New York (Sep. 16)
An appeal for $500,000 for the purpose of relieving the situation of the many thousand Jewish refugees stranded in the various ports was issued yesterday by the Emergency Committee on Jewish Refugees, formed last June by thirty-five Jewish national organizations under the leadership of Mr. Louis Marshall and Dr. Stephen S. Wise.
The campaign, which will be directed by Mr. Marshall, Dr. Wise and Nathan J. Miller, treasurer of the Committee, will begin with an appeal from the pulpits of all Jewish synagogues during the approaching High Holidays and it is expected that this sum will be raised in a short time.
“The doors of our country are closed to these homeless refugees without fault of theirs”, declared Mr. Marshall in a statement issued in connection with the appeal for funds. “10,000 of these refugees relied on the visas of American consuls and found that they were not honored by our immigration authorities. The laws of our country must and will be obeyed. There will be no violation or evasion of them directly or indirectly. It is therefore necessary to provide a method whereby these refugees may be enabled to migrate into countries where it will be possible for them to live, and to give them financial assistance during the period that must necessarily elapse before they can earn a livelihood.
“There is another phase of the subject of immegration which calls for immediate attention. As is well known, conditions in various parts of Europe are such that a considerable number of Jews find it absolutely essential for their well-being to migrate to other lands. To subject them to the tender mercies of steamship agents drumming for business, would only repeat in even more aggravated form, if possible, the experience of those now in Cuba. That would mean their destruction. We have no right to be indifferent to their fate. We owe it to them and to ourselves to be able to warn them against dangers and to advise them with regard to opportunities. To do so intelligently and effectively will necessitate a thorough investigation by competent experts of economic, climatic, political and other conditions in such countries as are willing to open their gates to newcomers. If this responsibility is not assumed promptly, there is almost a certainty that a serious calamity will ensue.
“There are liberal governments whose territories are today open to immigration, and it is the purpose of the Committee to direct as many of the refugees now stranded as is practicable to sugh regions. As to those who are still in their
homes a considerable proportion of them doubtless will seek to colonize in Palestine. To the extent that that will be possible in the light of the existing agricultural, industrial and commercial development of the Holy Land, it will be furthered in every legitimate way. But there are doubtless a considerable number who either do not desire to or who cannot take up their abode in Palestine, and for them, if possible, other outlets must be found. Among the lands in which there are comparatively few Jews which may afford a field for immigrants, are Mexico, such parts of South America as are not within the Tropics, Australia and South Africa.
“Our immediate need is a sufficient fund to meet the acute phases of the problem and a reasonable sum to carry on the investigation to which reference has been made. It has been concluded that the minimum requirement for the year beginning on October 1, 1924 is $500,000. This amount should be collected within the next few weeks. Delay merely means the multiplication of difficulties and an increase of the horrors which we are seeking to remedy.”