Berlin (Aug. 12)
“How long must we remain trapped here? We want to work and live like men, not rot. Why does not the world hear us?”
These were the questions which displaced Jews asked the members of the United Nations group which arrived here today to investigate the situation of the Jewish DP’s in Germany and Austria in connection with the inquiry being conducted by the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine.
The plane carrying the members of the U.N. group and accredited correspondents from Vienna to Berlin was forced to fly 100 miles out of its way this morning because the Russian authorities refused to grant permission for the plane to cross Soviet-controlled territory. American military authorities tried to obtain permission for the flight for six days. The committee is scheduled to hear the testimony of American commander Gen. Lucius D. Clay tomorrow.
Harold J. Fishbein, a camp director for the International Refugee Organization, today told the members of the U.N. group that 25 percent of the 6,000 displaced Jews in two camps on the outskirts of Berlin would like to emigrate to the United States, if the doors of Palestine remain closed to them.
Fishbein, who is in charge of the Doppelzentner camp with a population of 3,400 and the Mariendorf center with 2,628 DP’s, said that when the camps opened in Dec. 1945, 95 percent of the residents registered for immigration to Palestine and no-where else.
YUGOSLAV DELEGATE PROTESTS COMPARISON OF JEWISH DP’S WITH DEPORTED GERMANS
Dr. Jozhe Brilej, Yugoslav delegate, last night refused to attend a reception in Vienna tendered for the committee by the International Refugee Organization because Lt. Col. Henry G. McFeely, U.S. Army officer in charge of DP’s in Austria, was also invited. Dr. Brilej took exception to a statement by McFeely during his testimony before the inspection team yesterday in which he lumped together Jewish refugees and Volksdeutsche expelled from Yugoslavia. The Jews were victims of fascism, he declared, while the Volksdeutsche were fascists who served as a fifth column in Yuguslavia, and the two cannot be compared.
Present at the reception were Austrian Chancellor Leopold Figl and Foreign Minister Karl Gruber, who told committee members that there is no anti-Semitism in Austria; every Jew returning to the country is welcomed by the Austrians; Austrian Jews are successfully integrating themselves into the national economy; the government has no way to halt the flow of refugees from Rumania; and, the Jewish DP problem must be solved on an international level.
During his testimony, McFeeley advocated the admission of a large number of Jewish refugees to Palestine. Asked for his solution of the problem of the DP’s, McFeeley said: “There was lots of room in Palestine when I was there in 1942–there were lots of deserts there.”
He told the members of the sub-committee that the refugees would continue to pour into Vienna as long as the Soviet Union did not halt them. Every inch of the route from Rumania to Vienna is under Russian control, he asserted, adding, but the “Russians do not care whether the Jews come or do not come through.”
Jewish refugees from Rumania and other Eastern European countries do not travel through the British zone of Austria en route to Vienna, Maj. Gen. Charles Winterton, of the British Army of Occupation, yesterday told the sub-committee. He also reported that the British authorities “do nothing to pass them on.”