Sweden to Admit Elderly Jews from Reich if Their Maintenance is Guaranteed

The Swedish Government today announced that it will issue entry visas to a number of elderly Jews from Germany, providing that Jewish community in Sweden will assume responsibility for their maintenance.

The announcement was made in connection with the renewed mass-deportations of Jews from Germany to Nazi-held Eastern territories. The gesture of the Swedish Government is especially appreciated by Jewish circles here, in view of the fact that it was made despite the delicate position in which Sweden, as a nation surrounded by Axis-dominated countries, is situated.

The granting of Swedish visas to German Jews, as announced today, is so far of moral value only since the Nazi authorities for the time being have completely suspended Jewish emigration from the Reich. The visas will, however reissued with the provision that they will be valid for an indefinite period.

For the first time since the last World War the Jewish community in Sweden was compelled to bake its own matzohs this Passover. In normal times the community imported its matzohs from the United States and England. Last year the matzohs came from Latvia. With the Nazi occupation of Latvia, the Jewish bakers in Sweden, though not equipped for the job, had no other choice but to take up the baking of matzohs for the Swedish Jews as well as for the Jewish refugees now in Sweden.

Public “sedorim” were held on Passover in Stockholm attended by native Jews, by Jews from Norway who escaped into Sweden, and by Jewish refugees from Germany. The Jewish refugees from Norway usually enjoy a better status here than those from the Reich, because the Swedish authorities are freely issuing labor permits to Norwegian citizens. The position of the German-Jewish refugees in Sweden is rather precarious since they are considered stateless as a result of Germany’s depriving them of their German citizenship. As stateless persons they cannot take any employment without special permission from the authorities, and are also not in a position to return to Sweden once they have left the country.

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