Menu JTA Search

Consuls Mobilized in Lisbon to Speed Reissuing of Visas to Navemar Refugees

A large number of United States consuls from Nazi-occupied countries, who are here awaiting new assignments, were mobilized today by the Lisbon Consulate to speed up the work of reexamining and reissuing the visas of 250 refugees aboard the Navemar, whose visas expired while waiting in Spain for a month until the steamer was ready to sail.

At the same time representatives of the Jewish refugee relief organizations here held a conference with the operators of the Navemar, seeking to secure some alleviation of the horrible conditions existing on board, which were described by this correspondent yesterday. The operators reported that Supplies sufficient for the entire voyage, including food, linen, drinking water, were being prepared and would be loaded as soon as the ship was authorized to dock. At present the ship is anchored in mid-stream. Other difficulties will also be eliminated while the Navemar is in port, the operators stated. The only discomfort remaining will be the overcrowding. The primitive, unhealthy conditions existing on the trip from Seville to Lisbon were a result of the impossibility of securing supplies in Spain, the operators explained.

Ship peddlers in lighters came out from the shore today and did a rushing business in bread, sardines and fruit with the half-starved, miserable passengers. The passengers were somewhat assured when they saw load after load of food being unloaded from lighters onto the ship, and other lighters discharging water into the ship’s tanks.

It was disclosed that almost three-quarters of those aboard the Navemar had been privately booked, while the refugee relief organizations had only placed refugees who didn’t dare wait for other accommodations. For many this voyage is no doubt their last chance of escape.

NEXT STORY