20,000 Jewish Refugees, Interned in Shanghai, Will Be Liberated by Japan’s Surrender

More than 20,000 Jewish refugees from Germany and Poland interned by the Japanese in Hongkew section Shanghai will be liberated as soon as the surrender of Japan is announced, it was stated here today by leaders of Jewish relief organizations.

Contact with the Jewish community of Shanghai has been maintained from here since Japan entered the war against the Allies and made it impossible for the American Joint Distribution Committee to send direct relief to the refugees who escaped from Nazi Europe to Shanghai. Two of the J.D.C. representatives in Shanghai, Miss Laura Margolies and Manuel Siegel, were interned by the Japanese authorities with all other Americans in February 1943. Miss Margolies was later repatriated to the United States on a Swedish exchange ship. Mr. Siegel is still interned.

Despite heroic efforts to feed the needy Jewish internees in the Hongkew camp, there were only sufficient funds to provide one meal a day for 5,000 people. This money was borrowed locally on the promise that it would be repaid at the end of the war by the Joint Distribution Committee. The Shanghai Jewish Relief Association, composed mostly of Russian Jews, has imposed a voluntary tax upon the local Jewish population and the Jewish Relief Committee in Tienstin also participated in raising funds to feed the interned Jewish refugees.

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