Berlin (Mar. 5)
Central Jewish organizations in Germany will make representations to the Hitler government with regard to the mass arrests of German Jews who returned from foreign countries to resume their residence in Germany, it was learned today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
An ultimatum to leave the country immediately was given by the Nazi authorities today to the German-Jewish refugees who had returned to Germany and were arrested because, by residing abroad, they “had lost contact with the spirit of Germany.
The returned exiles, all of whom are German citizens and many of whom have property and banking accounts in Germany, are being kept in concentration camps notwithstanding the fact that they were permitted by the proper German authorities to re-enter the country. They were advised today that only those of them who agree to leave Germany at once will be released from the concentration camps.
Upon inquiry by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as to the charges which led to the mass arrests of the returned Jews, the authorities here explained that there were no definite charges against them but that during the months of their stay abroad they have “lost contact with the spirit of Germany.” It is to educate them in this spirit that they will be obliged to be in concentration camps for an indefinite period if they wish to remain in the country.
Efforts to establish the number of those arrested were fruitless, since the authorities refused to divulge any details. The whereabouts of the concentration camps where the Jews are being held are also being kept secret. It is, however, estimated that the number of those arrested reaches several hundred, including women and children. Among them also are aged men and women, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has been reliably informed.
The ultimatum to leave the country does not indicate whether the arrested Jews will be permitted to withdraw their deposits from German banks. Many of them returned to Germany together with their capital, which they had withdrawn from foreign banks after the German consulates abroad promised that they would not be molested in Germany upon their return. Should they now be compelled to leave Germany without their capital they will be exposed to actual starvation abroad, since their deposits will remain “frozen” in Germany, under the existing exchange regulations, which do not permit the sending of money abroad.
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