British Troops Arrest Jewish Leaders in Belsen Camp for Protest on Palestine Policy
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British Troops Arrest Jewish Leaders in Belsen Camp for Protest on Palestine Policy

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Leaders of the Central Jewish Committee in Bergen-Belsen, in the British zone in Germany, have been arrested for protesting against the new British policy on Palestine, it was revealed in a report received here today from the committee.

The Blue-White Zionist flag was mishandled by British military policemen and thrown onto a heap of garbage, the report said, and a crowd of Jews, including many women, which gathered when a police car arrived to take away those arrested, were beaten by British military police with rubber truncheons.

The arrests were made on Nov. 16, when the protest against the Bevin statement was to have been submitted to the British authorities in Belsen during the distribution of Red Cross parcels scheduled to take place on that day. However, the German administrator of the camp, G. Grande, notified the military police of the plan and later appeared with British M.P.’s who he asked to arrest Marian Lipke, the president of the Jewish Committee.

As soon as they arrived, the military police immediately removed banners bearing inscriptions in English reading: “Open the Gates of Palestine,” which had been erected by the displaced Jews. Then, acting on the advice of the German administrator, they arrested not only the president of the Jewish Committee, but a number of other leaders of the committee and several of its personnel. They then took the Blue-White flag from the office of the committee and threw it into a pile of garbage sixty feet from the office.


Meanwhile, many of the thousands of Jews who are still in the Belsen camp gathered together and voiced their protest against the German administrator. The military police then let loose with their rubber truncheons, striking at random at men and women.

Several hours later, British troops, led by Grande, returned to the camp and arrested another member of the Jewish Committee, two young chalutzim and three Jewish girls, without explanation. They later returned, for a third time, and searched the office of the committee, seizing several typewriters, correspondence files and accounting ledgers.

No information concerning those arrested can be obtained, except it is known that during their interrogation at the headquarters of the military police, one was struck twice by a German policeman in the presence of a British officer.

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