New York (May. 16)
Three Joint Distribution Committee field representatives who returned from Europe today told of a growing deterioration in the situation confronting Jewish displaced persons in Austria and Northern Italy which threatens to offset the improvement in their morale and spirit which has taken place since liberation a year ago.
At a press conference held at offices of the J.D.C., they described the increasingly harsher conditions faced by Europe’s Jewish survivors; conditions which, they agreed, “may soon extinguish the flame of hope that burned so brightly on V-E Day.” Despite the tremendous amount of aid provided by the J.D.C. in those areas from which the three representatives returned a few weeks ago–assistance such as food, clothing, medicines and social service help–the J.D.C. representatives joined in asserting that “Central Europe daily grows more impossible as a home for these first victims of Nazi cruelty.”
The J.D.C. Welfare workers are James Rice of Cleveland, Ohio, former director of the Committee’s activities in the American and French zones in Austria; Norman Wine-stine, Helena, Montana, who spent two years with the Red Cross in the China-Burma-Indic Theatre and then volunteered for relief work with the J.D.C. in Vienna and in the British zone in Austria; and Morris Laub, of New York City, former head of J.D.C. relief and rehabilitation program in Northern Italy, who spent seventeen months in Europe for the J.D.C.
(The Herald-Tribune reported from Berlin today that 850 Polish Jews, the last such convoy that moved in U.S. Army vehicles, left there today for the city of Hanover from where some hope eventually to reach Palestine by devious routes and others will attempt to get into American DP camps. The military authorities in Berlin, in a move to discourage further infiltration from Poland, have announced that they will no longer transport refugee Jews into the interior.)