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Displaced Jews May Begin Unorganized Exodus from Camps, Moses Leavitt Reports

Thousands of European Jews are on the move and the displaced Jews in Germany, Austria and Italy may soon start an unorganized movement out of the camps, Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-president of the Joint Distribution Committee, stated today at a press conference prior to his departure for the United States. He has just completed a tour of eight countries in Western and Central Europe.

At present, he said, the three countries in which the movement of Jews is most evident are Austria, France and Italy. Into Austria, he declared, are coming thousands of Rumanian Jews fleeing starvation. The Army and UNRRA have refused them assistance and the J.D.C. is carrying the burden itself, Leavitt said.

Approximately 1,500 Jews enter France monthly, he reported. The French Government’s attitude is sympathetic, particularly toward the Jewish children, he stressed. A like number are entering Italy every month, and when UNRRA is liquidated at the end of this month the J.D.C. will be the sole source of relief for them, Leavitt asserted.

He disclosed that the largest J.D.C. program in Europe is being carried out in Hungary. The government, he continued, desires to eradicate anti-Semitism in the country and aid the surviving Jews.

In summation, he pointed out that the J.D.C. was not a governmental agency and could not continue to carry the weight of the entire relief problem and that the International Refugee Organization must set its activities into motion quickly and on a large scale. He concluded that the only hope for the displaced Jews lay with the U.N. inquiry committee on Palestine.

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