NAPLES, Italy (Jun. 11)
Fifty Jewish refugees from Egypt arrived here this morning aboard an Italian ship which had left Alexandria Tuesday. They were met at the port by representatives of the American Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency and the United Hias Service. The JDC will care for them during their stay in Italy and will eventually help them find places to resettle. A number of the group has indicated a preference for Israel as their future home.
Interviewed at a hostel for refugees near this city, members of the group said they were thrown into prison on Monday, June 5 after being arrested in their homes, shops, offices and in the streets. One man was in his pajamas when the police arrived and was not permitted to dress.
In prison, the refugees were beaten and left for long periods of time without food or water. They were released only because they possessed Italian passports — a fact that was transmitted to the Italian consulate by a passerby who spoke to one of the refugees through a prison hatch.
There were seven children in the group, some of whom had lost their families before the ship left Egypt. Efforts are now underway to locate their parents. It is estimated that there are still some 300 Jews in Cairo and Alexandria, including the grand rabbis of both cities who are reported under house arrest.