Geneva (Jun. 28)
American military authorities, UNRRA and the Swiss Red Cross have concluded an agreement under which 2,000 refugee children will be brought to Switzerland from concentration camps in Germany, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today.
The agreement was disclosed by U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. Herschel Schacter, who arrived here this week with 347 children from Buchenwald, the first contingent of the 2,000 who will eventually come here. The children left Weimar, near which the Buchenwald camp is located, on June 12 and arrived at Basle on June 23. All through Germany their train was bedecked with Jewish flags, Capt, Schacter said, and the children sang Hebrew songs.
The majority of the youngsters come from Poland and Hungary, and had been confined in camps for about five years. Talking to them one gets the impression that he is speaking to adults. They have definite ideas on where they want to go eventually– and few of them want to return to their homelands. Many want to settle in Palestine and others wish to emigrate to America, where they have relatives. The parents of most of the children are dead.
The chaplain revealed that shortly after the liberation of Buchenwald a group of young Zionists founded a “Hachshara” colony to train themselves for settlement in Palestine. U.S. military authorities placed an estate at their disposal which they named “Kibbutz Buchenwald.” Since this area has now been assigned to the Russians, the youths, who are remaining under American military jurisdiction, will be transferred to another farm, Capt. Schacter said.
The Jewish survivors found in the Nasi camps he visited were in an indescribable state, Capt. Schacter said, but not all of them were crushed. Many had kept their faith in the future of the Jewish people, but were disappointed at what they considered the passive attitude of world Jewry towards their sufferings. Their chief concern is. “Where do we go from here?” The Jewish chaplains, and many Jewish soldiers, are doing everything possible to bring immediate aid to these survivors, but the task is immense and far beyond their potentialities, he stressed.