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Hias Reports 6,538 Jews Resettled in Western Countries in 1968

A total of 6,538 men, women and children from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Cuba were resettled by United Hias Service in western countries in 1968, “a year of crisis and tragedy” for Jews, Gaynor I. Jacobson, Hias executive vice-president, said today in the migration agency’s annual report. The agency aided a total of 62,400 Jews during 1968, according to Harold Friedman, Hias president.

Mr. Jacobson reported that from March, 1968 when Polish Premier Gomulka said Jews who regarded Israel as their homeland were free to leave, until the end of 1968, 2,887 Polish Jews reached Vienna “and more than half of them requested Hias assistance in rejoining their families and finding permanent homes in the West.” He also reported that the Soviet bloc invasion of Czechoslovakia last August led to the flight between then and the end of the year by some 4,000 Czech Jews to western countries. He said more than 1,800 registered with Hias in Vienna and other field offices in western Europe.

He reported also that the situation of the 3,500 Jews in Iraq, 4,000 in Syria and an estimated 1,500 remaining in Egypt led to renewed Hias efforts to obtain the right of emigration for them. He reported that Hias continued in 1968 its aid to Cuban Jews, helping not only those coming on the airlift but also those whose only means of escape was through a transit country such as Curacao, Spain or Mexico. He declared that the agency was able “to increase the results of our USSR family reunion program last year, although the numbers remain small and the difficulties great.”

Mr. Friedman said the 62,400 persons aided in 1968 included some 4,000 who received such post-migration services as adjustment of status, naturalization, prevention of deportation and jeopardy. He reported also that Hias succeeded in locating 1,050 persons in the United States, the Soviet Union, Israel, Australia and in more than 30 other European and North and South American countries. Some 200 migrants who arrived in Latin America before 1968 were given financial and other help, he said.

He said total Hias expenditures in 1968 were $2,432,917. He declared that in planning the 1969 budget, the agency expected to help some 56,000 men, women and children, including some 6,270 refugees and migrants who will be helped to find new homes in the United States, Canada, Australia, Latin America and western Europe, with total outlays for the 1969 program estimated at $2,558,000.

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