Munich (Oct. 22)
Assistant Secretary of War Howard Peterson today declared that he was favorably impressed by the work program instituted by Jewish leaders in the displaced persons camps for Jews in Germany and Austria and by the more extensive program for a “DP economy” planned for the future.
Peterson, who spoke at a press conference called jointly by him and Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein, advisor on Jewish affairs to the American forces in Europe, revealed that the War Department will soon ask Congress to appropriate $100,000,000 for the entire DP program. He said the Jews made up one-fifth of the displaced persons in the American zones of Germany and Austria.
Dr. Bernstein, addressing the conference, asserted that the DP problem in the American zone could be eliminated if Congress liberalized the present laws governing immigration into the U.S. and if it took a “firm stand” in advocating the opening of Palestine to Jewish immigration. He pointed out that the admission of another 100,000 persons to the United States would have no adverse effect on the country’s economy, but rather would have a beneficial effect. He called for the enlargement of present consular staffs and the opening of U.S. consular offices in Poland to facilitate the emigration of Jews.
The main problem facing the Army this winter was adequate shelter for the recently-arrived refugees, Rabbi Bernstein stated. He asserted that he expected only some 10,000 “infiltrees” in November and December and that arrangements for haven in other countries were being worked out. However, he said, these arrangements are still in their early stage.