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American Consulates in Germany Not Ready to Accept Applications for Visas

Although it has been announced in Washington that American consulates will open in Stuttgart and Munich today to accept applications for visas from refugees and displaced persons wishing to settle in the United States, actually these consulates will not be ready to function for several weeks.

The consuls sent to those cities have not yet secured adequate office space personnel, application blanks and other official forms necessary to start operations.

All six U.S. consulates that will eventually be opened in Germany will accept personal affidavits from applicants for visas in lieu of documents such as birth certificates, passports and marriage certificates, which, in most cases, have been lost in concentration camps or while fleeing the Nazis.

This procedure was recommended by the inter-departmental mission sent here to facilitate emigration of displaced persons, following recommendations by Ilya Dijour of the HIAS and Paul McCormack, resident representative of the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees.

Judge Simon H. Rifkind, adviser on Jewish affairs to Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, U.S. commanding general in the European Theatre, is planning to return to the United States around the middle of March, he said today.

Judge Rifkind was originally scheduled to leave Germany last month, but the military authorities prevailed upon him to extend his stay for sixty days. He stressed that he was returning because of prior commitments and not for any other reason, and promised to issue a full statement on his mission here shortly.

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