NEW YORK (Sep. 4)
The Joint Distribution Committee announced today that it had allocated $100,000 to provide relief for Jewish refugees arriving in Vienna from Czechoslovakia. Samuel L. Haber, JDC executive vice-chairman, revealed that as of this afternoon, 780 refugees had applied to the JDC office in Vienna for assistance. He said the first applicants came from among the thousands of tourists who had been outside Czechoslovakia when Soviet troops crossed the border. The latest group, he said, consisted of men, women and children who had just come to Vienna from Czechoslovakia.
To meet the immediate needs of the refugees. Mr. Haber said, JDC is providing small cash grants, primarily for food, hotel rooms and other necessities. Other aid is being given to the refugees by non-sectarian voluntary agencies and the Austrian authorities. Few of the Jewish refugees, Mr. Haber noted, have made any plans for the future, although small numbers indicated a desire to emigrate to the United States, Israel and other countries. “The general consensus of those on the spot.” Mr. Haber said, “is that this is a waiting-period, with indecisiveness playing the main role.”
The JDC Vienna office is overcrowded with the refugee influx and additional office space is being sought. To cope with the emergency, experienced JDC staff members have been sent to Vienna from JDC headquarters in Geneva and other offices in Europe. Mr. Haber said that additional funds would be provided if the emergency continues. Funds for JDC’s assistance programs overseas come chiefly from the campaigns of the United Jewish Appeal.