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Egypt Places Jewish Leaders in Concentration Camps; Deports Others

A large number of Jews, most of whom were born in Egypt and whose families have lived there for generations, were ordered to leave the country this week-end or “face the alternative of imprisonment in desert concentration camps,” the American Jewish Committee reported in a telegram to Acting Secretary of State Herbert C. Hoover, Jr.

The Committee disclosed that leaders of the Jewish Communities of Cairo and Alexandria “have already been placed in concentration camps.” At the same time, it reported that the property of Jews in Egypt has been seized as “enemy property” and placed under the custodianship of the Egyptian government.

The committee urged that “in view of these flagrant violations of human and citizenship rights and the unjust branding of Jews in Egypt as enemies” that the State Department make immediate representations to the Government of Egypt “to cease these inhuman acts contrary to the basic precepts of the UN Charter.”

In addition the committee asked that the United States bring these facts to the attention of the current session of the United Nations General Assembly and that the UN use its good offices to bring about the release of those who have been unjustly imprisoned and to effect the restoration of seized property.

The present Jewish population of Egypt is estimated at between 45,000 and 55,000 people. Of these more than 80 percent “have the status of stateless persons and are now subject to deportation despite the fact that most were born in Egypt and their families have lived there for generations,” the Committee said. Only about twelve percent of the total population of Jews in Egypt have citizenship, the Committee informed the State Department.

(In Washington, the State Department reported that the Egyptians had arrested about 50 Jews on treason charges and that discussion of the matter is under way between the U.S. Embassy and the Egyptian Government. Egypt is investigating about 700 Jews, some of whom are held under house arrest, the report stated, adding that the property of some Jews has been sequestered along with the British and French properties against which action was taken.)

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