Polish Government Asked to Save Polish Jews in Shanghai As War Looms in Far East

With the imminent danger of war in the Far East threatening the position of several thousand Jewish refugees from Poland stranded in Shanghai, a Jewish delegation today visited the Polish Government here asking that steps be taken to enable the departure of as many Polish Jews from Shanghai as possible.

The delegation, representing the Council of Polish Jews, was received by the general secretary of the Polish Foreign Ministry, Kajetan Morawski, who assured them that all efforts will be made by the Polish Government to secure visas for at least 1,000 Polish Jews who are now in Shanghai and to do everything possible to protect the other Polish Jews there from any peril.

The London press today estimates the number of Jewish refugees in Shanghai to be more than 20,000, which is one-fourth of the total foreign population of Shanghai. The majority of these refugees are Jews from the Reich whom the Chinese call “New Jews” as distinguished from the old community of Russian, American, and Oriental Jews who have been in the city for many years.

Reporting that about 5,000 of these refugees – men, women and children – are spending their second winter in the refugee camps in Hongkew, the London newspapers paint a very gloomy picture of the condition of the majority of the other refugees, stating that they depend for subsistence upon free meals which they receive in the camps. The camps now only give one meal a day to their inhabitants and to needy people from outside, they report. The meal is given at noon time and consists of a bowl of vegetable soup and half a bread. Three times a week an egg is added. Tea is given in abundance, but it is months since the refugees ate their last piece of meat.

According to the reports in the London papers there are three large camps in the Hongkew section of Shanghai. Each shelters from 300 to 1,000 people and gives food to hundreds living outside. The one-meal-a-day regime was introduced about six months ago when local funds were exhausted. Almost all relief work is now being conducted on funds secured from the American Joint Distribution Committee.

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