NEW YORK (Jan. 14)
Social conditions in Europe have fallen to the lowest depths since the Dark Ages, Morris C. Troper, chairman of the European Executive Council of the Joint Distribution Committee, reported today on his return from Lisbon aboard the S.S. Excalibur after a three-month stay on the continent.
Amid the universal suffering, the plight of European Jews is doubly hard, Troper said, since it is aggravated by persecution, discrimination and anti-Semitic legislation. “Without exception, the Jews of Europe have been pushed down to the lowest rungs of the social and economic ladder,” he said.
A million men, women and children are now being supplied with necessities of life by the J.D.C., Troper declared. In unoccupied France alone there are more than 50,000 German, Austrian, Czech, Polish and Belgian refugees, half of them interned in concentration camps under appalling conditions. In Poland, the J.D.C. has provided one free meal a day to as many as 400,000 persons. The number has now been reduced to 250,000, primarily because lack of funds forced withdrawal of relief from many adults. “As a result,” he said, “it is not uncommon to find that children eating in the relief kitchens hide a crust of bread in their pockets to take home to their fathers and mothers.”
Faced with conditions of “progressive disintegration,” Troper said, the Committee, despite insufficient funds, has been intensifying its work during the past three months.