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American Jews Urged to Give Priority to Relief for 1,250,000 Jews in Europe

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A plea that American Jews place the problem of speeding aid to the million and a quarter Jews in continental Europe who survived the Hitler period first on their list of philanthropic enterprises was made today by Dr. Joseph C. Hyman, executive vice chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, in an address before five hundred leaders of Jewish communities throughout New England and upper New York.

Dr. Hyman, speaking before a conference at which a north-eastern regional organization of the J.D.C. was established, expressed the belief that the needs of suffering Jewish communities of Europe must not be made secondary to any other cause, no matter how worthy.

“We must place lives first on the list,” Dr. Hyman stated. “The Jews of Europe have been technically liberated, but they have not been freed from the threat of starvation, and death from disease and cold. This winter, thousands of Jews who survived Hitler will die because they have not received enough help. Dr. Hyman stated that for the 100,000 stateless and displaced Jews now in former concentration camps in Germany, Palestine is the only feasible haven. He added that the J.D.C. had allocated more than $20,000,000 in the first nine months of this year for its overseas program, but that this had not proved near enough. “American Jews must begin to think of a $50,000,000 program for overseas,” Dr. Hyman said.

Harry Greenstein, director of the Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore and until recently aide to former Governor Herbert Lehman, as deputy director of the welfare division of UNRRA, said UNRRA does not operate in Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, where there are half of the surviving Jews of Europe outside of the Soviet Union. The second largest reservoir of survivors is in western Europe, in France, Belgium and Holland where UNRRA has not been invited to enter, he added.

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