ZURICH (Apr. 8)
The danger that thousands of American quota visas will go to waste in Germany, France and other European countries unless issued by the end of this month, when the quota year expires, was emphasized here today by Jewish organizations interested in assisting Jewish emigration from Nazi-held territories.
Reports which reached these organizations from Vienna, Berlin, Prague and unoccupied France said many of these visas could be saved if the American consulates abandoned their recently-instituted procedure of granting visas only when the applicant proves that passage has been secured for him to the United States on a definite date.
Because of the limited transportation facilities between Europe and the U.S., most of the applicants eligible for American visas are unable to secure reservations on steamers sailing this month. Their chances of acquiring the visas, to which they are entitled under this year’s quota, are therefore very slight.
With the quota year ending in April, they will automatically be transferred to the quota year of 1942 which begins in July. Thus a large number of visas under this year’s quota will remain unused. Applicants who expected to receive their visas under next year’s quota would be shifted automatically to a year later.
At present all steamers sailing from Europe to the United States are booked to the end of Summer. The only possibility for refugees from Germany and Austria to reach the United States is by traveling via Soviet Russia and Japan. The Jewish community in Vienna has at its disposal funds for the transportation of several hundred emigrants monthly over this route, while Jewish relief organizations in Berlin hope to book about 400 emigrants for June and July.
American consulates in Berlin and in Vienna continue to be besieged with applicants seeking visas before the quota year expires. The emigrants hope that since the visas are valid for three months they may be able to secure passage before the visas expire.