All Jews in German Town Go on Hunger Strike to Protest Mistreatment by U.S. Military
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All Jews in German Town Go on Hunger Strike to Protest Mistreatment by U.S. Military

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The entire Jewish community of the town of Cham, 150 miles from here, has been engaged in a hunger strike since Monday afternoon in protest against the reportedly harsh treatment accorded them by the military in recent weeks.

More than 260 persons have refused to eat in the UNRRA kitchens at Cham in consequence of a series of incidents between the DP’s and the military, which brought on an investigation last week by the Office of the Inspector General, but thus far no action has been taken.

The hunger strike began Monday after hostile local troops had surrounded a school where 13 children were performing gymnastics and singing, and marched them at the point of their guns to the jail yard through street lined with jeering German civilians.

The DP’s immediately sent a memo to the UNRRA authorities, together with the UNRRA kitchen keys, stating that they would refuse to eat until the situation had been clarified by the military.

Previously, an inspector investigated an incident on Thursday in the course of which two DP’s were allegedly attacked by the military and which culminated in daylong outbreaks on April 30. At noon, on that occasion, two DP’s were arrested in the station for defending a DP young woman whom the German police sought to arrest on the charge that she lacked the necessary special ticket to enter the station.


That evening Jews returning to their homes were attacked in front of a soldiers’ beer-hall to which German girls had been invited. The group of those attacked ran to their house and called on the MP’s. The military police asked the soldiers what had happened and were told by the men that they had been attacked by the home-going group.

The MP’s then surrounded the house and arrested all the men. Two sisters of one youth grew hysterical and protested which, according to first reports, resulted in the choking and beating of the sisters in the scuffling while the youth was shot four times. He may lose two toes and he is still hospitalized.

All of the arrested men were later released, but only after another disturbance in the course of which one Moses Gutmen, 32, was arrested when he sought to learn that had happened. He was subsequently accused by a soldier who said that Gutman had participated in the fighting. He was sentenced yesterday to eight months at hard labor solely on the soldier’s testimony, despite the presentation of evidence that Gutman was nowhere near the fight.

These are only a few of a series of incidents. There are constant arrests of Jewish DP’s by the military as well as the German police on phony charges.

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