Poland Permits Jewish Orphans to Go to Israel, Hadassah Hears

Poland has become the first Communist nation to permit orphaned Jewish children and Jewish adults separated from their families to leave the country for resettlement in Israel, Moshe Kol, world director of Youth Aliyah, disclosed last night at the 42nd annual convention of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.

Youth Aliyah, established in 1934 to rescue and transfer to Israel for rehabilitation and resettlement Jewish children who were orphaned by Hitlerism and World War II, is sponsored in this country by Hadassah.

Mr. Kol applauded the “humanitarian” action of the Polish Government and expressed the hope that this “first crack” in the Iron Curtain since 1949, when Jewish emigration was summarily halted, will “soften” the attitudes of Hungary, Rumania and Czechoslovakia, which have thus far refused to permit the transfer of Jewish orphans to Israel. Emphasizing that anti-Semitism is growing in East European youth organizations, Mr. Kol underscored the urgency to remove quickly the estimated 2,000 Jewish orphans, as well as many thousands of other Jewish children and teen-agers living under undesirable conditions, from behind the Iron Curtain.

The world head of the Youth Aliyah movement maintained that the attitude of the Polish Government towards the emigration of Jews–both children and adults-was becoming “encouraging and promising.” He added that he would continue to press the other East European countries for action.

He reported that 5,000 Jewish children from North Africa had reached Israel in the last 12 months, bringing to 20,000 the number of North African Jewish youngsters brought to Israel since 1949. He termed this achievement “one of the crowning glories of the Youth Aliyah movement. He estimated an equal number would arrive this year from North Africa. Since the founding of Youth Aliyah in 1934, more than 80,000 Jewish children from 70 different countries have been resettled in Israel.

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