Mcdonald Calls on Non-jews to Further Aid for Refugees
Menu JTA Search

Mcdonald Calls on Non-jews to Further Aid for Refugees

Download PDF for this date

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Central British Fund for German Jewry, the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Jewish Colonization Association, which had made his work possible.


The present situation of the refugees and future prospects are, however, desperate, Mr. McDonald declared. The day-to-day need of the refugees, particularly in Paris and Praha, was great, he declared.

“Nor can we be sure that the flood of refugees from Germany will cease in the near future,” Mr. McDonald continued. “The conditions which have brought about the initial flight from the Reich have not been fundamentally altered. The pressure of economic and other circumstances on the whole generation of young Jewish men and women continues to be such as to make their future within Germany difficult and doubtful. And within the next few months events in the Saar territory may add largely to the total of refugees.”

The attitude of the German government, Mr. McDonald pointed out, was making refugee work increasingly difficult. He cited the fact that on all requests submitted by his office to Germany, the Nazis had turned down all but one.

“This tragic situation should make a compelling appeal to generous men and women irrespective of race or creed,” the High Commissioner said. “The larger Jewish organizations either are limited by their regulations to so-called constructive relief or have exhausted their funds for relief. Even more desperate is the condition of the non-Jewish refugees. Now I once more plead with the Christian communities here to help their fellows to survive the winter or until opportunities for permanent settlement can be made available to them.”

“No one connected with the work is satisfied,” Mr. McDonald stated. “On the contrary, partially as the result of recent regulations by the German government affecting the transfer of funds, the situation of thousands of Jewish and Christian refugees is now acute. In certain centers, particularly Paris and Prague, the need for immediate day-to-day relief is desperate. Moreover, funds for training and retraining are inadequate and the larger funds needed for the carrying forward of the further tasks of emigration and settlement are not only yet available—there is even doubt whether these will be made available. Meantime in many countries the opportunities for the refugees to try to find work and to make themselves secure are being lessened, not enlarged.

Under these circumstances there can be no expectation of further progress, unless the facts, no matter how difficult or unpleasant they may be, are faced frankly, and unless exceptional efforts, governmental and private, are made to overcome the difficulties.

One of the encouraging features of the work during the last six months has been the continuation and expansion of the retraining activities. In almost every country of refuge groups of young men and women who in Germany were engaged in the professions or in commerce or as employees are undergoing courses of training to prepare them for manual work. It has been a great pleasure for me to see the results of this retraining in nearly all of the countries bordering on Germany. Young men and women who until six months or so ago had never been engaged in any manual labor have already proved that they can become capable artisans.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund