JDC Arranges Emigration of Polish-jewish Refugees from Lisbon to Jamaica

Emigration from Portugal to the British island of Jamaica of 180 stranded Polish-Jewish refugees has been made possible through the collaboration of the Joint Distribution Committee with the British and Polish governments, it was announced here today by Joseph C. Hyman, executive vice-chairman of the JDC.

The refugees, Mr. Hyman pointed out, who have been stranded in Lisbon for periods up to a year and a half, would have remained stranded if the JDC had not come to their help because all previous efforts to secure overseas visas for them had failed. The Polish ambassador in Washington has been negotiating with the JDC for some time in an attempt to effect their rescue. The refugees will be booked by the JDC to sail for Jamaica at the earliest possible date.

Emphasizing that in the past 12 months nearly 20,000 persons have been aided by the JDC in emigrating from Europe, Asia and Africa to countries of the New World, Mr. Hyman said: “The entrance of the United States into the war has not halted this movement, as this latest achievement of the JDC clearly demonstrates. Neutral passenger ships are still sailing across the Atlantic and, in fact, since this country became a belligerent the JDC has been able to continue with its arrangements for sailings of refugees on these ships and has secured the approval of the United States Treasury Department for payment of large sums of money for this purpose.

“Since the United States entered the war,” Mr. Hyman continued, “the JDC has been able to arrange for one ship carrying 400 refugees to sail for America. This ship is now on the way and will call at Havana and New York soon. Another ship with 800 passengers also booked by the JDC, is about to sail. For these two vessels alone the Treasury Department has granted United States licenses for payments to the shipping companies in excess of half a million dollars. A third steamer is also scheduled to leave during January on which the JDC booked 350 passengers. In the space of a few weeks we will thus have been able to make it possible for 1,550 people to escape from Europe.”

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