Hamburg (Sep. 5)
Last minute preparations were made here today by British military authorities to suppress any violence that may occur at the disembarkation on Sunday of the first shipload of the 4,400 Exodus Jews.
Sentries armed with rifles were stationed on the quays where the disembarkation will take place and special measures were taken by British intelligence officers to prevent any outside assistance from reaching the Exodus Jews should they refuse to disembark.
At a press conference this afternoon, the British Regional Commissioner, ##ghn Berry, reiterated that the troops will be ordered to use force if the deportees balk at disembarking. The Jews will be taken in sealed trains from Hamburg to the two camps prepared for them near Lubeck, Air Vice-Marshal Hugh de Crespigny told the conference. The trains will be under military guard, he added.
(A Jewish Telegraphic Agency dispatch from London tonight said that British official circles are greatly concerned about the possibility of violence at Hamburg. They reportedly anticipate that virtually none of the passengers will leave the ships voluntarily, and expect the disembarkations to be difficult and lengthy.)
The landing of the Exodus Jews is expected to start at dawn on Sunday. First to land will be those aboard the Ocean Vigor. The landing from the Runnymede Park will start on Monday. The Empire Rival disembarkation will begin on Tuesday. The three ships will pick up pilots off the mouth of the Elbe tomorrow.
“We hope that the landing will be peaceful, ” Commissioner Berry said. “It will take place under the supervision of the Control Commission. The troops are provided only for possible help. Officials of the British frontier control will be responsible for searching the refugees for arms and explosives.”
TROOPS ASSIGNED TO LANDING WERE STATIONED IN PALESTINE LAST YEAR
The troops assigned to the landing are the Sherwood Forester Battalion which its stationed last year in Palestine. Berry admitted under questioning that they will card the ships with truncheons and will use “normal police methods.” Later they may have to use fire hoses and tear gas.
“We shall not hurry them unduly and we shall leave the refugees ample time for reflection,” the British Commissioner said, adding that the landing must be completed in time for the refugees to reach the camps before dark. An adequate number of interpreters will translate the military orders to the refugees, and “hot drinks and cold meals will be distributed in the coaches,” he declared.
JEWISH COMMUNITY WILL AID JEWS ONLY IF THEY REQUEST HELP
In a Hamburg radio broadcast, Dr. Norbert Wollheim, president of the Jewish community in the British zone, said that the deportees “would have every assistance and every help” from Jewish organizations in Germany, but “only if they ask for it expressly.
“We know that General Sir Alan Cunningham, Palestine High Commissioner, is ## in London appealing to the British Government against disembarking the Jewish immigrants in Hamburg,” Dr. Wollheim said. “We hope with confidence that the British Government will do everything at this hour to alter the fate of our unhappy brothers and sisters.
“As far as we know, the Jews will be taken to two camps which have been prepared like prisoners’ camps, surrounded with barbed wire and guarded by armed sentries. The accommodation itself, as well as the sanitary conditions, are entirely insufficient. We will refrain from everything which could create the impression that we agreed with the treatment as prisoners of these men, women and children.”