Reich Halts Jewish Emigration As Wartime Labor Shortage Looms

The tense international situation has prompted the Nazi authorities suddenly to reverse the Jewish emigration policy, according to reliable information reaching Paris today. News of the change came simultaneously with the return of Vice-Director Robert T. Pell of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee from Berlin, where he negotiated with the Government for execution of the Rublee agreement for an orderly evacuation of the Jews over a period of years.

While the German authorities indicated to Mr. Pell that they intended to make their fulfillment of the Rublee agreement contingent on actual establishment of the projected international corporation to extend loans to refugees for settlement overseas, highly authentic information from Berlin disclosed the following developments:

(1) The German Government’s central emigration office which was established in connection with the Rublee pact actually is not functioning.

(2) Jews are no longer being given permits to leave the Reich, contrary to the previous policy of forcing Jews out of Germany legally or illegally.

(3) A decision to consider the German Jews as “alien enemies” in wartime and isolate them in camps has definitely been dropped. Instead, they will be spread throughout the Reich and put to digging trenches for sanitary and other work.

This entire reversal of policy is attributed to an expected shortage of labor and sanitary help should war break out.

Mr. Pell’s visit to Berlin was concerned chiefly with a memorandum which he handed to the authorities on behalf of the intergovernmental committee. The memorandum outlines what the committee has already accomplished in connection with fulfillment of the pact arranged by George Rublee, retired director, and Dr. Helmuth Wohlthat, of the Reich Economics Ministry. It also specifies what the committee expected the German Government to do in fulfilling its end of the bargain.

It was learned that in view of the tense international situation, the Berlin Government deferred a reply on the memorandum’s demands but invited Mr. Pell to return within a fortnight when examination of the document will have been completed. By that time, too, the commissions investigating prospects of refugee settlement in British Guiana, the Philippines, Northern Rhodesia and other territories may be ready with their reports, in which the German Government is greatly interested.

German official circles, it was reported, were furious over Polish Foreign Minister Josef Beck’s action in raising the Polish Jewish emigration issue during his recent visit to London. They consider it a maneuver to obtain colonies, since Poland cannot afford to lose its Jews now when their services are needed in the Polish army.

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