Most French Jews Seeking to Emigrate, Hias-ica Reports

Almost the entire Jewish population of unoccupied France is seeking advice regarding emigration possibilities to overseas lands, according to a report issued by the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association.

The HIAS-ICA office in Marseille has so far registered more than 30,000 Jews who applied for visas to various overseas countries. During March the HIAS-ICA intervened with a number of consulates in Marseille for more than 1,000 applicants, of whom 800 were seeking entrance to the United States.

The association has, according to the report, also sent a special representative to the various isolation camps in which refugees are being kept to register internees who are candidates for emigration. The representative examined 1,400 cases in Camp de Gurs and made the necessary intervention with consulates to secure visas for the people involved. Similar action was undertaken for internees in Camp Rivesaltes, where some 2,000 Jews are kept, and in Camp D’Argeles where 500 Jews are interned. Steps have been taken by the HIAS-ICA to facilitate emigration of some 400 internees in these two camps.

Acting upon the request of the French authorities, the association opened a branch office at the Camp de Milles, a transit camp near Marseille. More than 1,000 Jews have been transferred from other camps in unoccupied France to this camp in view of the fact that the French authorities established that these internees had good chances for speedy emigration.

The relations between the Vichy authorities and the HIAS-ICA are very cordial, the report states. The association is now negotiating with the central authorities for permitting emigrants to take out of France a certain sum of foreign currency, since French currency is no longer accepted in Spain and Portugal for railway tickets.

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