Andrew L. Somers (1895-1949), a twelve-term congressman from New York, was an active supporter of the Bergson Group’s campaigns for rescue and statehood.
Somers, a Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 1924, representing the 11th district in Brooklyn. He took a liking to the Bergson Group from its earliest days, inviting Bergson lobbyist Baruch Rabinowitz to operate from his congressional office. According to Rabinowitz, Somers’s sympathy for the plight of the Jews was nurtured by the fact that his grandmother and her infant son (his father), who found themselves in dire straits upon arriving in the United States from Ireland, were befriended by a Jewish family.
Somers’s name appeared on almost all of the Bergson Group’s numerous newspaper advertisements. He spearheaded the group’s first congressional initiative, a 1942 resolution calling for creation of a Jewish army. Somers gave numerous speeches in Congress supporting Bergson’s efforts, spoke at the group’s conferences, and served as co-chair of both the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe and the American League for a Free Palestine.
Sources: Baumel, The “Bergson Boys,” pp. 98-99, 107; Medoff, Militant Zionism in America, pp.73-74, 132, 153.