Jewish Communities in India Shelter 600 Jews Who Escaped from Burma

More than 600 Jews who fled from bombed and fire-ravaged Rangoon, Mandalay and other Burmese cities, prior to the Japanese occupation of all of Burma, are now being fed and sheltered by the Jewish communities of Bombay and Calcutta, assisted by the Indian Government, it was announced here today.

Together with Indian and European refugees, the Jews – including many aged men and women, and scores of babies – treked for months across turbulent rivers, malaria-infested swamps and over difficult mountain passes. During the entire journey they were subjected to almost constant bombing and machine-gunning from Japanese planes. They slept in fields and jungles with almost no protection, since the rigors of their march forced them to abandon their belongings and provisions. Some of the refugees today related heart-rending stories of the hardships and privations they underwent before reaching safety here. The mental and physical condition of many of them is still deplorable. Though all of them are dependent on charity, they are being made as comfortable as possible by the Jewish relief groups here.

The Jews of India, who are aiding the Burmese victims of the Japanese, are themselves unalarmed at the Japanese threat to India. They are closely cooperating with the Government and have contributed liberally to the War Effort Fund. The Jewish War Effort Committee, established two years ago, has already raised more than 25,000 rupees in Bombay alone, and large amounts have been donated by Jewish philanthropists. Jews are joining the army and navy and they have full confidence that final victory will be won, and are prepared for all eventualities.

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