Menu JTA Search

Evian Barred Mass Exodus, Rabbi Wise Declares

Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, national campaign chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, who attended the Evian conference as an unofficial observer, today attributed the conference’s success to the personal efforts of Myron C. Taylor, the American delegate. Rabbi Wise’s statements were made to ship news reporters who interviewed him on his return on the Nieuw Amsterdam. He praised Mr. Taylor for doing “a marvelous job in keeping the conference to its task and from the failure freely predicted for it by cynical observers.”

As a result of the leadership of the United States, which Rabbi wise described as “manna from the heavens to the democracies of Europe and South America,” and the personal efforts of Mr. Taylor, the conference marked “the beginning of a new era in the rise of democracy from its humiliating deference to world tyrants,” Rabbi Wise said. “it served principally to sound a note of humanity and protest against the problem arising out of the actions of a totalitarian government. it was remarkable that 30 nations came together and practically agreed that the problem was one of humanity and not the concern of a few groups of people.”

Rabbi Wise estimated that about 550,000 Jews were affected by the present regime in Germany and Austria, and that the number of Jews who have emigrated from Germany since 1933 were about 130,000. Asked on the basis of these statistics if the delegates at Evian, considered the possibilities of mass emigration, Rabbi Wise declared: “There is no expectation of furthering mass emigration from Germany. Rather, the conference seemed to be resolved that Germany should be made to understand that nations of the world cannot expect to absorb a mass exodus from that country. And that while Germany was not mentioned by name but only alluded to, it can be reasonably expected that one of the next steps to be taken by the conference would be to contact the German Government on the question of allowing these immigrants to take a reasonable portion of their possessions with them so as to facilitate their entry in countries where they can enter legally under established quotas.”

Questioned as to the ability of the nations of the world to absorb 550,000 Jews from Germany if they were able to emigrate, Rabbi Wise said: “Divided among many nations of the world the number is one that can be easily absorbed. The quality of these immigrants is their greatest asset as they are far above the type of emigrants we have experienced in previous eras of mass emigration. The majority of them are skilled and educated. They comprise the great middle class of artisans, professional men and women and trained business men that is the backbone of every nation. In line with this hypothetical question it is a noteworthy fact that this emigration has been going on since 1933 and that these people have not become a burden to their communities.”

NEXT STORY