PARIS (Oct. 31)
First aid, food and funds for transportation were rushed today by the American Jewish joint Distribution committee to 5,000 polish Jews marooned in the “no-man’s-land” between the Reich and Poland, together with a staff of 15 medical and 30 relief workers from warsaw and 30 more from Poznan.
A total of 16,000 Polish Jews deported from Germany are urgently in need of relief, Joint Distribution Committee representatives arriving at various points on the Reich-Polish border telephoned to their paris headquarters today, describing scenes of misery, sickness and starvation.
The situation was described as particularly serious on the border of Poznan province in the vicinity of Neu-Bentschen, where the border was closed to incoming exiles, on orders from Warsaw, after 800 had been admitted, most of them aged women and children.
Thus, 5,000 Jews were left scattered in the fields and woods, under a cold rain, without food or shelter. Already five of them are dead (warsaw reports put the dead at 3) and hundreds have taken sick. of these, 120 were placed in Poznan hospitals, but many more are out in the open with no chance of being admitted.
The J.D.C. was negotiating with the Red Cross and the Polish Ministry of social welfare for placing the homeless in military barracks, where the american relief organization together with local Jewish relief bodies in Poland would provide hot food.
In addition to the 6,000 refugees near Neu-Bentschen, there were also 6,000 on the Upper Silesian frontier near Beuthen, but the border authorities there were more lenient, permitting the deportees to proceed to the interior, and even facilitating their obtaining free transportation.
Another 4,000 exiles on German boats docked at Gdynia, of whom 1,500 were permitted to enter Poland.
In retaliation against the mass deportations, Poland rounded up 300 Jewish refugees from the Reich and forced back into Germany, but the Nazis pushed them back across the border into “no man’s land” to share the fate of the polish Jews — all except 80 who were not re-expelled from the Reich and whose fate was not known.
Polish-German negotiations on the deportations are still in progress, J.D.C. representatives were semi-officially informed, but the german authorities at Neu-Bentschen have stated that none of those already deported will be re-admitted to Germany, even if the matter is settled.