France’s Surrender Endangers 450,000 Jews; Relief Leaders Go to Lisbon
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France’s Surrender Endangers 450,000 Jews; Relief Leaders Go to Lisbon

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Capitulation of the French Government under Premier Henri Philippe Petain to Germany brings the threat of Nazi domination to the great bulwark of democracy in Western Europe and throws close to a half million Jews into danger of coming under Hitler’s lash.

Terms of the surrender were not announced immediately, however there was no doubt that whatever settlement was forced on gallant but overpowered France, there would be no room for Jews to continue anything like a normal existence.

There are approximately 70,000 German Jewish refugees in France, as well as 350,000 to 400,000 resident Jews. With conditions in France chaotic as a result of the Blitzkrieg, a new Jewish emigration problem is created. Undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of non-Jews must emigrate, but the Jews are especially endangered because of the Nazi policy of reprisal against Jews–particularly German refugees–in captured countries.

There was no immediate news of what had happened to the thousands of German refugees interned by the French authorities in camps which had fallen into the Nazis’ hands.

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