Jews in France Killed While Fleeing to Unoccupied Zone to Escape Deportation

Many Jews in the Nazi-held section of France seeking to escape deportation to Poland by fleeing to the unoccupied zone have been shot deed by German soldiers along the Cher and Saone rivers which are near the demarcation line between the occupied and the Vichy-governed areas, according to a reliable report received here from France today.

Meanwhile, the round-up of Jews continues in Paris and its environs, the report discloses. Nazi raiding squads roam the streets arresting Jews walking in the boulevards, making purchases in shops or sitting quietly in their homes. Whole families are reported to have committed suicide en masse rather than face deportation to Poland. It is estimated that about 30,000 Jews, men, women and children, are presently confined in internment camps in the Paris area.

The occupation authorities have officially notified Vichy that the arrested Jews are to be deported to Poland, according to the report. At the same time the Germans demanded that the Petain Government surrender to them all Jewish refugees in the interment camps in the Pyrenees region and in the department of Bouches Du Rhone, which takes in the Marseilles area. Thousands of Jews are in these camps, the largest of which are the Gurs and Vernet camps in the Pyrenees and the Hotel du Levant and Les Milles in the Marseilles district.

LAVAL BACKS NAZI DEMANDS FOR SURRENDER OF REFUGEES IN UNOCCUPIED ZONE

The German request for the extradition of these refugees has the support of Premier Laval, the report declares, but is opposed by Marshal Petain and Admiral Darlan. Petain, it is stated, threatened to resign and issue a proclamation to the French people if Laval insisted on granting the Nazis’ demands.

In Paris, the press of pro-German anti-Semitic Jacques Doriot, which has become virtually an organ of the Gestapo, publishes a daily tirade against the Jews in an attempt to incite violence and convince the French people that the arrests are justified.

The Fighting French radio at Brazzaville in French Equatorial Africa, heard here today, indicates, however, that the French people are actively opposed to the new persecution of the Jews. “Catholics in France, even those who support the Vichy Government, are leading the fight against anti-Semitic activities,” the broadcaster stated. “All France has been aroused.”

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