Lithuania Denies Ouster of Refugees, Under Soviet Pressure, is Planned

Vice-Premier Kazys Bizauskas of Lithuania, Chief Commissioner for the Wilno District, today categorically denied in Kaunas the rumors of possible deportation of refugees to Poland.

Polish official sources in Paris had reported that Soviet Russia was bringing pressure to bear on Lithuania for expulsion of all refugees considered harmful to Moscow’s interests and that the Kaunas government would probably be obliged to yield.

Bizauskas stated that no Polish or Jewish refugees would be ousted and that all would be afforded the opportunity to remain in Lithuania, although part of them would be transferred to the provinces, where it would be easier and cheaper to supply them with food.

Additional assurance of the favorable attitude of the Lithuanian Government to the Jews in the Wilno district was given by President Antonas Smetona and Premier Antanas Merkys when interviewed by Rabbi Isaac Rubinstein, former Polish Senator now living in Wilno.

Estonian ships have discontinued acceptance of Polish subjects, leaving airlines as their only means of communication from the Baltic area to western Europe. The action followed the capture of the Estonian steamship Estonia by a German war ship last week and the internment of 60 Polish refugees who were found on board.

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