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Jewish Agency Opposes Sending of Rescued Jews to Africa; Wants Them in Palestine

The Jewish Agency for Palestine is deeply concerned over the fate of 1,670 Jews who were recently rescued from the German concentration camp in Bergen-Lelzen and are now in Switzerland from where they will be sent to a UNRRA camp in Algiers, Moshe Shertok, head of the Agency’s political department, told a press conference today.

“The Jewish Agency sees no sense in sending these rescued Jews to a camp in North Africa instead of enabling them to proceed to Palestine,” Shertok said. “Especially since about 1,200 of them are Chalutzim and veteran Zionists.”

Appealing to the Palestine Government to issue special immigration permits for these Jews, Shertok emphasized that reports received by the Jewish Agency reveal that the rescued Jewish men and women were deeply distressed by the discovery that they are to be moved to North Africa, “When they escaped from Germany, they were under the impression that they would be taken to Palestine. They are terribly down-hearted now that they have been told that admission to Palestine is barred to them,” Shertok declared.

Speaking on the question of securing more immigration visas for Jews who wish to emigrate from liberated countries to Palestine, Shertok told the press Conference that this is the most important problem facing the Jewish Agency. He disclosed that the Agency has asked the Palestine Government to increase the quota of visas now being issued on account of the balance of immigration certificates still due under the White Paper, but that no reply has been received as yet.

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