Several Hundred Refugees, Stranded on Reich Borders, Send Call for Aid

An S.O.S. call from several hundred Czech Jews who are spending Passover without food or shelter in no-man’s-lands on the German-Dutch, German-Belgian and other German frontiers today reached the Joint Distribution Committee, which immediately took steps to alleviate their plight.

The largest group, including women and children, is stranded in the German-Dutch border area near Bentheim. Forbidden to enter Holland, the refugees have been without food for two days. They were expelled from Prague by the Gestapo (German political police) which gave them “blue cards” permitting them to leave the Reich, but without money or belongings.

Two Jewish families living at Bentheim have been helping the refugees, who are estimated to number 200, but they have been able to supply food only to the children. Efforts by a refugee committee in Holland to get them admitted to a frontier station have proved futile, since the Government is strict even in extending transit facilities to refugees.

The situation on the other frontiers has not yet been established in detail, but the Paris offices of the J.D.C. have communicated with the Jewish relief organization in Amsterdam asking it to dispatch food assistance to the refugees near Bentheim and have simultaneously contacted relief bodies in other countries bordering the Reich for urgent relief for the refugees stranded on their frontiers.

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