MUNICH (Sep. 13)
The approximately 700 Jews who are registered as “illegal returnees” in Foehrenwald, the last remaining Jewish DP camp, on German soil, will neither be deported nor for cibly transferred elsewhere and efforts will be made to bring about their emigration within six months. However, any new infiltrees lacking proper German visas and entry permits will be jailed and later deported by the German authorities.
A tentative understanding along these lines was reached at a conference convened in Bonn by the Federal Foreign Office. The participants on the German side were officials of the Federal and Bavarian Ministries of Interior, Finance and Refugees. On the other side of the table sat leading representatives of the Israel Purchasing Mission in Germany, Joint Distribution Committee, HIAS, Central Council of Jews in Germany, Bavarian Association of Jewish Communities and a committee appointed by the returnees.
The conference, which was marked by a spirit of moderation, had been called to consider ways and means of dealing with the problem posed by an influx into the Foehrenwald Camp, usually from Israel, of several hundred former DP’s who still have valid German visas and residence permits and want to use Germany as a base for immigration to other countries. Last month, these “illegals” staged a sit-down strike in Munich to draw public attention to a policy of forcible deportations to Israel via Austria. The deportations were temporarily halted and a census of the “illegals” was conducted in Foehrenwald in mid-August.
All those who registered during that census will not be molested, for the next six months at any rate, it was agreed at Bonn. Efforts to speed up their emigration will be coordinated. Where chances seem promising the German Government will under-write expenses preparatory to emigration, while the JDC and HIAS will continue to bear the actual transportation costs.
The German officials also indicated they will give favorable consideration to a request to release from jail those infiltrees expressly held on charges of “illegal entry.” Their number is given at more than 150. It was agreed that any other “illegals” entering Germany without permission after the census deadline will receive no support or aid from the Jewish organizations. The Germans will have a free hand in dealing with any who are apprehended. In practice, this will mean quite severe jail sentences and wherever possible, deportation.
Meanwhile, in connection with the problem of “illegals,” instructions have gone out to German frontier control posts and airlines warning them against admitting to Germany holders of Israeli passports marked “not valid for Germany.” Heretofore, German authorities have been willing to overlook this condition.