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Between the Lines

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The demand for international action against Germany, now made in London by Mr. James G. McDonald, League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, discloses a new tangle in the fate of the sixty thousand Jewish refugees from Germany now scattered throughout the world.

Until recently, only a small portion of these refugees required actual financial assistance. The majority of them did not depend upon charity. They were still men of some means. Some of them still received regular monthly sums from their relatives in Germany. Others succeeded somehow in drawing certain sums from their capital which remained in German banks. What they needed in exile was not charitable assistance, but legal. They needed passports. They needed travel documents. They needed facilities for immigration. Only a few of them were in actual need of food and shelter.


The recent decree of the German government prohibiting the sending of money from Germany abroad has converted even these self-supporting Jewish refugees into actual beggars. With no way of receiving anything of their property left behind in Germany, and with no right to work in the countries where they now reside, these refugees have nothing left to depend upon but charity.

The Jewish relief committees in London, in Paris and in Amsterdam therefore are now faced with a new problem. They are being besieged by thousands of refugees who have been out off from any financial assistance from Germany and have no way to get their daily meal except through charitable channels.


These “rich beggars” who possess capital in Germany but must beg for a meal in exile are now not less of a problem to the Commissariat of the League of Nations than to the Jewish relief organizations. As long as they were not a public burden, they were welcomed in numerous countries. Now that all of them have no alternative but to depend upon charity, they are, naturally, no longer a desirable element.

The inhuman restrictions which the German government has now intensified, making it impossible for emigrants to withdraw their own property from Germany in the form of capital or income must therefore naturally become a matter of international concern. These restrictions affecting practically every country where refugees from Germany now reside.


The allowances which the German government made for Jewish refugees migrating to Palestine is permitting them to take out five thousand dollars from Germany, must be extended also to German refugees migrating to other countries. Wishing to get rid of the Jews, Germany must also be made to permit them to take along at least a part of their capital.

This can be done by international action only. The world cannot tolerate such a state of affairs where innocent victims of the Nazi regime, possessing capital in Germany, are reduced to a state of beggary in exile.

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