PARIS (Oct. 20)
Negotiations have been started between the French authorities and the ORT, organization for Jewish vocational retraining, for utilization of the large number of Jewish refugees in France for agricultural work, to assist French farmers whose labor hands have been mobilized.
Successful experiments were conducted this month by the ORT in organizing refugee women and youngsters to help in harvesting grapes in French vineyards. They were received by the vineyard owners with great enthusiasm, and the ORT was approached by French farmers to provide laborers along the same lines.
The French authorities are understood to be very sympathetic towards the ORT agricultural project, especially since it would help to solve the problem of the many thousands of Jewish refugees still held in French isolation centers.
The negotiations, which were initiated by Dr. Leon Bramson, chairman of the executive committee of the World ORT Union, are being supported by French statesmen, and it is believed that they will be successful, thus bringing relief to the interned refugees, who will be put on probation in the ORT’s charge.
Among the interned refugees are several hundred holders of American visas, including the exiles who were barred from entry to Cuba from the German liner St. Louis last Summer. Acting after intervention by Baron Robert de Rothschild, the French central authorities have ordered compilation of a list of such refugees with a view to permitting them to proceed to the United States.
A survey made by central Jewish relief organization establishes that throughout Europe there are today 8,000 Jewish refugees who hold valid entry visas for various overseas countries, of whom 2,000 are in France. A half million dollars would be required to pay for transportation of the 6,000 outside France, it is estimated.