send Negro freedom riders to the Festival. Myerson expects that about 15 of them will attend with all expenses paid, although the Committee itself will not award the scholarships.

Money for scholarships will be raised by "special groups" around the country, he said.

Replying to a question, Myerson told the dozen persons in his audience that New York Post editor James A. Wechsler "lied in a Jan. 4 column on his Festival activities and political beliefs.

"Warm-Hearted Fellow Traveler

The column said Myerson's "attitudes and impulses are essentially those of a warm-hearted fellow-traveler of the 1930's intensified by nuclear weapons . . . He knows all the frailties and problems of his own country, and they somehow loom larger than the total oppression of Soviet rule."

In particular, Wechsler cites Myerson's "double standard" on the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian revolt. Last night Myerson said he was "very unclear" about Hungary and "not sure" if he were a Marxist. "I don't know what it means." he remarked.

He added, "You might also get a chance to hold hands with an Italian girl."

Noting attacks by the National Student Association. Myerson agreed that to a very large extent the Festival is Communist controlled just as to a very large extent the world is Communist controlled."

"Not a Bad Thing"

But just because something is Communist-dominated," he continued, "it not a bad thing. I don't want to discuss my own politics but everything that's Communist isn't bad," he maintained.

The United States Festival Committee. Myerson stressed, is simply making arrangements for individual Americans to attend the ten-day event which will begin July 27. Unlike previous Festival Committees, it will not take stands on political issues, he explained. "Americans will go as individuals, not as a delegation. Everybody will speak for himself. I am convinced and very strongly feel that nobody will take a position on behalf of other people."

Applications for participation are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, Myerson said. So far, about 125 applications have been filed out of an expected 400 and the Committee has accepted all of them.

"Don't Know Your Politics"

"We don't care if you're a Goldwater Republican," he declared. "In fact we don't know what your politics are since we don't ask for that information on the application."

Later, he added that the Committee is concerned about "behavior." "It's decidedly rude," Myerson explained "to yell out 'overthrow your Red masters' when a group of Russians leave a train. As in the past it is also liable to be injurious to one's person."

Besides recruiting in the Ivy League and at colleges with strong peace movements, the Committee is making a special effort to send Negro freedom riders to the Festival. Myerson expects that about 15 of them will attend with all expenses paid, although the Committee itself will not award the scholarships.

Money for scholarships will be raised by "special groups" around the country, he said.

Replying to a question, Myerson told the dozen persons in his audience that New York Post editor James A. Wechsler "lied in a Jan. 4 column on his Festival activities and political beliefs.

"Warm-Hearted Fellow Traveler

The column said Myerson's "attitudes and impulses are essentially those of a warm-hearted fellow-traveler of the 1930's intensified by nuclear weapons . . . He knows all the frailties and problems of his own country, and they somehow loom larger than the total oppression of Soviet rule."

In particular, Wechsler cites Myerson's "double standard" on the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian revolt. Last night Myerson said he was "very unclear" about Hungary and "not sure" if he were a Marxist. "I don't know what it means." he remarked.

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