LISBON (Nov. 2)
Nazi authorities will soon institute several anti-Jewish measures in retaliation for President Roosevelt’s Navy Day speech in the German press reaching here today. As a result a wave of fear is sweeping over the Jews in Germany and in the occupied countries, according to information reaching here today through the most reliable channels.
The German press reached a new peak of virulence in commenting on the President’s speech. It charged President Roosevelt was “a lying Jew who is following a Jewish policy.” Several articles recalled Rumanian Premier Antonescu’s recent statement that Jews have forfeited their right to humane treatment. Indications were that the Nazi authorities were attempting to blame the Jews for America’s anti-Nazi policy and to encourage the population to work out their resentment on the Jews. It is significant that some papers charged emigrees from Germany gave President Roosevelt the Nazi map of South America which he referred to in his address.
During the last seventy-two hours the refugee organizations here have been inundated with frantic pleas for assistance in leaving Axis territory. It is disclosed here that the Nazi official in charge of the deportation of Vienna Jews this past week, warned of another “November 20.” November 20, 1938 was the day on which the Nazis launched a wide-scale pogrom on Jews in the Reich in alleged retaliation for the murder of Ernst Von Rath, German diplomat in Paris, by Herschel Grynzpan.
Appeals are streaming in here from Jews in Nazi territory who have apparently been warned that unless they emigrate by a set date they will be deported to Poland. Confirmation of this is seen in the fact that mass deportations of Jews from various parts of German territory to Poland are continuing. Acute alarm is also felt by refugees in France, Spain and Portugal as a result of the latest international developments. The sinking of the Rueben James has given rise to fears that America’s entry into the war would out them off from all means of escape and cause them to fall once more into Nazi hands. Refugee organizations are doing their utmost to speed the departure of those able to leave. Today almost 400 refugees, mainly from Germany and Austria, sailed from Barcelona on the Isle de Teneriffe for Central and South America, after the Joint Distribution Committee had succeeded in overcoming last minute technical difficulties.
NEARLY 300 GERMAN REFUGEES STRANDED IN BARCELONA
Another group of nearly 300 refugees from Germany, however, who were admitted to Spain to secure renewal of their expired United States visas, are stranded there because of the insistence of the United States consul that they submit positive proof that they have left no close relatives in Axis-controlled territory. This requirement is part of the new immigration regulations introduced by the United States State Department on July 1, 1941. Since it is manifestly impossible to secure the so-called “family books” which the consulate is demanding, only twenty-seven visas have been issued to the group in the six weeks that they have been here, although they had been previously examined and passed by the consul who issued the original visa and had their applications approved by Washington.
The experience of the refugees in Barcelona and in other cities indicates that if the State Department is sincere in its assertion that the new regulations are not intended to cut down immigration, it is necessary that clear-cut instructions to this effect be issued to the various consuls in cities where refugee traffic is heavy. At present the consulates seem to be working on the definite theory that the United States Government wants to restrict immigration.
A well known refugee worker here, discussing the situation with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent, warned that “the time is now ripe for another Navemar.” He pointed out that all the ingredients for a similar tragedy exist in the present situation.