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Belgian Government Arranges for Speedy Repatriation of Jewish Diamond Workers

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Arrangements for speedy repatriation of Jewish diamond workers and diamond dealers from Palestine and other countries to their former homes in Antwerp are now being made by the Belgian Government, it was revealed here today by Camille Haysmann, mayor of this city.

Before the outbreak of the war there were 23,000 diamond workers and 4,600 diamond dealers in Antwerp. One-third of the workers and two-thirds of the brokers were Jews. About 4,000 of the Jewish workers fled to Palestine and developed a diamond industry there. “I am confident that many of them will agree to be repatriated,” Mr. Huysmann said, revealing that under the existing arrangements some will be back in Antwerp “within a few weeks” while other groups of Jewish diamond workers and dealers will be repatriated within a few months.

Of the 50,000 Jews residing in Antwerp before the German occupation, only 2,000 remain. The Belgian Diamond Bank gave 400,000 francs to help fugitive Jews. The money was transmitted through Maurice Gutworth who now heads the Antwerp Jewish Relief Committee. Gutworth, himself, was in hiding, together with his mother and sister.

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