11,000 Jewish emigrants, men, women and children, are stranded in the various ports and cities of Europe, dependent entirely for their subsistence on the help which they may receive from their relatives in the United States, according to Mr. B.C. Vladeck. Manager of the “Jewish Daily Forward” and member of the Hias delegation, who has just returned from Europe, in an exclusive interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
6,000 of this number possess Russian passports and have already secured American visas. They are located in the ports of Southampton, Marseilles, Havre, Cherbourg, Bremen, Hambrug, Libau, Riga and Constantinople, and in the cities of Warsaw, Kishineff, Galatz and Bucharest.
The investigation made by the Hias delegation, Mr. Vladeck stated, revealed a most pitful situation among the refugees stranded in Roumania, Latvia and Poland. They lack food and shelter and are dressed in rags. Their entire existence depends on the help of their relatives in America, but they receive very little from either their relatives or the relief organizations. A large number of the emigrants are housed by the steamship companies which undertook to bring them to the United States.
The governments of the various countries where the Jewish emigrants are stranded have given assurances that they will not deport them, pending their departure for the United States, Argentina and Canada, steps for which are being taken.
Particular consideration has been shown by the government of France, which has agreed to allow the skilled workers among the refugees to be absorbed into the industrial fabric of the country. Special efforts are being made to relieve the situation in Roumania by despatching groups of refugees to Argentina and Canada.
Mr. Vladeck observed the interesting fact that out of 800 refugees stranded in Southampton, faced with the alternatives of waiting indefinitely for permission to go to the United States, or proceeding immediately to Paleestine, only 24 chose the latter.
Mr. Vladeck, who spent a short time in Poland, reports that
there is a severe economic depression in that country due in part to the introduction of the new money system which supplanted the valueless paper currency for a high currency on a gold basis. In consequence the country is experiencing a crisis due to a lack of cash and credit.
The Jews have been most affected by this condition. In the cities of Bialystok and Lodz, the centers of the textile industry, things are at an utter standstill and the Jewish workers are actually starving. He urged that American relatives go to the help of their relatives in these regions.
As a result of this critical situation, Mr. Vladeck reports that there is a strong inclination towards the settlement of the Jews on the land. A serious hindrance to this movement is the lack of assistance that the Jews who desire to settle on the land are receiving in the purchase of machinery, and the securing of advice on proper cultivation. A visit to the Ort office in Kishineff by Mr. Vladeck revealed the fact that the society has no money with which to remedy these difficulties.
A condition of the granting of land to the Jews in Bessarabia by the Roumanian Government is that they cultivate it within a period of two years. Due to the lack of machinery, it is feared that many of the Jewish families will lose their allotments of land.
Tobacco cultivation and vineyards are the principal forms of agriculture among the new farmers in South Russia and Roumania.
Talk in connection with a Jewish Republic in South Russia, upon close examination and interviews with Jewish leaders, by Mr. Vladeck, dwindled down to nothing more than the settlement of several thousand Jewish families on the soil.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.