Britain Reported Closing Palestine to Reich Refugees As ‘enemy Aliens’

The British Colonial Office has decided to issue no further Palestine immigration certificates to Jews holding German and Austrian passports for the duration of the war because they are technically considered enemy aliens, it was learned here today.

The decision covers both Jews in the Reich and those who have already emigrated, but does not affect some 2,000 to whom immigration certificates were issued before the outbreak of the war who have not yet been able to use them. These refugees are sailing for Palestine in groups from Trieste, Italy.

The British action is a severe blow to thousands of Jews in Germany whose only hope was to leave Germany and await their turns to emigrate to Palestine. It will hit hard particularly at German Jewish youths now undergoing training courses in neutral countries for pioneering work in the Holy Land.

There are still many refugees whose Palestine certificates would expire on Jan. 14 who need immediate passage. The Jewish Agency has asked funds from the Council for German Jewry to charter a ship for this purpose, and the Council has indicated it will cover the fares of some of the refugees.

While the new British policy bars German refugees from Palestine it opens new possibilities for Polish Jews, since they are not covered by the restriction. Jewish organizations are taking steps to enable several thousand Polish Jewish refugees now in Wilno, Lithuania, to proceed to Palestine via Odessa, Russia. It is also hoped that Jews now in Nazi Poland will be able to obtain Palestine certificates.

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