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Lithuania Admits 200 Suwalki Exiles; Asks Other Nations to Help

Acceding to a plea by a delegation of Jewish leader Interior Minister Skucas today permitted entry of 200 Suwalki Jews, mainly women and children, who had been deported from the Nazi-held Polish city into a no-man’s-land near the Lithuanian border and had been suffering horribly from the freezing weather.

Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Government has requested the governments of Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the United States to receive a certain number of the refugees now in this country. Russia has complied, accepting 1,500 refugees whom they interned. Sweden and Norway have declined, explaining they were faced with the problem of accomodating a great number of Finnish refugees. The other states have not yet replied.

The Government, it was learned, will discuss with Germany the question of repatriating 300 Wilno Jews arrested or interned in the Reich.

In an audience granted to A.M. Kaiser, representative of the Polish Jewish Relief Fund of Britain, Premier Col. Antanas Merkys promised that the Government would fulfill its duty of giving asylum to refugees. He said all would be given residence and labor permits for “productive” professions. The Premier said that clothing sent to the refugees from England would be exempt from customs duties. He added that the Government would negotiate with neutral governments for transit visas for those refugees able to emigrate, but that material assistance from abroad was necessary. He expressed thanks to British Jewry for its interest in the problem.

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