New York (Dec. 18)
Judge Simon H. Rifkind, who is now in Germany surveying the conditions of displaced Jews for President Truman, today termed “false” a charge by Chaplain Robert Marcus that between 25,000 and 30,000 displaced persons have died in Europe since V-E Day.
Judge Rifkind also challenged the accuracy of a warning by an UNRRA welfare director that conditions in the Landsberg camp for displaced Jews are such that a disastrous epidemic might strike at any hour.
“Such statements,” Judge Rifkind said in a cable received today by leading Jewish organizations here, “to the extent applicable to the U.S. zone, of which I have personal knowledge, are plainly false and the products of lack of judgment or of hysteria.
“At time German concentration camps uncovered many inmates were beyond rescue and died despite all efforts to save them,” the cable continues. “I have heard innumerable testimonials from Jewish D.P.’s of the heroism, selfless devotion and skill of American medical teams in restoring to life and health the victims of Nazi brutality found in the concentration camps. Since United States Army has been responsible for D.P. centers there has been no malnutrition and no D.P.’s have died from any such cause except few who lingered on and could not survive the effects of malnutrition suffered under the Nazis.
“There is much which needs attentions; 1. In the direction of care for those now fleeing from Eastern Europe into Germany with respect to which policy decision is here awaited from Washington; 2. In the direction of transforming Jewish D.F. installations from rescue operations into rehabilitation communities. These essential tasks are not furthered by the circulation of such irresponsible stories. I have personally inspected practically every Jewish D.P. center in the United States zone and what I say is based on my own observation,” Judge Rifkind concluded.