LONDON (May. 17)
Little hope was held out today by refugees arriving from Holland that any appreciable number of German Jewish emigres had succeeded in escaping. (There were approximately 23,000 refugees from the Reich in Holland at the outbreak of the war, according to the Joint Distribution Committee.)
It was pointed out that all German nationals had been ordered confined to their homes and it was consequently impossible for them to arrange for flight until the last moment.
There is no definite information here as to the fate of the 331 refugees known to have been quartered in the camp at Westbrook near the Dutch-German border. A Quaker relief worker who left Amsterdam told the J.T.A. today that he doubted if there had been time to evacuate the camp before the invasion.
There were a number of refugees at Camp Sluis in Zeeland, province which is still held by the Dutch. While they have not yet fallen into Nazi hands, they were believed to be in the thick of the fighting unless they had the mean time been evacuated across the nearby Belgian frontier.
Seven German-Jewish men were among the 14 refugees from Holland who arrived at an east coast port yesterday. They had fled from the interior only to find the last refugee ship had sailed. In desperation, they cycled to Scheveningen and from there set out in an 18-foot yawl, though none of the party had been in a sailing boat before. After ten hours of sailing they were sighted by a Dutch coastwise vessel, taken aboard and brought to England. The Jews were taken to a police station for further interrogation.
Long lines of refugees at Dorland House, headquarters of the Netherlands Emergency Committee, included many Jews. One Jewish doctor from Amsterdam showed his stethoscope, which was the only possession he had managed to salvage. He had escaped in a lifeboat for 20 which carried 37.
None of those interviewed could tell of more than his own harrowing experiences. “I still cannot believe I am safe. It seems a miracle,” one told the J.T.A. correspondent.