One-fifth of Palestinian Soldiers in German Camps Have Succeeded in Escaping

Only 1,200 of the 1,500 Palestinian Jewish soldiers captured in Greece by the Nazis remain in German prison camps – the other 300 have, by various ingenious means, which cannot be disclosed now, succeeded in escaping in the past two years, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was told today by several of the Palestinians who arrived here last week among the invalided British soldiers exchanged for wounded Germans.

The invalided Palestinians also revealed that only intervention by the International Red Cross saved the German-born Jewish prisoners from being turned over to the Gestapo. When the Palestinians arrived at prison camps in Austria and the Balkans, they said, the Germans attempted to separate the German-born soldiers but desisted when the Red Cross representatives protested sharply. Their papers were stamped “British Jude,” however, but this did not result in discriminatory treatment.

Some of the prisoners were sent to work in the coal mines in Silesia, but they were sent back to the camp when the International Red Cross again intervened. The Jewish soldiers declared that on the whole they were not treated badly, because of Red Cross supervision. They received Red Cross parcels in addition to packages sent them from Palestine. The German guards, they report, were extremely arrogant at first, but recently their attitude had changed, possibly in an attempt to lay the basis for a plea for mercy after the war.

All the Palestinians appear well and happy and full of praise for the hospitality which has been shown them in the past week. They have been wined and dined in service clubs and private homes here ever since their arrival.

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