Rome (May. 14)
The Jews of Italy will be able to re-establish themselves individually, and as a community, sooner than the Jews in any other part of Europe that was overrun by the Nazis, Reuben Renik, Joint Distribution Committee representative here, who has just returned from a lengthy tour of northern Italy, much of which was made with advanced Allied forces, said today.
Resnik told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “the loss of life among Italian Jews was not nearly as great as had been feared. Efforts to round them up were made much later than in other countries and many escaped through the kindness of the Christien Clergy and ordinary citizens, while from Milan, for instance, hundreds of Jews fled to havens in Switzerland.”
While return of Jewish property will be difficult, Resnik said, the problem has been greatly simplified by the fact that complete records of sequestered Jewish property have been obtained in many cities from former Fascist officials. In one case, several hundred thousand lire of rents which had been collected on confiscated Jewish property were secured. This problem is now being handled by the AMG, the JDC worker said, and local communities are being aided to re-establish themselves so that they my raise from their own sources sufficient fands for rehabilitation and relief.
Although the general situation is hopeful, Resnik stressed that substantial help, in the form of housing, food and assistance in rebuilding Jewish institutions, is required. Most synagogues have been destroyed and looted and most rabbis have been arried off or have not yet emerged from hiding. Since the JDC had truckloads of food those staff members available, help is being given throughout northern Italy, he said.