ROME (Nov. 6)
After a long respite, Italian police authorities have resumed their drive against foreign Jews.
More than 200 German and Polish refugees have already received expulsion orders accompanied, in most instances, by railroad tickets to Tarviso, on the German border. In nearly all cases, the refugees involved resided in seaport cities such as Naples, Genoa, Trieste and San Remo. This fact is thought significant of the Italian Government intentions of either discouraging or completely eliminating concentration of refugees near strategic naval points. In past months, refugees in Italy have tended to settle in seaport cities either to await their turn in the American quota or because of the instinctive feeling it instills of proximity to happier shores.
Many against whom expulsion action has been taken are converging towards Rome in the hopes of receiving stay extensions from the Interior Ministry. Others have used their free tickets to Tarviso.
Also being attracted to Rome are numerous other refugees expecting a similar fate but hoping to avoid it by change of residence to the capital. For the moment, the refugee situation here is somewhat more tranquil than in other Italian cities.
Especially sad is the plight of the more recently arrived contingent of German refugees in Trieste, Genoa and Naples. Many were able to enter Italy by producing ship tickets to the United State on Italian lines, which had been purchased in Germany. Since the outbreak of the war, however, these tickets have not been honored by the Italian shipping companies.
Some of the refugees had purchased tickets in Germany as it was the only means of leaving the war zone and entering Italy, although they had not yet been called into the United States’ quota for immigration. More than 100 others in a similar plight, but already in possession of American visas, have had their invalidated tickets exchanged for valid ones through the intervention of the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association.
Because of the war, German Jews in Italy are profiting at the expense of those in the Reich in the matter of American visas. Many quota numbers which normally would have been destined for Jews in Germany, but which the United States Consulate in Berlin is finding impossible to assign under existing conditions, are being transferred to the American Consulate in Naples. It is to be expected that Polish Jews residing abroad will profit in a similar manner although no information on that score is to be had as yet.
According to unverified information, Polish Jews as well as German Jews will be permitted to cross into Germany if expelled from Italy. From the Nazi border they will be transported to the Jewish “reservation” in the Lublin area of German-held Poland.
Creation of this “reservation” in Poland has added considerably to the fears of German and Polish refugees in Italy. Should political events take the “wrong turn” as far as Italy is concerned, they will undoubtedly be shipped there en masse. Beyond that is the fear of being sent to the “reservation” on the least provocation.