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Speaking My Mind

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What room is there for refugees from Germany in a country like Poland, where more than a million Jews are unable to find a place for themselves? Deputy Rothenstreich was saying in the Polish Parliament only a few months ago the Jewish trading class is utterly ruined; 80 percent of the Jewish artisans are not earning a penny, and he added there are some of us who doubt whether it is any use ever again depicting in this House the bare truth about the terrible facts of Jewish life, since we are not listened to, since you refuse to listen to us.

A friend of mine has just come back from a visit to Germany, where he has two brothers, who intend to remain there, though they are not very happy, because they have tried going elsewhere, and found it still worse. It is not a pleasant picture we get of the plight of the refugees in the various countries. And people are getting tired of lavishing sympathy on them. The novelty of it has gone. It is becoming humdrum. The volunteer workers in the relief organizations who were at first enthusiastic about their new interest, are no longer so assiduous in their attendance, and the work is left to the paid clerks, whom the distress of the refugees has provided with jobs. There is already a great deal of dissatisfaction in the countries to which the refugees have gone. There have even been demonstrations in some of them against the German refugees.

The Governments are becoming anxious about the problem. And the fringe of the problem in Germany has not been touched. Not a #ithe of the Jews of Germany have been drawn off. The great mass of them are still in Germany. Neither Palestine nor any other country is able to absorb them. We shall only be deluding ourselves if we think they will. The fund-raising organizations have almost exhausted their possibilities.

Where are the German Jews to go? Who will admit them? America? England? Palestine? In spite of all the noise being made about Palestine as the sole salvation of German Jewry, in spite of Dr. Weizmann’s appointment as High Commissioner for German Jewish settlement in Palestine, can Palestine take 600,000 German Jews this year, next year, ever? Can it take 100,000? Even if the funds are available? Will the absorptive capacity of the country permit it? Will the British Government allow it? Will the Arabs be acquiescent? Is 1929 so far behind us?

What does the Jewish immigration organization, Hias, say? “Palestine can absorb only a small number. The refugees must go elsewhere. That is our principal job,” says Mr. Telsey, the special Commissioner of the Hias for investigating the situation in Germany and the adjoining countries.

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