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Two Prominent European Rabbis Reach Palestine from Rumania and Hungary

April 24, 1944
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The “Wisznitzer Rebbe” and the “Munkaczer Rebbe,” two of the best-known “miracle rabbis” in Europe, arrived here today after escaping from the Nazis. They were met at the Syrian-Palestine border by hundreds of followers, by representatives of central Jewish bodies and by many Palestine rabbis who accompanied them to Raifa.

The Wisznitzer Rebbe, who left Rumania only three weeks ago, told newspapermen that in the confusion following the retreat of the German Army, almost all Rumanian Jews who had been deported to Transnistria escaped from the places where they were confined. The 29-year old Munkaczer Rebbe said he was deported from Munkacz, Slovakia, to Poland but managed to escape and had been hiding in Budapest for two years. He left Hungary two months ago and spent several weeks in Turkey.

Eye-witness accounts of the extermination of the Jewish population of Bessarabia and Hungarian-held Carpatho-Russia were given at a press conference here by Jews who succeeded in escaping from those regions within the last month.

Dr. Eliahu Weinstein, former publisher of the Czernowitzer Morgenblat, a German language Jewish newspaper, who arrived in Palestine two weeks ago after a danger fraught voyage across Rumania and the Black Sea to Turkey told correspondents that of the 250,000 or 300,000 Jews who lived in Bessarabia prior to the outbreak of the Russo-German war, only few remain. He was deported to Transnistria on August 16, 1941 only a month after the German-Rumanian invasion, but the province had been made almost “judenrein” by then, Dr. Weinstein said. He disclosed that the Czernowitz ghetto was established on November 11, 1942, on the same day that thousands of Jews in that city were murdered.

Another recent arrival, a Mrs. Jakubowicz, who had been active in the Hechalutz movement in Carpatho-Russia, told the press conference that more than 90,000 of the 150,000 Jews in the area have been killed either by pro-Fascist Ukrainians, the Hungarian occupation forces or the German Gestapo. Mrs. Jakubowicz, and her family of seven, fled to Stanislawow, in Poland, arriving there on the day the Germans were conducting a massacre of 30,000 Jews in the local Jewish cemetery. Her entire family was wiped out.

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