Menu JTA Search

Swiss Press and Leaders Demand Abolition of Internment Camps for Jewish Refugees

Leading Swiss personalities, supported by the Swiss press, have started a campaign to improve the legal position of some 800 Jewish refugees interned in camps here and known as “the soldiers of a labor army without a country” since they have been working in Swiss fields helping to produce a rich harvest of grain and potatoes.

The chief criticism is directed against the lack of concern with which the authorities treat the individual needs of the refugees. It is pointed out that it has been Swiss tradition of many centuries to grant “right of sanctuary” to political and religious exiles. “History will judge whether our present policy towards the refugees is intelligent and necessary. We fear that this policy will not be a page of glory in our history,” writes the National Zeitung, one of the leading Swiss newspapers. Other newspapers urge abolishment of the labor camps and request the opening of the Swiss labor market to the refugees so that they will be able to gain employment in the field of work for which they are best qualified.