New York (Sep. 12)
Some 600,000 Jewish survivors in Rumania, Hungary and Poland face the prospects of a severe winter unless means are found to increase the large-scale assistance which they are already receiving through the Joint Distribution Committee, Dr. Joseph Schwartz, J.D.C. European director, said today at a press conference.
Dr. Schwartz, who is returning to Europe on Monday, pointed out that Rumania has suffered a disastrous crop failure and that as a result food prices are soaring beyond the reach of the 335,000 Jews there, and that the J.D.C. must increase its aid to that country. In Hungary he declared, the J.D.C. has already spent $4,000,000 for aid this year for the 200,000 Jews there, but with the stabilization of currency the value of the dollar has decreased and relief funds will have to be increased from $500,000 in August to $750,000 in September.
Declaring that 60,000 Jews have fled Poland since the July 4 pogrom at Kielce, he said that the remaining Jews are finding it increasingly difficult to rehabilitate themselves and to rebuild their future because of the “rampant anti-Semitism.” He asserted that most of the Jews who were repatriated from the U.S.S.R. to Poland during the Spring, have already moved out of the country.
“The Jews of Eastern Europe are continuously on the move,” he said, adding that the continuing migration of at least one-sixth of Europe’s 1,400,000 Jews is complicating the administration of relief. Commenting on this problem, Dr. Schwartz said: “The J.D.C. is helping to relieve hardships and suffering for the people in flight by supplying food, clothing, medical care to those in transit and by establishing emergency reception centers along the routes. It is also dealing with governments on the question of infiltrees, but has in no sense ‘organized’ migration anywhere.”
The basic relief for the displaced person in the camps and centers in Germany and Austria is the responsibility of the military authorities, but J.D.C. has been compelled to undertake a large-scale program of supplementary feeding, he revealed. “In the British zone of Austria,” he said, “displaced people are receiving a diet consisting of 800 calories a day, which J.D.C. is supplementing by 1500 calories. In the American zone the United States Army supplies 1200 calories daily and J.D.C. an additional 1,000 calories. This program for additional food for displaced persons in the camps has grown to the point where J.D.C. is shipping in as much as 300 tons monthly.”
“Unstinting praise must be given to the American military authorities for their understanding efforts in behalf of the displaced Jews,” Dr. Schwartz concluded. “The Army has been most sympathetic to these homeless people and has given fine cooperation to the program of the J.D.C.”