NEW YORK (Oct. 20)
The next six months will see all of Europe in the grip of unprecedented hardship with Jews suffering most severely of all, it was declared today by Morris C. Troper, European Chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee as he left from LaGuardia Field for Lisbon aboard the Dixie Clipper to resume active charge of the Committee’s relief work abroad. Troper said he expected to go to Vichy, Marseille and Budapest to confer with Jewish leaders.
“The chief obstacle to bringing effective assistance to Jewish refugees and war victims,” Troper said, “is the lack of adequate funds. We have available perhaps a third of the minimum needed for the remaining two and a half months of the year. With these sums, which can be spent immediately in full conformity with the regulations of the United States Treasury Department, we can not possibly meet all of the vast needs of European Jewry, but we shall continue our rescue work to the very limit of our resources.
“I am going to Europe with full knowledge of the frightful conditions existing there, and with the equally discouraging knowledge that we shall not be able to feed all the hungry or provide care for all the sick. But as long as any means remain to us, we shall continue to the best of our abilities to do all we can for the innocent men, women and children who are being decimated by war.”
Troper explained that in the conduct of its program in areas under German control the Joint Distribution Committee in no way aids the German economy or violates the British blockade. American dollars are never remitted to Germany proper or any land occupied by Germany, he said, but are made available in those territories through an authorized clearance arrangement, which keeps dollars outside of Germany, but makes local currency available to the Jewish welfare organizations within Germany.
“We in no way run counter to the British blockade because we do not ship clothing, food, or other supplies overseas,” Troper said. “All our operations in Europe are conducted through locally constituted committees in the various countries. These committees secure their supplies in their own country. Their only lack at this time is funds with which to buy supplies. For these funds, they look to the Jews of the United States who contribute to the Joint Distribution Committee through the United Jewish Appeal for Refugees and Overseas Needs.”