U.S. Troops Turn Back Rumanian Jews Attempting to Reach Germany En Route to Palestine

A group of 54 Rumanian Jews attempting to cross into Germany from Austria with the aim of reaching a port of embarkation for Palestine were halted by American military police during the week-end and returned to the Beth Beliak Camp, near Salzburg. Two of the alleged leaders of the group are being held for further questioning.

Meanwhile, the migration of Rumanian Jews to Austria took a spurt this week, with the number of refugees arriving in Vienna averaging about 200 daily. As winter approaches, men, women and children, many of whom have been wandering the roads of Rumania, Hungary and Austria for months, are making every attempt to reach Vienna and beyond before the weather closes in.

Jewish organizations here have obtained adequate transportation to cope with the new influx and have been able to speed up the forward movement of the refugees, most of whom are en route to Italy and do not tarry more than a few days to rest up and obtain some food and necessary clothing. At present the total number of Rumanian Jews in this city is between 5,000 and 6,000 and is expected to decrease sharply this winter as many leave for other countries and fewer arrive from the east.

A recent British protest to the Austrian Government and the other members of the Allied Control Commission has resulted in tighter controls along the various zonal demarcation lines and at the frontiers to Italy and Germany. However, despite closer surveillance from time to time this year, an estimated 20,000 Rumanian Jews crossed into Italy this year.

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