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American Jewish Conference Reports on Rescue Measures to Save Hungarian Jews

The American Jewish Conference today issued a statement declaring that its Commission on Rescue has, in collaboration with the World Jewish Congress, “constantly pressed” for measures to save the Jews of Hungary from extermination.

“The mounting danger in Hungary was brought to the attention of the War Refugee Board shortly after its creation and even before the Nazi occupation of that country.” the statement said. “From the beginning it was apparent that militant warnings were essential if the Jews of Hungary were to be saved. The first such warning was issued by the President in March when he called on the people of the occupied countries to assist and shelter Jews and when he warned that those who share in the crimes against the Jews would share in the punishment.”

The statement emphasizes that among other things, steps were taken by the American Jewish Conference to mobilize American public opinion in support of an effective rescue program. The Jewish Agency was requested to obtain as many Palestine certificates as possible for Hungarian Jews. Efforts were made to secure visas for Hungarian rabbis in view of the fate that had befallen rabbis generally in occupied countries. The proposal was made that the Hungarian government be asked by neutral intermediaries for a statement of its intentions with regard to the Jews, and that the Red Cross be permitted access to the concentration camps.

“It was also urged that a complete list of all German aliens in the Americas and the British Empire be prepared with a view to exchanging them for endangered Jews in Hungary,” the statement continues. “The President’s warning has been reinforced by the statements of the Senate Foreign Relations and the House Foreign Affairs Committees. The Vatican and the heads of neutral governments have taken action. In addition to these measures, many other steps have been proposed and partly executed, some of them of a nature that cannot be indicated at this time.”

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