New York (Jun. 18)
German and Austrian Jews will be assisted by the new international refugee agency to be set up by the United Nations, in accordance with a decision adopted today by the U.N. Economic and Social Council.
Over strenuous objections by British delegate Sir George Rendel, the council by a vote of 6 to 5 adopted an amended version of the recommendation by the special U.N. Committee on Refugees and Displaced Persons, which met recently in London, that Austrian and German Jews be included in the category of “refugees.”
The amendment which was proposed by the French delegate also classifies as a “refugee” a “person of Jewish origin who resided in Germany or Austria whether foreigner or stateless, and who was detained in, or was obliged to flee from, and was subsequently returned to one of those countries as a result of enemy action or of war circumstances, and who has not yet been firmly resettled there.”
The Council defeated a British substitute proposal which would not have specifically mentioned the German and Austrian Jews as coming within the province of the refugee agency, but would have merely cited them as the type of person in Germany and Austria to whom assistance should be given.
Yugoslav delegate Leon Mates replying to objections by some members to mentioning Jews as such said that it was absurd for the Council to fear that it was practicing discrimination by singling out the Jews as a special problem. “This discrimination,” he said, “was made in a horrible way by the Nazis in 1933 and even before.”
The major portion of the Council’s afternoon session today was devoted to discussing a definition of Displaced Persons and also the conditions under which refugees and DP’s would become the concern of the international refugee body. The discussions will be continued tomorrow.
(Army authorities in Frankfurt were quoted today as stating that Jews and other Eastern Europeans were entering the American zone of Germany in increasing members, creating a difficult situation.)