LOS ANGELES (Mar. 9)
A recommendation that political and religious refugees from Germany be exempt from the order evacuating enemy aliens and that their “special knowledge of conditions in Germany” be used to discover fifth columnists and saboteurs was made here today before a Congressional committee investigating national defense migration.
The suggestion was advanced by Carey McWilliams, Chief of the California Division of Immigration and Housing, in the course of testimony at a public hearing of the committee. He stressed the urgent need for reclassification, either by separating refugees from the enemy alien group or licensing “stateless” refugees, or hearing and clearing them individually of the enemy alien stigma. “The registration figures will show that one-half of the 19,000 Germans in California are anti-Nazi ‘stateless’ refugees who have their first papers and who are presumably as loyal as any other,” McWilliams said.
Thomas Mann, noted German author, testifying at the Committee hearings voiced a strong plea against mass evacuation of German refugees, deploring the paradoxical situation of refugees who fled from oppression and now find themselves in danger of another type of oppression, though the very fact of their flight established them as enemies of Hitler.