Exodus Jews Defy Attempts to Screen Them; Most Reply They Come from Palestine
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Exodus Jews Defy Attempts to Screen Them; Most Reply They Come from Palestine

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The 3,000 Exodus refugees confined in the Poppendorf Camp, near here, today defied attempts by the British occupation authorities and the International Refugee Organization to screen them, as a prelude to deciding whether they are to be treated as displaced persons or turned loose in the German economy. Most of the deportees, when asked where they come from replied: “Palestine.”

The British screening teams have a two-fold aim. They seek to determine the refugees’ country of origin, and also to weed out “agitators” and ringleaders of the resistance. The IRO director here, Michael Thomas, an American, confirmed that the Jews were reluctant to submit to screening, but thought that eventually most of them would be classified as DP’s, and as such eligible for aid.

(Gen. Lucius D. Clay, commander of the U.S. zone of Germany, said last night that any of the Exodus Jews who formerly were residents of DP camps in the American zone will not be readmitted since they apparently “did not like” life in the camps.)

None of the voluntary Jewish relief agencies have entered the camp as yet, ## the British authorities do not hide the fact that they are extremely annoyed at the relief groups’ refusal to agree unconditionally to extend assistance in the camps. However, negotiations are still in progress. All the refugees questioned by a Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent said that they were happy the relief agencies had refused to cooperate, and felt that they could struggle along without their aid for a time. Twenty-four of the refugees are in the camp hospital, which is staffed by Germans.


A JTA correspondent established that the refugees are getting only 1,800 calories daily, instead of the 2,800 promised last week by Air Vice Marshal Hugh de {SPAN}##espigny, regional commissioner in Schleswig-Holstein. Brigadier A.C. Kenchington, chief of the DP section of the British Control Commission, when questioned concerning the DP’s diet by the correspondent, spoke with the German cooks who admitted that they had been authorized to give only 1,800 calories daily. (An Associated Press dispatch from Hamburg said that 100 of the Poppendorf refugees had gone on a hunger strike.){/SPAN}A sub-committee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is in Europe to study the conditions of the displaced persons, toured the camp today and spoke with Brigadier Kenchington, who told them: “Once you put some food in their belly, and get them away from agitators, they behave themselves.” He added that the continued hostility of the refugees to the British was “simply a show for the world press.” Kenchangton said he was considering barring the press.

The sub-committee, which included Rep. James G. Fulton, of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Jacob Javits, of New York, said that it had witnessed the disembarkation of the deportees from the Runnymede Park yesterday, but had no comment to make. Javits said that he did not want to issue any statements until the sub-committee’s study was completed.

The occupants of the camp are concerned and resentful at the continued incarceration in Hamburg of 50 of their number, including 16 leaders. It is learned that the latter, among whom are several women, are being held in a warehouse in the ## area. The men are reported sleeping on the bare floor under heavy guard.

German workers under British direction today were erecting a stockade along-the camp. It will consist of ten circular tents surrounded by several fences of ?arbed wire. The refugees said that the stockade would be used to house their imprisoned leaders, but the British said that it would be used for any future offenders.

Reports from Berlin say that all Jewish offices there will close down tomorrow in protest against the landing of the refugees.

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