JDC Has Spent $27,857,000 to Aid Refugees Since Outbreak of War

The Joint Distribution Committee has allotted a total of $27,857,000 for overseas relief, emigration assistance and economic and cultural help to Jews in 52 countries in the four-year period from Sep., 1939, when the war broke out, up to Sep., 1943, it was disclosed in a review of the JDC’s war-time activities made public here today.

About $7,181,000 was spent in 1939-40, $6,087,000 in 1940-41, and $6,827,000 in 1941-42, and $7,762,000 was appropriated in 1942-43, the report said, adding that since Pearl Harbor the J.D.C. has allotted $13,625,000, most of which was dispatched overseas under license from the U. S. Treasury.

Joseph C. Hyman, Executive Vice-Chairman of the J.D.C., declared that the agency had enabled 68,000 Jewish refugees, or 60 per cent of the total who fled Europe and other areas, to escape to the Western Hemisphere and Palestine; that in the 27 months from the outbreak of war until Pearl Harbor it made available $4,400,000 for the relief of Jews in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Luxembourg, Danzig and Yugoslavia, “without actually sending dollars or any other currency into Axis territory;” and provided food, clothing, medical aid, child care and emigration assistance to refugees in Asiatic Russia, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, North Africa, Palestine, Portugal, Rumania, Shanghai, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and in such outposts as Bombay, Burma, the island of Mauritius and the Dutch East and West Indies.

The J.D.C., he said, also supplied reconstructive aid through vocational and language training centers, loan cooperatives and legal advice on behalf of 125,000 immigrants in Central and South America; acted as the source of emergency help to shipwrecked and otherwise stranded refugees in all parts of the world; arranged prior to Pearl Harbor, that in the event that American agencies could no longer maintain communications with certain territories, local relief committees in Axis countries should continue to operate; and utilized its vast rehabilitation experience, which it gained after World War I, to begin reconstruction of the war-shattered Jewish communities of Tunisia and other sections of North Africa.

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