American Jewish Conference Appeals to Roosevelt to Continue Rescue of Jews in Europe

The American Jewish Conference today announced that it has appealed to President Roosevelt to extend the term of the War Refugee Board so that the work of rescuing Jews from occupied European territories may continue.

At the same time, the Conference announced that it has received reports which make it clear that "war conditions notwithstanding, there is still a good possibility of saving tens of thousands of Jewish lives now in Nazi-occupied territory," if appropriate measures are taken without delay by Jews in this country, with the support of the Allied governments.

"Figures on the exact number of Jews who survived in Europe vary, but it appears that with the exception of the Soviet Union, over 1,200,000 Jews still live in Europe, of whom about fifty percent are under Nazi domination," the announcement said, numerating the following ways and means of rescuing the Jews in Axis-controlled areas.

"1. Some can be saved by arranging an exchange of Jews detained in concentration camps, for German civilian prisoners in the hands of the Allied powers. Thus far, very little has been done to exploit this avenue of rescue.

"2. Neutral powers could issue protective passports to Jews in Axis countries Sweden has promised to grant some 10,000 protective passports and, in fact, has already issued 6,000. Much more could be done if the Allied powers intervened with the neutral states and encouraged them to give similar protection to Jewish victims.

"3. There are today many Jewish refugees in Palestine, allied and neutral countries, whose wives and children are still in Nazi-occupied countries. The intervention of the protecting powers could bring about the evacuation of their families from the danger zones, and their transportation to the countries where their heads reside. An attempt in this direction was made on behalf of Jewish refugees who settled in Palestine but the powers in charge, while promising aid, have done nothing for them, and in the meantime many of the families who could have been saved have perished.

"4. The underground movements could be aided in the rescue of families and groups. In many cases the underground movements have brought women and children across guarded frontiers.

"5. The International Red Cross, the League of Red Cross Societies and the American Red Cross could, by extending their protection to Jewish internees, save thousands of families from death. For reasons that can scarcely be considered valid, in matters of life and death, the Red Cross organizations do little to protect and feed Jewish internees. When it was done, as in the case of Hungary, many lives were saved.

"6. Food and clothing should be rushed at once to Jews detained in concentration and labor camps. It is an undeniable fact that millions of dollars and thousands of tons of food were sent to the Axis countries for civilian prisoners and non-Jews, with the consent of the Allied powers. But none of these measures was applied to Jews under Hitler’s domination. Whether or not the Jews in concentration and labor camps can be transported to safer zones, their clothing and feeding is of paramount and immediate importance.

"There are many other possibilities of rescuing Jewish lives, but the prevailing erroneous impression that "nothing can be done any more! or that the battle of rescue was lost," which results in the inactivity and lack of cooperation on the part of the Allied powers, must not stand in the way of continuing the rescue battle." the statement added.

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