New York (May. 22)
“W? UNRRA going out of existence on June 30th, the next 40 days will be one of the severest testing period for the conscience and generosity of the American people,” Henry Morgenthau, Jr., former Secretary of the Treasury and general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal campaign, said today at a press conference.
Mr. Morgenthau deplored the liquidation of UNRRA, which ends all its operations in Europe on June 30, “at a time when crucial needs are confronting not only 250,000 Jewish displaced persons, but a total of a million refugees of all faiths in the displaced persons camps of Germany, Austria and Italy.” Pointing out that the U.S. Army has adopted a policy of no assistance for additional refugees entering the American zone, he said: “When UNRRA goes out of business on the morning of July 1, there will be increased hardship placed on the DP’s by the withdrawal of its services in Germany and Austria, unless the American people rise to meet this emergency situation through increased voluntary aid.”
Mr. Morgenthau emphasized that because no adequate substitute inter-governmental assistance organization has yet been put into operation to replace UNRRA, the agencies of the U.J.A. were faced with great emergency needs. In addition to the increased burden being placed on the U.J.A. and the J.D.C. with the liquidation of UNRRA, he said that lack of sufficient funds has made it necessary to drop thousands of Jews from the relief rolls.
Mr. Morgenthau announced that he had just received an urgent cable from Dr. Joseph Schwartz, European director of the J.D.C., outlining the greater needs of the 250,000 displaced Jews, and the increasing difficulties facing 750,000 other Jews in areas of Eastern and Western Europe where UNRRA does not operate.