Cairo (Sep. 9)
The question of arranging immediate assistance by the Joint Distribution Committee for 20,000 Jewish refugees from Nazi-held territories who have been interned in Italy since the outbreak of the war will be taken up with the Allied authorities at their headquarters in Algiers, Dr. Joseph Schwartz, European director of the J.D.C., told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today.
Dr. Schwartz said he is proceeding at once to Algiers to approach the representatives of the United Nations with regard to the best and most effective ways to deal not only with the situation of the Jewish refugees in Italy, but also with the special needs of the Italian Jewish population. He will also seek permission for a J.D.C. representative to be admitted into Italy in order to study the Jewish relief situation there and undertake necessary measures to cope with the special Jewish relief problems.
While the immediate question of feeding Italy’s population is expected to be handled by the military authorities through the Aid, there is wide-range activity in the liberated territory which could best be discharged by private relief agencies, Dr. Schwartz believes. “The liberation of Italian territory offers the first opportunity in Axis lands to deal with the refugee problem on an extensive basis and to work out a pattern of cooperation between public and private agencies in connection with the entire relief set-up,” Dr. Schwartz said. He pointed out that though the Jewish population will receive the same treatment for the Allied authorities as the non-Jewish, there are also special Jewish protects could be best dealt with by Jewish organizations.
“These problems,” he declared, “include the reorganization and re-establishment of the Jewish communal, religious and cultural institutions which have practically been destroyed. It is important and desirable from every point of view to have side by side government bodies and representatives of the J.D.C. contacting refugees and local Jewish communities.”