EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (Jul. 5)
More than 100 delegates and experts representing 30 governments arrived here today to attend the refugee-aid conference called by the United States Government, which opens tomorrow.
Simultaneously, delegations of private organizations assisting refugees, including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Italian, Spanish and Socialist groups, arrived here with memorandums for the conference. The statements will not be accepted by the conference, but will be accepted by each government separately.
Fifteen special telephone booths have been installed at the Hotel Royal to accommodate the larger number of foreign journalists who have arrived from all parts of the world. Although Italy and Germany are not represented at the conference, a large number of Italian and German correspondents have come here.
The largest government delegation is the British, which is attracting attention by the fact that it includes officials of the foreign, colonial and home offices. It is learned that the delegation is under instructions to seek that Palestine as an immigration center should not be discussed at length, but that the question is transferred to the permanent office to be established by the conference. This office, it is believed, will have the task, among others, of approaching the German government to permit emigrants to take out of the Reich part of their capital.
A memorandum submitted on behalf of the most important Jewish organizations, signed by Lord Samuel, Sir Osmond d’Avigdor Goldsmid, Otto Schiff, James Bernstein of New York, Neville Laski, Leonard G. Montefiore and Jacob Rosenheim, also carrying the endorsement of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, emphasizes that the evacuation of the Jewish population from Greater Germany, which now totals a half million, would require $200,000,000. Even evacuation of those under the age of 40 would require $80,000,000. This does not include funds required for settlement on land of a proportion of them.
“Unless the governments represented at Evian are able to secure some cooperation from Germany, it does not appear possible that orderly and planned emigration can be carried out,” the memorandum declares. “It is clearly indispensable that emigrants with means should be able to transfer property, as well as that in the meantime Jews in Germany should have the possibility to maintain their existence. If conditions of panic and demoralization continue as today, the problem becomes insoluble.”
The memorandum also demands that the German Government permit expert relief organizations to function in Austria, as in Germany, for selection of emigrants. It appeals to the conference to take steps in this direction, since no foreign relief organization is now permitted to operate in Austria.
Pointing out that the refugee problem is not exclusively Jewish, but that a large number of Christians are also persecuted in Germany and Austria, the memorandum reviews oppression of Jews in the Reich and says that 140,000 Jews have left the country. It estimates that $20,000,000 has been raised and spent by private organizations assisting refugees.
Asking for establishment of an inter-governmental organ, similar to the Greek Refugee Settlement Commission, the memorandum says: “Jewish organizations are prepared to assist governments to the limit of their power, but it is obviously a problem which cannot be solved by philanthropy alone, but requires a combination of government sanctions with voluntary organizations.”
Mentioning Palestine as an immigration country, the statement asks for re-establishment of the absorptive capacity principle of immigration in that country.
Special attention is called to Poland, Rumania and Hungary, where, the memorandum declares, 5,000,000 Jews are imperilled by alarmingly intensifying anti-Semitic propaganda. It argues against the demands of the Polish and Rumanian Governments for Jewish mass evacuation, asserting that this is impossible and insisting that Jews must be given proper opportunities wherever they reside.
Emigration is only a secondary solution, the memorandum asserts. “We Jewish organizations appeal to the 30 governments represented at Evian to take a stand against the persecution threatening to multiply the number of refugees. the poison of anti-Semitism must not be allowed to spread further in central Europe. We hope it will be made clear that a government is not entitled to deprive a substantial minority of its citizens of legal and human rights.”