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Members of Jewish Body in Belgium Arrested on Charge of Collaboration with Nazis

Jewish members of the Association of Jews in Belgium formed by the Germans during the occupation and headed by the Chief Rabbi are now being arrested by leaders of the Independence Front and the Maquis movement and held for investigation, a correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today upon his arrival here. Some of them are charged with collaborating with the German occupation authorities.

It was estimated here today that at least 35,000 Jews were deported from Belgium. Among them were members of the Association of Jews in Belgium. The Chief Rabbi, who was the head of the organization, was arrested and had his beard cut off by the Gestapo in the concentration camp where he was held. The guards also forced him to wash the latrines. He was freed by the arrival of the Allied troops.

The cantor of the Liege synagogue was hidden for two years by a local Catholic priest who also secreted six other Jews, giving up his own bed. The cantor’s wife and child were hidden in a convent. Nearly every Belgian clergyman helped to hide Jews, the JTA correspondent was told.