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Hundreds of Thousands of Jews Will Not Be Able to Return Home After War, Says Mc Donald

Several-hundred thousand European Jewish refugees will not be able to return to their homes after the war, it was predicted today by James G. McDonald, chairman of President Roosevelt’s Advisory Committee for Political Refugees, and former League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in an address before the National Conference for Palestine called by the United Palestine Appeal.

Mr. McDonald said that while it can be expected that most of the Jews formerly resident in France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg. Italy and the Baltic States will be permitted, and even encouraged, to return, “it is not reasonable to expect that postwar conditions in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria or even Czechoslovakia, will be favorable for the return of more than a fraction of the surviving Jews who formerly lived in those countries.

“I have come to this conclusion,” he continued,” because I am convinced that in all these central and southeastern European countries, economic and social conditions will be seriously adverse to the re-establishment of Jewish refugees in their old neighborhoods. The war will have devastated many of these areas, the struggle for existence will in all of them be intense and the task of recovering for displaced Jews their former properties will everywhere be difficult and in many communities impossible. He expressed doubt that treaties requiring former enemy nations to guarantee equality of right and opportunities will be effective, and added that he had little faith in the efficacy of proposals for a universal Bill of Rights.

After reviewing the prospects for post-war Jewish immigration in many countries, including the United States, Mr. McDonald said that he has come to the conclusion that “Palestine offers incontestably the primary hope for the solution of the problem of Jewish refugees.” He urged the following program of action for aiding the refugees. Strengthening of the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees; opening of Palestine, including Transjordania to unlimited Jewish immigration, and a joint agreement by Britain, America, Russia and France on the future of Palestine.

Addressing the conference, last night, Rabbi James G. Heller, national chairman of the UPA, condemned the assassination of Lord Moyne, but asserted that “to some extent” the British Government is responsible for the terror. Dr. Heller told the conference that Jews must provide $30,000,000 in 1945 to speed the building of the Jewish commonwealth in Palestine to make possible the immigration of 1,000,000 uprooted Jews from the European continent at the end of the war with Germany.

Other speakers included Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Henry Monsky, Judge Morris Rothenberg, Judge Ulysses S. Schwartz, president of the Chicago Jewish Welfare Fund, and Mrs. Moses Epstein, president of Hadassah.

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