Two days before the German liner St. Louis was scheduled to arrive in Hamburg, carrying its 907 Jewish passengers back to Germany and probable concentration camps, it was announced today by the Joint Distribution Committee that havens had been found for all of them in European countries.
From a J.D.C. statement and European dispatches it appeared that the refugees would be divided approximately as follows: Holland, 200; Belgium, 250: England, between 200 and 250, and the remainder to be accepted by France.
“While we must avoid the error of overoptimism,” James N. Rosenberg, chairman of the J.D.C.’s national council stated to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “I feel quite confident that all of these refugees on the St. Louis will be taken care of. Mr. (Paul) Baerwald in London, Mr. (Morris C.) Troper in Paris and we here in New York are leaving no stone unturned.”
At the same time, the J.D.C. announced that a temporary haven had been found for the 68 refugees on the British steamship Orduna, who, like the St. Louis passengers had been barred from Cuba. These refugees, who have since been transferred to the steamship Orbita, were admitted today to Panama, 45 to be maintained for the next three months on their own funds and the remaining 23 on guarantees by the J.D.C. Rabbi Nathan Witkin acted for the J.D.C. in Panama.
In the efforts to find asylum for homeless refugees, “the response of leading Catholics, Protestants and Jews, both here and abroad, is indeed heartening,” Mr. Rosenberg said.
With the Belgian Government expected to announce today that it would accept 250 of the St. Louis refugees, “arrangements for suitable dwelling places for these refugees are now being perfected,” Mr. Rosenberg said, adding:
“In Holland, an appeal by leading Christian and Jewish groups made to the Queen of Holland and the Minister of Justice has had a magnificent response. We are assured that Holland will take care of 194 others of these refugees. The Joint Distribution Committee is giving suitable guarantees so that none of the refugees will become public charges. As to the remaining refugees we hope shortly to have additional information.”
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.