Menu JTA Search

Five More Jewish “returnees” Sentenced by German Court

Five “returnees” from Israel who had been among a group of 16 seized in a police swoop on a windowless air raid shelter here, have been sentenced in magistrate’s court to two weeks’ imprisonment for illegally entering Germany.

The new police raids appear to be motivated by a feeling in German governmental quarters that the DP’s were not pushing their emigration plans with sufficient vigor. Obviously prompted by similar considerations, the German administration of Foehrenwald, last Jewish DP camp on German soil, has conducted another census of “illegals,” with special emphasis on ascertaining the stage of emigration preparations. The Germans are going to great lengths to impress upon the more than 500 “legalized illegals” in Foehrenwald that the six-month period of grace accorded them last August ends in mid-February.

After a German decision to carry out deportations had led to a sit-down strike last summer, the major Jewish organizations and the German authorities reached an understanding that the latter would desist from such attempts and other forms of harassment for half a year. The registered Foehrenwald “illegals” were granted a sort of temporary semi-legal status. At the time it was expected that a substantial proportion would be able to emigrate within the prescribed period but, in view of the dearth of available emigration visas, the overriding urgency of solving the problem of the Munich synagogue squatters, who are even more recent arrivals, exercised a deterrent effect. It is hoped here that the German authorities can yet be prevailed upon to extend the February deadline.