PARIS (Jan. 22)
Declaring he considered his Berlin negotiations satisfactory and confirming that he was returning to Berlin on Tuesday to resume them, George Rublee, director of the Intergovernmental Refugee Bureau, arrived in Paris today to consult with executive officers of the Intergovernmental Committee on further steps and to report to them on details of the modifications made in the Schacht “ransom” emigration plan.
Without waiting for tomorrow’s session of the committee’s officers, which will be the most important meeting since the Evian conference last Summer because it deals with concrete proposals, Mr. Rublee conferred tonight with Lord Winterton of Britain, chairman of the Intergovernmental Committee, on his visit yesterday to Field Marshal Hermann Goering to discuss the prospects for the negotiations now that Dr. Hjalmar Schacht has been removed as president of the Reichsbank.
In connection with tonight’s talk with Lord Winterton, it is understood that the British Government may sponsor a special loan for refugee settlement within undeveloped territories of the British Empire. None of these funds would go for settlement schemes outside the Empire, such as several now under examination as result of definite offers made for large-scale refugee settlement in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and the Parana plantations of Brazil.
The territories within the British Empire where refugee colonization may be supported by a British loan are, in addition to British Guiana which is already under investigation, also Northern Rhodesia, Tanganyika, Kenya and Nyasaland. The British Colonial Office has advised Jewish organizations to send experts to these territories to make investigations, in conjunction with the local authorities into all settlement possibilities, as Dr. Joseph Rosen, president of the American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation, and other American experts are planning to do in British Guiana in association with a British expert.
CZECHO-HUNGARIAN “NO-MAN’S-LAND” LIQUIDATED
Coincident with Mr. Rublee’s arrival in Paris, news reached here that all the “no-man’s-land” where Jews have been trapped along the Czecho-Hungarian frontier have been liquidated during the weekend by special agree-
ment between the border authorities of both countries which permitted 2,700 marooned Jews to proceed, part of them to Hungary and part to Czecho-Slovakia, after they had spent three rainy and frosty months in barbed-wire-enclosed open fields and ditches under the most trying conditions.
The Jewish delegation from Czecho-Slovakia which brought this news to Paris declared that while Hungary was absorbing the major part of the marooned Jews, since they had come from territory ceded to Hungary under the Vienna pact, more than 200 of those admitted to Czechs were interned as stateless and as Russian and Polish citizens in two camps near Bratislava and Nitra pending an opportunity to emigrate. Barracks will be built for them with funds provided by the Joint Distribution Committee, while the cost of maintenance will be shared by the committee and the London Lord Mayor’s Fund for Refugees.
The dissolved “no-man’s-land” were located near Presov, Vedkykyr, Bratislava, Kosice, Ersek-Vjvar and Dunaserdahdy. Most of them sprang up when the Czech Government insisted that Hungary must absorb Jews living in territories ceded to Hungary. When Hungary refused to accept the Jews, the Czechs forced them across the frontiers, whereupon Hungary retaliated by forcing Czech Jews across the Hungarian frontier into Czecho-Slovakia. Tossed between the frontiers, hundreds of Czech and Hungarian Jewish families thus found themselves isolated from the world.
While the “no-man’s-land” on the Czecho-Hungarian frontier have been liquidated, those on the Czecho-German and Czecho-Polish borders — also the results of dislocation following cession of Czecho-Slovakian territory — remain, as do those on the German-Polish frontier.
One of the most serious of the “no-man’s-land” situations exists at Zbonszyn on the German-Polish border, from where a pitiful appeal was received today by the J.D.C. office here. It said that despite statements of the Polish Premier that half of the 5,000 marooned Jews have been permitted to proceed to the interior, this is untrue, and so far none has been admitted to Poland.
“The number of infectious diseases is growing, the district hospital is overcrowded and consumptives are mingling with the healthy,” the message said. “There are a very great number suffering from mental shock. Sanitary conditions are horrible, owing to the pest of lice.” Acting immediately the J.D.C. in Paris assigned $20,000 for delousing and for buying cots and linen for the refugees, since they still sleep on straw in condemned stables. Another telegram received today by the J.D.C., signed by Chief Rabbi Moses Schorr of Warsaw, M. Szereszewski and other Jewish leaders appealed to American Jewry to aid the Zbonszyn refugees, declaring that all means were exhausted. The J.D.C. is rushing assistance.