London (Jan. 24)
The Spanish Government is releasing all Jewish refugees of non-military age from the internment camps where they have been held since early 1942, when thousands of Jews from France entered Spain illegally in order to escape deportation to Nazi-held eastern territories, the London press reported today.
Many refugee women and children have already been freed and the release of men under 18 and over 40 years of age is progressing, the report said. Most of the refugees of military age are confined at the Miranda camp near Bilbao, where conditions have improved, though they are still far from satisfactory, the newspapers disclosed.
The action of the Spanish Government is interpreted by the press to indicate a substantial change in the official policy of Spain on admitting refugees. The London newspapers predict that the Allied Nations will make further efforts to find sanctuary for refugees, and they emphasize that the Spanish authorities “are seemingly willing to help this end.” In the meantime a considerable influx of Jewish refugees from France into Spain across the Pyrenees continues, the reports reveal.
The suggestion that the flight of refugees from France through Spain in transit to Lisbon for emigration to overseas countries should be “properly organized” in order to avoid a food shortage in Spain which might become an obstacle to permitting the refugees to remain temporarily in Spain, is made in some of the London newspapers today. It is pointed out that since the refugees must flee from France secretly and must enter Spain illegally, it is essential that their entry should not be jeopardized by a shortage of food in Spain.