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Broad Relief Program Mapped by J.D.C. for Wilno Refugees, Local Needy

A large-scale relief program for the feeding and clothing of Jewish refugees in Wilno and needy local Jews there, has been completed by Morris C. Troper, European director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and transmitted to the J.D.C. in New York, following receipt of detailed information by European headquarters of the organization from its representatives in Wilno, where the J.D.C. opened an office on Wednesday.

The program includes substantial expenditures for the emigration of several hundred Polish prospective chalutzim from Wilno to Palestine. These already have emigration certificates.

The information establishes that the normal Jewish population of 60,000 in Wilno is now diminished by 10,000, chiefly youths who emigrated to Russia, but is augmented by 25,000 arrivals, of whom half need relief. Among the refugees in Wilno are yeshiva students, chalutzim, journalists and communal workers.

The J.D.C. has enabled a local committee to establish ten kitchens and also a home for refugee intellectuals, but the feeding alone of the needy refugees requires, for the period ending in December, at least $60,000, not to speak of clothing and the caring for at least 30,000 local Wilno Jews who are not refugees but are in dire need of food and clothing.

The economic situation of the Wilno Jews is aggravated by these factors:

(1) The Government’s plans for economic reconstruction in Wilno are proceeding more slowly than was anticipated.

(2) Several hundred Jewish shops were damaged in recent anti-Semitic disorders.

(3) The devaluation of the Polish zloty prevents the opening of stores and factories.

(4) Artisans have no raw materials.

(5) The white collar classes and unusually large numbers of professionals are suffering from unemployment.

The sum of $100,000 has already been allocated by Troper to meet the Wilno situation. In addition, the J.D.C. is now reviving a large number of free loan kassas in Wilno and the Wilno district, thus enabling many to obtain loans for whatever small enterprises they can start.

Medical and child care work has also been started with J.D.C. funds by the TOZ and Centos in Wilno.

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