Zionist Organization, Emigration Offices Shifted to Geneva for Duration of War

The Paris office of the World Zionist Executive announced today that the organization and emigration departments of the Executive have been transferred to Geneva to remain there for the duration of the war. The organization department will function there under Robert Lichtheim and the emigration department will be under Chaim Barlas.

The Jewish National Fund and Palestine Foundation Fund will also clear their work partly through Geneva, in cooperation with these departments and with the political office of the Jewish Agency in Geneva. Transfer of the emigration department to a neutral country became necessary in view of the fact that Jewish emigration to Palestine is still possible from the Reich, under the Palestine Government’s regulations with the full approval of the British Government.

In addition, emigration of Jewish refugees to Palestine is still going on from Rumanian, Italian and other shores and their problems can best be regulated with the Zionist emigration department located in a neutral country.

The problem of emigration to Palestine has become especially acute since there are many Jewish youths, trained in Poland as chalutzim, who are waiting to emigrate to the Holy Land. Some hundreds of them are now making their way from Nazi and Soviet Poland into Lithuania, Rumania and Hungary, crossing borders at great risk but permitted to remain in these neutral countries temporarily until they leave for Palestine.

With Trieste, Italy, and Constanza, Rumania, the nearest ports from where they can sail, the emigration department of the Zionist Executive is carrying on negotiations with the Italian Line for transporting many of them via Italy, while Isaac Gruenbaum, of the Zionist Executive, is expected to arrive in Rumania from Palestine to conduct similar negotiations for routing chalutzim via Constanza.

Regular navigation also exists between Marseille, France, and Palestine, but few of the chalutzim can reach Marseille since they would have to pass at least six countries before reaching this French port.

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