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Hias Official Reports on Survey of Jewish Conditions in Pakistan, India, Australia

Reporting on an l8-month survey of conditions among Jewish communities throughout the world, Dr. Kenry Shoskes, overseas field director of HIAS, disclosed today that approximately 500 Pakistani Jews who fled to India in recent weeks because of anti-Semitic outbreaks are being well cared for by the Indian Jewish community.

Shoskes revealed that he conferred with Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, who said it was “undesirable” for the 2,000 Jews still residing in the country to emigrate, since they have “nothing to do with the present position of Pakistan vis-a-vis Palestine.”

The HIAS official said that the only synagogue in Karachi, where there is a community of 250 Jews, was attacked two weeks ago by a mob. The police, he pointed out, “interfere energetically” and at present a five-man guard is posted around the synagogue on a 24-hour basis. At a meeting following the out-break of the riots, the Khrachi Jews voted to sell their synagogue and all communal properties to pay the transportation of the entire community out of the country No action on this has, however, been taken as yet.

While in Bombay, Dr. Shoskes stated, he visited a group of approximately 600 Jewish refugees from Afghanistan who “are in a deplorable condition.” Many of them lived, until very recently, in open-air, crudely-constructed shelters. About two weeks ago, in anticipation of the monsoon season, the Jewish community built a special roof for the refugees.

Due to the unsettled situation in Palestine, the Afghanistan Jews, l80 of whom hold immigration certificates, have been unable to make the journey to Israel. Dr. Shoskes reported that the younger refugees “are waiting impatiently” to join the Israeli Army.

The European members of the Bangkok; Siam, community, about 40 percent of whom are Jews, reside in a separate quarter, Dr. Shoskas said. Dr. L. Jacobson, president of the Bangkok Jewish community, was recently approached by a delegation of 300 former Gestapo and Wehrmacht troops who offered their services to the Israeli Government in the Palestine conflicts Jacobson forwarded the proposal of the Germans to the Jewish Agency, Shoskes said, and advised the Agency that the mercenaries are “unreliable.”

Referring to his visit to Australia, Dr. Shoskes said that that country has the “most honest attitude” towards the immigration of Jews. A total of 2,000 Jewish DP’s were admitted to Australia recently, Shoskes reported. He expressed the opinion that there are very “favorable prospects” for Jewish skilled workers in that country.

Saul Seymonds, president of the Australian Board of Jewish Deputies, and Dr. Shoskes conferred with Arthur Calwell, Minister of Immigration, and were told that the “formalities involved in issuing visas” have now been eased. The HIAS office in Paris and Jewish relief agencies in Australia, Shoskes stated, cooperate very closely in the transportation of Jewish DP’s from Europe to Australia and their absorption into the life of the country.

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