LONDON (Mar. 31)
A country-wide drive to round-up and deport every Jew in France – whether of French or of foreign birth – has been launched by the Gestapo, and Nazi raiding units are pulling people off the streets, raiding homes and communal offices and threatening non-Jews with dire punishment for concealing Jewish children or adults, according to reliable reports reaching Jewish organizations here today through diplomatic channels.
A constant stream of Jewish deportees is leaving France for extermination ceters in eastern Europe, according to these reports. The most recent transport of Jews, consisting of about 3,000 persons, left the last week in February. At the same time, German searching parties are attempting to find thousands of Jewish children who are being sheltered by non-Jews. It is believed that there are several thousand of them hidden in the Paris area alone. The searches have spread to what was formerly unoccupied France where a large number of Jews are reported to be hiding at the homes of friendly peasants.
In Paris aged Jewish men and women are being dragged off the streets and sent to the internment camp at Drancy from where they are deported eastward. In Lyon, the offices of the General Union of French Jews was raided by the Gestapo last month and all the officials were sent to concentration camps and subsequently deported. Many Jews are attempting to flee to the Italian-occupied section of France, where the anti-Jewish restrictions are less severe, the reports say. It is estimated that ten to twenty thousand Jews have already succeeded in reeching there.
Meanwhile, the Germans have informed all foreign consulates in France, including those of Sweden and Turkey, that all Jews of foreign nationality, including citizens of the neutral nations, must leave the country before the end of March, otherwise they will all be treated as Jews, indiscriminately.