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Agricultural Training School for Displaced Jews May Close Due to Lack of Equipment

The shortage of special winterizing and repair materials, as well as other essential supplies, today threatened to force the closing of the experimental cooperative center attached to the Foehrenwald DP camp, according to Edouard Frumm, UNRRA camp director.

Known as Hochlandlager and formerly used as a Hitler youth training camp, the center is made up of three “kibbutzim” whose members hold widely varying political beliefs. It is being used chiefly as an agricultural training school and, although it is large enough to accommodate 1,000 persons, only 360 youths, between the ages of 15 and 30, comprise its present population.

The young inhabitants of the center have repaired and cleaned up the battered barracks, cultivated a huge vegetable garden and are attempting to establish a full-fledged farm on the site. They operate their own kitchens and the work is divided equally.

Frum said that the youths are forced to live “in puddles after every rain” and lack sufficient school equipment. He said he would be forced to order the center’s abandonment unless the necessary materials arrive within a few weeks, because of the approaching rainy and cold weather.

The UNRRA director said the Army was the only agency which has the necessary equipment and although it has shown a sympathetic interest in the matter, it has not yet forwarded the materials. Private relief agencies promised to obtain the school supplies, but thus far they have not done so, Frumm said. He pointed out that the closing of the center would have an adverse effect on the DP’s who wish to work and who would loss their incentive to work if the center were evacuated.

Army officials would not comment, but representatives of the private agencies here said they are investigating and will do their best to help relieve the situation. They pointed out, however, that there is a serious shortage of school supplies.

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