First Bedridden Jews Leave Germany on Mercy Train; Will Peach Israel for Passover

The first transport of bedridden and chronically ill Jewish displaced persons–a vanguard of 4,000 “hard core” DP’s who will be resettled in Israel–left Munich tonight aboard a special mercy train bound for Venice from where they will sail to Israel on an Israeli ship.

The transfer of the “hard core” cases is sponsored by the Joint Distribution Committee together with the Jewish Agency and the International Refugee Organization. The first group is expected to reach Israel in time to observe Passover there. It includes invalids and incurables who have lived in hospital beds since their liberation by the Allied armies in 1945.

The movement of the first group was undertaken with extreme care. Twenty-four of the emigrants, patients of a hospital for chronically-ill people maintained by the International Refugee Organization at Bad Worishefen, near Munich, were taken from their beds this afternoon and carried on stretchers to waiting ambulances. They were then driven to the railway station and placed aboard two waiting hospital cars. Physicians and nurses of the Joint Distribution Committee staff supervised the movement and are accompanying the train to Venice.

From Bad Worishofen, where the emigrants had a hot meal prepared in the kitchen car, the train moved slowly to Munich. Here six more “hard core” cases were put aboard. At the same time, 150 healthy Jewish DP’s from camps in the Munich area, who are also bound for Israel, boarded the train.

Plans for the transfer were drawn up two months ago by the Joint Distribution Committee, I.R.O. and the Jewish Agency. Last week, J.D.C. welfare workers completed the distribution of a new outfit of clothing to every refugee in the group. A gala farewell party was held at the hospital for those who were leaving.

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