Brussels (Feb. 9)
About 5,000 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria who managed to escape capture and deportation under German occupation have been classified as “enemy aliens” by the Belgian Government and are being subjected to restrictive security measures, a special correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency established here today.
These refugees who were deprived of German nationality by Hitler under the Nazi racial laws, and thus left stateless, were re-classified by the Belgian authorities as “Germans” and are being treated accordingly. Several hundred of them have been arrested and imprisoned on the sole ground that they are German nationals, while strict police supervision was established over the remainder. They are required to report to the police one or more times weekly and cannot leave the district in which they reside.
The property of all these Jews has been sequestered. Their bank and postal accounts have been blocked. None of these Jews can receive insurance benefits, nor collect from debtors. They cannot bring action in courts, and are refused permission to work.
Some of these refugees have organized a “Jewish Committee of Refugees and Victims of Racial Laws” and are seeking to bring their plight to the attention of the Belgian Government and Allied military authorities. They protest bitterly against the stigma of being placed in the same category with Nazis and seek restoration of their status as refugees enjoying sanctuary until such a time as the future of all victims of Nazi racial policy will be determined.