MUKACEVO, Carpatho-Russia, Hungary (Nov. 6)
Rigorous anti-Jewish measures by the Hungarian Government have reduced the 160,000 Jews in this area to starvation and beggary. Completing a survey of the district, which until the Munich pact was the Carpatho-Russian section of Czechoslovakia, this correspondent found that mere bread is a luxury to its Jewish population.
Since annexation by Hungary, all Jews have been deprived of their artisans’ license and their trading permits have been annulled. Since Nov. 1, even professionals, including doctors and lawyers, have been forced to give up their practice.
This correspondent saw fathers and mothers looking with envy upon their children, who receive daily a glass of milk and a small portion of bread in kitchens supported by the Joint Distribution Committee. Some of the children hide their small piece of bread to bring it home to share it with their hungry and less fortunate parents, for whom no free kitchens as yet exist.
All efforts to bring the plight of these people to the attention of the Hungarian authorities, to effect a more tolerant attitude toward a peaceful, labor-loving and strictly religious group, have thus far failed.
It took highly placed Hungarians to obtain from the Government a three-month extension of some of the cancelled trade licenses, but this period of grace is expiring and no further extensions will be granted. Thus, the Hungarian authorities have sentenced to despair and hunger 85,000 Jews in the acquired territory now known as Upper Hungary and the 75,000 in the annexed territory of Carpatho-Russia.
The situation of the Jews in Carpatho-Russia is especially precarious, since they have been barred by the Hungarian authorities even from the hard physical labor with which they had been earning their living for generations–such work as chopping timber, road construction, etc. This type of work is now monopolized by the Hungarian Government.
Employment in private enterprises is made practically impossible for the Jews by various Government regulations.
The thousands of families who have been deprived of work and of the right to work sometimes taste no food for days on end. Their main nourishment is bread made of maize and potatoes, but even this is a luxury which they do not enjoy every day.
Undernourished and constantly hungry, the Jews are crowded into hovels where they live ten to 15 in a room. Their sanitary conditions are below any imaginable standard. Barefooted and in rags, the fathers of families wander from township to township and from village to village, begging for food to bring their families over the week-end.
Representatives of the Jewish Community in Budapest are surveying the positon of these unfortunates in order to establish what can be done for them. It is clear that whatever measures may be taken in their behalf will depend on charity as long as the Hungarian Government continues to deprive them of the right to work or engage in trade.