Refugees in Panic in England, Fearing Relatives Were on Torpedoed Prison Ship

The families of thousands of interned refugees were thrown into panic today by the news of the Arandora Star disaster, fearing that their interned relations were among the more than 1,000 German and Italian prisoners who died when the ship was torpedoed by a Nazi submarine Tuesday morning off the Irish coast.

Refugee organizations were flooded by inquiries today but were unable to furnish any information. What accentuates the fears of the refugee families is the lack of definite information as to the whereabouts of thousands of their relatives who were interned in the past two weeks.

Hundreds of internees recently informed their families by letter that they were soon moving from their temporary camps to an undisclosed address, while others notified their families that they were being transported to Canada.

At this writing it is impossible to state definitely whether there were any Jewish refugees among the Arandora’s passengers. German nationals aboard were all believed to have been those interned immediately after outbreak of the war. Among them there might possibly have been some Jews.

While many refugee families would have welcomed the news that their interned relations were to be transferred to Canada for safety, they are now alarmed at the possibility that the transfer is being carried out on unconvoyed ships, with Nazis as fellow-passengers.

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