Unrra Decides to Furnish Relief to Jews in Enemy and Ex-enemy Countries in Europe

Special measures for relief of Jews in enemy territory as well as in the liberated countries of Europe will be taken by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration – with the consent of the occupying military authorities – under a resolution passed today by the Policy Committee of the UNRRA Council now in session here.

The resolution, as originally introduced by the British delegation, merely authorized the UNRRA to furnish relief to Allied nationals found in enemy and ex-enemy territory. Dean Acheson, leader of the United States delegation, however, proposed an amendment reading: “or to other persons who have been obliged to leave their country, or place of origin, or former residence, or who have been deported therefrom by action of the enemy because of their race, religion, or activities in favor of the United Nations.”

In offering this amendment, Acheson emphasized that it was specifically designed to enable the UNRRA to help persecuted members of national minorities of whom ninety-five percent are Jewish. He added that the amendment did not cover the problem of repatriation. At a press conference he estimated that approximately ninety-nine percent of all the Jews on the European continent would come under the provisions of the amendment. The only Jews not covered by it, he said, would be those who had been allowed to remain in their homes in enemy territory.

Representatives of major Jewish organizations who are expected to be called for a hearing before the joint committee of the UNRRA dealing with problems of health, welfare and displaced persons, today formulated a unified program which will be presented to the joint committee on Monday. The program demands;

1. Repatriation and other aid for displaced persons in enemy and ex-enemy territory and for victims of the Nazi regime prior to the outbreak of the war.

2. Aid to victims of racial and religious persecution in enemy and ex-enemy territory.

3. Aid to displaced Jews who cannot or do not desire to be repatriated.

The organizations which agreed on this program include the American Jewish Committee, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Conference and the Agudas Israel. Their representatives also promised to support the demand that dietary and religious laws be observed in UNRRA relief activities for Jews.

It was reliably learned here today that the question of settling Jewish refugees in Palestine has not been considered by the UNRRA council. Representatives of the U.S. delegation made it clear that there is no basis for the impression prevailing here that the United States delegation had interested itself in the question of settling Jewish refugees in Palestine

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