Money Shortage Slows Transfer to Palestine, Refugee Men Say

German Jews are eager to migrate to Palestine. Palestine needs German Jews. The only factor retarding the logical transfer is limited funds.

This is the message to American Jewry of Dr. George Landauer and Dr. Martin Rosenblueth, who arrived in New York this week to acquaint America with the story of the great migration. The former is secretary of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews in Palestine with his post in Jerusalem. The latter is head of the London office.

Dr. Landauer’s work is to usher the bewildered refugees out of the Old World. When they dock in Haifa, they come into Dr. Rosenblueth’s hands.

The Palestine Bureau finds positions for them, trains them for the new life, seeks out homes for them, extends credit where needed and tries to mitigate the subtle psychic torments of settling in a strange land.

PAINT ROSY PICTURE

Interviewed together in the office of the United Jewish Appeal, they painted a rosy picture of the transplanting of German Jews to Palestine.

“There have been settled to date some 20,000 German Jews, constituting the largest number that has been absorbed by any country since the flight of the refugees from Germany began,” said Dr. Rosenblueth. “It must be emphasized that this is not the maximum that Palestine can settle, but represents merely the amount of work that could be done with the limited funds placed at our disposal.”

The two proceeded to explain that, of the 20,000, between 6,000 and 8,000 are capitalists. The rest are professionals and laborers. When the refugees arrive in Palestine, they are encouraged—almost forced—to enter agriculture rather than a profession. This is accomplished by providing homes for them only in agricultural colonies.

When the refugees come to Palestine, they are no longer refugees—they are settlers. Dr. Landauer spoke glowingly of the enthusiasm with which the German Jews set about remolding their lives.

FROM DOCTOR TO FARMER

“They delve deeply into Hebrew culture,” he said, “after learning the language in a marvelously short time. They eagerly attend the training schools we have built for them and two years suffices to make a farmer of a doctor.”

Many of the German Jews who come to Palestine have no means. These are attached to the already existing colonies. To erect new colonies would require more money than the Bureau can at present command. Even those in the capitalist category—owning £1,000 or more—need assistance in the new land. Besides cultural acclimatization, the bureau supervises collective purchase of land for groups of capitalists, provides the necessary irrigation and digs the wells. The initial outlay is repaid by the settlers.

“In Germany itself,” said Dr. Rosenblueth, “the Jews feel that their only hope of permanent salvation from the conditions which burden them—particularly for the youth—is emigration to Palestine. We have on hand applications from 5,000 Jewish families in Germany to settle in Palestine within the next six-month period.

“It is a matter of profound regret that we do not have the funds to make possible the colonization in Palestine of this entire number.”

In Germany, even the non-Zionists are clamoring to go to Palestine, added Dr. Rosenblueth. And Dr. Landauer attested to the Jubilation with which the non-Zionists greet their new-found freedom in Palestine.

“You should see,” he said, “how soon they feel at home.”

The budget for the next two years, which covers an irreducible minimum for the activities of interesting German Jews into the agricultural and economic life of Palestine will necessitate $1,875,000, it was pointed out. Of this $800,000 has already been collected.

With these funds, it is estimated that 1,000 families without means and 500 capitalist families can be transported from Germany to Palestine. A “meanless” family is estimated to contain two members and a capitalist family, four.

The German Jews are especially desirable in Palestine, the interviewer was told. They are readily assimilated into the Jewish life of Palestine. They bring with a certain characteristic talent for organization and thoroughness much needed in the New Land.

Drs. Landauer and Rosenblueth, who are staying at the Hotel Roosevelt, will remain in New York for at least three weeks. During this time they will negotiate with the United Jewish Appeal and speak at mass meetings to explain the work of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews in Palestine, headed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann.

NEXT STORY