U.S. Jews Urged by Bernstein to Aid 1,500 Refugees Stranded in Lisbon

An appeal to American Jewry to come the rescue of 1,500 Jewish refugees who possess visas to overseas countries but are unable to emigrate without financial assistance, was made here today through the Jewish Telegraphic agency by Dr. James Bernstein, European director of the Hias-Ica Emigration Association.

Pointing out that the new immigration regulations issued by the State Department in Washington are severely constricting the work of rescuing relatives of American citizens from the European maelstrom, Dr. Bernstein warned that international developments may at any moment bring the emigration work to a complete standstill. “For this reason it is imperative that everything that can be done at present should be done at once, or we may find ourselves too late. People who can be helped today with little effort may be beyond our aid soon,” Dr. Bernstein said.

He called upon the Jews of America to respond generously to the “Rescue Through Emigration” campaign which the HIAS is conducting in the United States, stating that $250,000 could still save people from war-stricken Europe while international conditions still permit emigration into oversea lands.

“The funds available to the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association for emigration activities are completely exhausted. At least $250,000 are necessary immediately if people from unoccupied countries already in possession of visas to overseas lands are to be saved. A few hundred others have the possibility of obtaining visas to Latin American countries,” Dr. Bernstein explained. He emphasized the desperate urgency of the situation, and stated that the visas of several hundred refugees are soon to expire and will not be renewed. Internment camps in France, slavery in labor camps in North Africa, and jails in other countries await those who lose their chance to emigrate, he added.

“Under such circumstances I feel that I must appeal directly to the American Jewish public for aid for these people. This may be their last opportunity and it would be tragic if we miss it, not only for ourselves, but for those unfortunates whose sole hope may be snatched from them at any moment now,” Dr. Bernstein concluded.

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