NEW YORK (Jan. 27)
Jewish emigration from Rumania exceeded 8, 000 this month and may reach 10, 000 in February, it was reported here today from Bucharest by the New York Times correspondent there. “The exodus from Communist Rumania may, according to some speculation, be the forerunner of an eventual mass movement out of Eastern Europe,” he said in his cabled report.
The Rumanian Government’s decision to permit a resumption of the Jewish exodus was explained on the “humanitarian consideration that families should be reunited, ” the correspondent stated. Many of those who have departed or are preparing to depart have relatives in Israel, he added.
“The Rumanian Government’s decision was reached without negotiation with Israel or the American United Jewish Appeal agencies. ” the correspondent stressed. “The latter have assumed the financial responsibility and administrative burden of transporting the Jews from their point of arrival in the West to Israel. The need for considerable funds is said to be pressing. According to one explanation, the movement of Rumanian nationals is not a question that may be negotiated with a foreign power.
Since the first of the year the Rumanian Government has handled the problem of transit visas to facilitate passage through Hungary, the Bucharest report revealed. According to available reports, the Hungarian Government cooperates effectively in transiting Jews through its territory to Austria, where the United Jewish Appeal agencies take over at the Vienna railroad station. Emigrants are met by a fleet of buses that are on call for every train arriving from Bucharest. The wanderers are moved to hotels leased for this purpose, fed and housed for the night. The next day they are put aboard trains for Italy and moved to Naples, where Israeli and chartered vessels embark them for Israel.
The Austrian and Italian Governments are reported facilitating the movements across their territories with a minimum of formalities and with great understanding. The Italian Government controlling the end of the land route has shown, it is said, extraordinary kindness to the emigrants and cooperation with the Israeli and United States agencies. The Yugoslav Government also does everything it can to help whenever a convoy of emigrants arrives at its borders. The Greek Government in turn speeds the final stage to embarkation points when a convoy arrives from Yugoslavia.
“The Rumanian Jews may leave Bucharest with about 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of personal belongings, ” the Times correspondent reported. “The Rumanian administrative system makes the final documentation time-consuming and laborious. ” he emphasized.