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Nazi Agency Reports Vichy Will Hold Jewish Children As Hostages

October 23, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

While a Vichy report yesterday stated that the French Government has decided to issue 1,000 exit visas, allowing refugee children to emigrate from France to the United States, the Nazi Transoccan News Agency reports today that “Vichy may not allow these children to leave unless inimical propaganda against France and Germany ceases in America.”

Indicating that the idea of holding the Jewish children as hostages emanates from Berlin, the Nazi news agency states that the negotiation between France and the United States with regard to the question of permitting refugee children to proceed from France “have been disturbed by anti-French and anti-German propaganda.” It adds at the same time that “even the American Government itself admitted the existence of transportation difficulties.”

Jewish groups here in contact with interested institutions in unoccupied France were surprised to read the Nazi report. No information has reached them from Vichy which would substantiate the Nazi allegation that the French Government has changed its intentions with regard to permitting the first 1,000 refugee children to emigrate from France.

The Berlin radio today reported that Jacques Direct, leader of the anti-Semitic’ Popular Party in France, issued a demand that the sale of tobacco in all forms should be prohibited to Jews throughout France. Deriot is quoted as saying that “it is much more important to provide French war prisoners in Germany with tobacco than to permit the Jews to consume it.”

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