Paris (Jun. 13)
Palestine visas are available for the 92 Jewish children from the Buchenwald camp who are now being cared for by the Committee of Social Welfare of the Resistance, it was announced today by the local office of the Jewish Agency.
Meanwhile, the youngsters were moved today to a rest camp run by the committee, located 40 miles from Paris. Before the children left, Jewish leaders were assured by an official of the Ministry of Deportees, which placed the children in the custody of the Committee of Social Welfare, that the transfer would not hinder their ultimate emigration to Palestine. The children were gay as they packed, expressing the hope that the next time they moved it would be to Palestine.
Earlier today, both the Ministry of Deportees and the OSE issued statements giving their versions of the controversy which has arisen because the OSE was not given custody of the children, although they are caring for 400 other youngsters from Buchenwald.
A spokesman for the ministry told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the children were placed in the custody of the Committee of Social Welfare, rather than sent to OSE homes, because of the alleged inability of the latter organization to provide quarters for them. He asserted that last Tuesday, three days before the children were slated to arrive, the OSE informed the ministry that accommodations for them would not be ready and were informed then that the children would be placed in the care of the non-sectarian committee.
OSE officials told a press conference that the confusion arose because it had not stressed, when conferring with government officials, that the Buchenwald children were Jewish, since it preferred to act on general humanitarian grounds. They said that under their agreement with the government, the OSE was to be entrusted with 800 children from Buchenwald, whose religion was not specified, but “the Ministry of Deportees, thinking that the OSE home would not be ready, decided to entrust these ninety-two to the welfare committee.”