Hias-ica Presses Emigration Activities, Adapting Itself to War Conditions

Adapting itself to changing conditions, the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association will carry on its work as well as possible until the end of the war, when a greatly enlarged Jewish emigration is foreseen, two recently-arrived HIAS-ICA officials, President Max Gottschalk and Director James L. Bernstein, asserted today at a press conference in the Hotel Commodore.

As evidence of the organization’s continuing activities, the following cabled news was revealed:

(1) The Antwerp office of HIAS-ICA advised by cable yesterday that it is still in existence and continuing its activities. This is the first contact with this office since the occupation of Belgium.

(2) The Lisbon office advised that 50 refugees from France on the steamship Dora, who were stranded in the Portuguese port on July 15 and unable to continue their journey to Casablanca, have been permitted to land by the Portuguese authorities under police supervision, after HIAS-ICA intervention.

(3) The Riga office cabled that it was assisting 34 refugees, including men, women and children, to proceed to the United States via Soviet Russia, Japan and the Pacific.

It is the intention of the HIAS-ICA, Gottschalk said, “to go on and to continue to render the largest possible measure of service, to extend its activities and to intensify its work whenever and wherever the situation permits.” He said that “we are busy now in conference on the more precise details of readjusting our activities to the new conditions and the new problems,” but added that “it is at the moment premature to make any announcement as to the exact plans.”

Dr. Bernstein said: “The situation is not hopeless. Conditions may change. Meanwhile, the work has to go on. It may not be possible for thousands to emigrate in the next few months, but we can assist a few hundred.” He added that so long as the war continued there was little chance of getting countries of immigration to change their regulations in favor of added entry.

Other speakers were Abraham Herman, president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, John L. Bernstein, chairman of the HIAS committee on European activities, and Isaac L. Asofsky, executive director.

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