Jewish Relief Committee Organized in Liberated Poland: Hopes for Aid from America

A Jewish relief committee to organize aid for all surviving Jews in the liberated part of Poland has been established here. It is headed by Dr. Shloima Herszenhorn who is also the head of the Jewish department at the Polish Committee for National Liberation which is recognized by Moscow as the temporary Polish government.

In an interview with the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Dr. Herszenhorn stated that the Polish Committee for National Liberation has voted 100,000 zloty – about $20,000-to the new Jewish relief body for immediate aid for needy Jews. A house at 8 Rybna Street here has been made available as headquarters for the relief committee and plans are being considered for the restoration of the system of Jewish cooperatives which existed before the outbreak of the war and were supported with funds received from the Joint Distribution Committee.

The hope that an American Jewish relief delegation will shortly come to liberated Poland was expressed here today both by Dr. Herszenhorn and by Dr. Emil Sommerstein, the 61-year-old Zionist leader and member of the Polish Committee for National Liberation. “The need among the surviving Jews is great,” Dr. Sommerstein told the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “We must get relief from abroad, especially clothing, by airplane, if possible. Most of the 100,000 surviving Jews have nothing to wear. They also need medicine, machinery, tools and all kinds of help to return to normal life. What does the maintenance of 100,000 Jews mean to their brethren in the United States who came to the aid of millions of Jews in Europe before the outbreak of the war?”

Many Jews are now registering daily with the Jewish relief committee here, indicating that more Jews survived the German occupation than seemed possible a month ago. The overall figure, however, is tragically small. The main problem, at present. in addition to registering the Jews, is to do whatever is possible to assist them to rebuild their shattered lives.

The major problem, from a long-term point of view, is retraining the surviving Jews so that they can earn a living. There is also the problem of elderly men and women who are no longer employable. For most of them the best solution would be their emigration to relatives in the United States, Palestine, Great Britain and South America, where they could spend their remaining years away from the horrors which they have suffered, Jewish leaders feel.

On the whole, the situation of the Jews in liberated Poland shapes up pretty much as follows: The Jews are not helpless, but are in dire need and require assistance. The new conditions which will prevail in Poland will undoubtedly make it possible for them to live a better life, but what is needed is aid in weathering the difficulties of the first few months.

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