BERLIN (Feb. 17)
It is hoped that 25,000 German Jews — 2,000 more than last year — will be able to emigrate during 1938, it was disclosed in authoritative Jewish quarters. If preliminary plans can be adhered to, about 5,000 of this year’s emigres will find new homes in Palestine, of the remaining 20,000 about half will go to the United States.
It is emphasized that emigration authorities are in no position to make any definite commitments. With conditions in Palestine and other countries uncertain, achievement of these goals is subject to negotiations now being carried on with various governments.
Even granting some minimum of success with the negotiations, it is pointed out that extraordinary financial difficulties must be overcome. At least one-third of the Jews now emigrating from Germany need financial assistance of one kind or another.
One of the immediate problems that must be met by Jewish welfare organizations here is the providing of funds to emigrants who are going to countries where “landing deposits,” minimum capital requirements, or both, are necessary. Negotiations are now proceeding which, it is hoped, will enable the emigrants to borrow such funds on reasonable terms.
Under the strict foreign exchange regulations now in effect here, observers point out, even those would-be emigrants who have a moderate amount of capital find it difficult to meet the expenses that must be incurred in moving to a new home abroad. If, for instance, the prospective emigrant needs the equivalent of 350 Reichsmarks as a “landing deposit” to enter a South American country, he must have at least twice that capital to obtain the necessary “Devisen,” or foreign exchange.
The emigrant must have in addition, of course, some capital with which to settle himself and his family and perhaps to carry him until such time as his income is large enough to cover living expenses.
It is considered likely that the percentage of emigrants who will be able to pay their own way this year will be somewhat greater than last year. This is due to two reasons: 1) those Jews who have money, and who up to now have remained here in the hope that the domestic situation would improve, have lost that hope and are prepared to leave; 2) the number of penniless Jews who can emigrate is necessarily limited by the amount of funds available to help them.
The pinch of the economic drive against Jews in business is illustrated graphically by the following figures: In 1934, a little more than 10,000 Jewish emigrants were assisted out of the country, while only 8,000 left who needed no assistance; last year, 16,000 non-assisted Jews left, while 7,000 were assisted to leave.
Latest figures show that approximately 360,000 Jews are now left in Germany. Emigration since 1933, when the present regime came into power, totals about 128,000. To date the emigration has been distributed roughly as follows: to Palestine, 40,000; to other European countries, 30,000 and to overseas countries, 58,000. The United States took about 50 per cent.