PARIS (Dec. 29)
Polish sources here reported today that the frontier between German and Soviet Poland has been temporarily reopened to permit Jews who wish to do so to enter the Russian area to escape Nazi persecution.
The report said thousands of Jews were massing at three points on the border–Przemysl, Sieniawie-Jaroslaw and Lubaszow-Belz–for entry into Soviet Poland, despite the fact that most of them did not enjoy living under the Soviet regime.
Most crowded of the border points was Przemysl, where the bridge over the San River appears to mark the Soviet-German border. The numbers passing over this bridge are so large that one must stand in line from six to eight hours, the report said, adding that at the other two points the concentration was less heavy.
The report said Nazi frontier guards were maltreating the Jews while they stood in line on the German side and cases were reported where Jewish men were detained while their wives and children were permitted to proceed. Among those crossing the border were not only Polish Jews, but many from Bohemia-Moravia and Austria, the report said.
It was estimated that the Soviet side of Przemysl was crowded with 40,000 to 50,000 Jews as a result of the mass migration. All of them were said to be in pitiful condition. Refugee relief committees were permitted to operate among them, but a Soviet commissar was attached to each committee.
The refugees were selling all their possessions in order to maintain themselves, it was said. Younger Jewish refugees were offering to work in the coal mines in Donbass, which is in the Donetz basin, and thus to receive the privileged status of laborers. They were proceeding in large transports to the interior of Russia.
At the same time a Polish newspaper in Paris carried a report, otherwise unconfirmed, that a disagreement had arisen between the Soviet and German authorit- ies over an exchange whereby 150,000 Germans in Soviet-occupied Galicia would be repatriated and 83,000 Jews in Nazi Poland who are natives of the Soviet-occupied area would go to the Soviet.
The hitch in the reported plan, the paper said, arose over the amount of capital which the Polish Jews would be permitted by the Nazis to take. The Nazis were said to be reluctant to allow the emigrating Jews to take out any property and the Soviet authorities were reported to be insisting that the Jews take out property proportional to that withdrawn by the repatriated Germans.