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500 Refugees Sail May 23 from Genoa for San Domingo–if Italy Still Neutral

In a dramatic race against time, 500 German Jewish refugees were being assembled in Genoa today and were preparing to sail for the Dominican Republic May 23. They were staking their future lives on the hope that Italy would not enter the war before next Thursday.

The refugees, carefully selected from homeless in most of the warring nations, are scheduled to sail on the Italian liner Neptuna, one of the smaller vessels in the transatlantic service. Should Italy go to war before Thursday, their sailing, of course, will be cancelled, and virtually the last open port for refugees fleeing the Old World will be closed.

Officials of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee, sponsors of the Dominican project, were awaiting the sailing with the greatest anxiety. If the refugees are able to reach the Dominican Republic they will form the backbone of the Sosua colony, where 37 refugees have already been settled.