Jewish Congress Says Britain Can Save Bulgarian Jews from Deportation

A call for immediate action, to be taken by Great Britain on behalf of the United Nations, to save the Jews of Bulgaria from deportation “to certain death in the East” was issued today by the World Jewish Congress. The call points out that “every essential condition necessary to solve this problem” has been ready for months.

“There is a place for the Bulgarian Jews to go,” the World Jewish Congress points out.” 29,000 permits to admit Jews to Palestine are already promised; of these, 13,000 have already been made available since March-but not yet used.

“There are no such difficulties of transportation as to excuse failure to remove the endangered persons promptly,” the Congress argues. “From Sofia to Palestine is a matter of about a thousand miles. We understand railway cars can be made available to Istanbul. Sweden is sending food ships to Greece, which could pick up refugees at Istanbul-a suggestion which Swedish circles themselves have proposed. There are also Turkish ships which have been approved for transporting refugees by British officials on the spot. We do not make these concrete suggestions as the best or the only ones possible. But even if no facilities at all were available, the Bulgarian Jews would be glad to walk the thousand miles from Sofia, or the four hundred miles through Turkey. It would not be the first time in recent Jewish history that such an Anabasis has been accomplished.

“No objection can be made on the score that it will be necessary to negotiate with an Axis power; that question was settled months ago, when the British Government and Bulgaria, through a neutral intermediary, agreed to remove 4,000 Jewish children and 500 adults to Palestine. We appreciate fully the great value of the precedent thus set. But four months have already been taken up, since the agreement was reached, with difficulties of an administrative nature. Is it not now time, in view of the imminent destruction of a whole community of Jews, to act even more boldly and, if it is necessary, to discard ordinary cautions and procedures?” the Congress concludes.

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