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Post-war Restoration of Jewish Rights Would Ease Refugee Problem

The post-war refugee problem will be “beyond solution” if the United Nations do not see to it that Jews in liberated Europe are fully restored to their citizenship rights and that safety and protection of life and property is guaranteed to them, Sir Herbert Emerson writes in an article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs.

“There are now countries in Europe where whole classes of the population, and especially the Jews, are suffering every form of persecution that a diabolical ingenuity can devise,” the article says, “There are millions who would escape tomorrow if they were able to do so. No wonder that many regard these countries as places in which they cannot live in the future. There is grave danger of a new rush outward as soon as the opportunity occurs – a centrifugal movement which would go far to cancel the homing instinct of others, and which would superimpose on the long-term problem a new refugee problem which would make the whole intractable and insoluble.

“It must be the business of the United Nations to see that this does not happen. In imposing terms of peace they must at once annul all discriminatory legislation and all administrative measures of discrimination. They must restore to the affected classes the rights of citizens and guarantee them safety and protection of life and property. These measures must have the sanction of military force. True, this alone will not wipe out the legacy of hatred and prejudice which Nazism will leave behind. Time is the only real insolvent. But conditions must meanwhile be made at least tolerable, and the principle enforced that it is the first duty of a government to protect its own nationals. It is not only the fate of the millions of persons now directly affected that is at issue. If the flagrant breach of this principle by the Nazis is condoned, then sooner or later other countries will inevitably adopt the same evil methods. The refugee problem, which will otherwise yield to treatment, would then have to be designated as beyond solution.”

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