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Baron Guinzbourg Depicts Refugees’ Plight in Letter to New York Merchant

October 8, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The plight of ten thousand Jewish refugees in France was presented by Baron Alfred de Guinzbourg, president of the Societe de Secours aux Juifs Russes, Paris, in a letter to Morris Asinof of New York, made known here yesterday.

“The number of helpless foreign Jews now in this city must be about 10,000. Most of them come from countries which formerly were provinces of the Russian Empire (Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Bucovina, Bessarabia or greater Russia),” Baron Guinzbourg wrote. “They have been drive from their homes by pogroms, persecutions or otherwise unbearable moral and material conditions. They cannot proceed to countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina or even Palestine where they could eventually make a living, owing to the drastic regulations which limit the influx of pauper aliens in most of those countries. They cannot go back to their own country and they have the greatest difficulty in finding work in France. Much has been done in this latter respect and, with considerable effort, we have succeeded and still are succeeding in finding work for hundreds of them. But this branch of relief touches only a limited class of the refugees. All the old, the sick, the children, all those who are incapable of hard physical labor are left to our care or rather to what our care ought to be, had we the means of extending it to them according to their wants. Their misery is so appalling and our means so scarce that we consider ourselves happy if we are able to give them provisional help. The dwelling question is simply shocking. Only French people are given accommodations in the cheap dwelling buildings which from time to time spring up in the Paris area, while our Russian coreligionists are left to find lodgings wherever and however they can. Disease stricken aliens, not sick enough to be taken into hospitals, are abandoned to their fate, preference being given to natives in the very few sanatoriums and preventoriums now existing in France. We are often confronted with cases where a few dollars could save a human life, but unfortunately it is only exceptionally that we have enough cash to cope with such cases,” he declared.

Mr. Asinof, who contributed to the relief fund of the Societe, was elected an honorary member.

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