Rome (May. 20)
More Jews may have survived in Europe than was first believed, representatives of the Joint Distribution Committee said today on the basis of reports reaching them from newly liberated territories.
This is especially true, they said, in the case of Hungarian Jews who were deported en masse about a year ago. It was feared that only 100,000 of the 800,000 deported survived, but there is new reason to believe that perhaps 300,000 may still be alive. The JDC officials emphasized that any accurate count of Europe’s surviving Jews is absolutely impossible now, but Hungarian Jews by the thousands are still pouring into Linz, Austria, after escaping from labor and concentration camps.
Most of the Hungarian Jews were confined in camps near Vienna, in Russian-occupied territory, and it is not possible to estimate how many were saved by the Red Army. Almost without exception, however, the relief workers said, the surviving Jews are in a pitiful state. Some who are now alive are doomed to death, because their state of fatigue and starvation is such that they will never recover.
In northern Italy, however, the surviving Jewish population was found in comparatively good shape. Thousands fled from the cities to the hinterland to avoid the Gestapo round-ups. Jewish community organizations, while forced to go underground, still managed to function, receiving a continuous flow of JDC aid through Switzerland, it has been discovered.