VIENNA (Jul. 5)
A total of 16,329 displaced Jews left the U.S. zone of Austria for Israel between May 15, 1948, and May 31, 1949, according to figures given today to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by the Immigration Office for Israel in Vienna.
The Immigration Office, in cooperation with all Zionist organizations, devised a plan for the speediest possible transfer of Jewish DP’s to Israel. Already 80 percent of the applicants have left for Israel under this program.
There are still 4,500 Jews in camps in the American zone, about 100 in the French zone and close to 3,000 in Vienna, a total of 7,600. Some of them have voiced a wish to emigrate elsewhere than Israel.
One result of the departure of these DP’s has been the closing of the Riedenburg and Saalfelden camps in the Salzburg region, with Beit Bialik camp remaining as a transient center. In the Linz area, the Bindermichl, Enns and Puch camps have been closed. In the British zone, the sole remaining Admont Camp was closed last spring.
The following Jewish camps are still in operation in the U.Z. zone: Ebelsberg, which is gradually being transformed into a rehabilitation center; a part of Wegscheid, Wels, Steyr, Hallein, in addition to Beit Bialik. There remains in the French zone the Wiesenhof camp. Vienna has two Jewish camps, the Rothschild Hospital and the Arzberg School.
All transports from Austria on the way to Israel are sent first to Beit Bialik, and next to the Trani camp near Bari, Italy, from where they embark for Israel. The trip from Salzburg to Israel takes ten to 12 days, including the Mediterranean voyage. Jewish authorities are in charge of the entire transport, and are aided by the Joint Distribution Committee, which pays the entire cost of the trip and transports up to 200 pounds of personal possessions for each emigrant. For the last two months the International Refugee Organizations had shared in the expenses.
In addition to Bari, the French port of Marseille is an embarkation point, from where Jewish refugees from camps in Germany, western Europe and North Africa set sail for Israel. The Bari port serves not only refugees from Austria but also those from Czechoslovakia, Italy and Middle and Eastern European countries.