Polish Jews Need American Relief to Survive, Says JTA Correspondent on Arrival Here
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Polish Jews Need American Relief to Survive, Says JTA Correspondent on Arrival Here

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The surviving Jews in the liberated section of Poland are desperately in need of assistance and are depending on American Jewish relief groups to provide food, clothing, medicine and other vitally needed supplies, according to Raymond A. Davies, Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent in Moscow, who has just arrived here. Davies was the first American Jewish correspondent to visit Poland.

Although the Nazi occupation has left the few Jewish survivors broken in both body and spirit, he said that a basis for a revival of the Jewish community exists if aid is received soon and in large quantities. Davies estimated that there are 20,000 Jews in the section of Poland east of the Curzon line; another 20,000 in the liberated area west of the Curzon line; and about 100,000 in the territory still occupied by the Germans.

Few responsible officials entertain any hopes that this bast group will survive, he stated. One of the most tragic aspects of the situation, he pointed out, is the almost complete extermination of Polish Jewish children. Up to the time he left Russia, last month, only seven survivors had been registered with the Jewish Committee in Lublin.

Davies revealed that Polish Jews who had resided in territory west of the Curzon line prior to the war, and who are now in the Soviet Union, are being permitted to return, even though some of them had indicated that they wished to obtain Soviet citizenship. A few have already trickled back. He said that more than 300,000 are in Russia, in addition to a like number who lived east of the Curzon line, in territory which joined the Soviet Union in 1939.

Pressed for details of what he saw at the Maidanak death camp, where an estimated 1,500,000 Jews were killed, Davies said that it defied description. He saw mounds of human ashes ten times as large as an average room, and personal belongings of thousands of families scattered about. He brought home with him, an urn of ashes, some crystals of the cyclone gas which was used in the asphyxiation chambers, a child’s shoe, taken from a pile of 90,000, and a family album belonging to a Jewish family of Vienna.

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