NEW YORK (Jul. 10)
Emigration under present conditions offers little solution to the European relief problem and the need has reduced itself to one of providing immediate aid to the enormous refugee populations, reported Morris C. Troper, European chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, arriving today on the Yankee Clipper from Lisbon for conferences aimed at revising relief programs and policies to meet the situation.
“The whole European continent with a few notable exceptions has been converted into a vast concentration camp as a result of the recent occupation of Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and a large part of France,” Troper declared.
Troper, who was one of the last Americans to leave Paris prior to its occupation, described the desperate plight of millions of refugees of every nationality and creed in all parts of Europe today. He laid particular emphasis upon the unfortunate situation of the Polish, Czech, Belgian and French refugees who have been uprooted from their homes and forced to become wanderers in their own country or in neighboring lands.
“It is no longer a question of Jewish refugees,” he said, “but rather a question of the ability of Europe to survive. The fate of millions of homeless wanderers today is tied up with the fate of Europe. A final triumph of force will spell the doom of all of these people, while only the success of democracy and liberalism can bring relief and hope to those in utter despair. In the meanwhile they must be assisted in their struggle for survival on a continent where respect for human dignity has lost much of its meaning.
“Today the business of Europe is war and little or no attention is given to problems of humanity. The presidents of refugee aid committees themselves have become refugees. Few people have the time or the inclination to concern themselves with the questions of relief and rehabilitation of millions in distress as each is concerned with his own immediate welfare. It is for American organizations to devote themselves at this time to a serious consideration of the problems of bringing help and succor to be changed to meet new situations and new and new tragedies as the tragedies as they occur. It is for this purpose primarily that I have returned to America.”
Troper pointed particularly to the problem confronting the thousands of refugees from Poland, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, who had succeeded in finding a haven in some of the neighboring countries like Belgium, Holland, France and Italy. These people now have once again been caught in the net, and it may be expected that their lot will be a most difficult one. He also depicted the plight of many thousands of refugees of every nationality who have valid visas to North and South American countries and to Palestine, but who find it impossible to use these visas because of lack of transportation facilities.