HAIFA (Dec. 21)
A group of Palestinian Jewish citizens arrived here today from Germany in the first exchange to be effected under the terms of a British-German civilian exchange agreement. The group, numbering 29 women, 16 children and one aged man, was repatriated in exchange for a number of Germans rounded up in Afghanistan a few months ago. They stated that their release was “a real Chanukah miracle, because we expected to be held for the duration of the war.”
The Palestinians were among many caught by the outbreak of war in Poland, where they were visiting relatives. They were transferred to Berlin and placed in a detention camp. On Dec. 7 they were moved to Vienna, then to Sofia and later to Istanbul. The trip from Istanbul to Haifa was made on a Turkish steamer under British escort.
According to the arrivals, there were no signs of famine in Germany proper, though food was inadequate and there was much underground grumbling over the rationing and the irregularity of supplies. Criticism of Hitler, they said, had markedly increased since the reverses suffered by the German armies on the eastern front. The German public, they declared, was still mystified over the Rudolf Hess flight to Scotland.