Jews in Switzerland, Flooded by Appeals from Nazi Countries, Cannot Relay Them

Jewish organizations in Switzerland are now in a dilemma as a result of the many desperate appeals sent them from Poland and other Nazi-occupied countries which cannot be transmitted to important Jewish institutions in America, England and Palestine because of the official policy of the Swiss Government aimed at not antagonizing neighboring Germany by passing reports which the Nazis consider are “atrocity propaganda” against them.

Swiss censorship, though very mild as compared with censorship in belligerent countries, is very reluctant to pass news which will tell the world of Nazi massacres of Jews and mass-deportations of the Jewish population from Nazi-occupied countries, unless this news is published in the Swiss press, or in the German newspapers reaching Switzerland from the Reich and from occupied territories. This makes it almost impossible for Swiss Jewish organizations to relay to the Jewish leaders in democratic countries the various reports which reach them concerning Nazi brutalities in the occupied lands, since there reports reach Switzerland mostly through underground channels.

The practical severance of mail connections between Switzerland and the United States after the complete occupation of France by the Nazi military authorities has made matters even worse. It created a situation whereby Jewish organizations in the United States, which hitherto received material from their representatives in Switzerland by airmail or ordinary mail can no longer receive such material directly from Switzerland. Newspapermen still manage to transmit from Switzerland to the United States some news unfavorable to Germany, including reports of the Nazi annihilation of Jews in the occupied territories, but they too are often limited by censorship regulations.

In the meantime Jewish groups in Switzerland continue to receive more alarming messages from Poland reporting increased Nazi extermination of Jews. This intensified activity against the Jews has assumed even wider proportions since the Nazi defeat at Stalingrad. The Jews in Poland hope that their messages will reach the Jews in the United States and that some effective steps will be taken to force Hitler to halt the mass-slaughter of Jews before all the Jews of Poland are annihilated.

NEXT STORY