French police were tonight investigating all known Irgun and Stern Group representatives in France, following the arrest yesterday of Bebbi Baruch Korff, chairman of the American Political Actions Committee for Palestine, as he and two companions prepared to take off for London to bombard the British capital with leaflets warning of aerial bombing if Britain did not withdraw from Palestine.
A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, who revealed that Irgun and Sternist aides had been under surveillance for several days, said that the government would probably issue no further statements on the incident until tomorrow night of Tuesday, as the police were pursuing inquiries in many directions. Many Paris hotels were raided today.
Those arrested with Rabbi Korff were his secretary, Mrs. Judith Rosenberger, 23, a native of Hungary, whose present nationality is unknown, and Reginald Gilbert, (##) English-born American citizen and former war pilot. All are being held incommuni(##)do. Seventeen other persons have been arrested, but their names were not disclosed.
Korff and the other two seized at the air-field were questioned a good part of last night. Meanwhile, police are seeking the printer who prepared the leaflets found in two suitcases carried by the rabbi, and the persons who placed the plane at (##)s disposal. They are also seeking to trace the persons who manufactured six improvised aerial bombs found in a house near the Paris abbatoirs.
The leaflet, which was signed “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel,” the formal name of the Stern Group, said in part that “we will carry the war to the very heart of the Empire. We will strike with all the bitterness and fury of our servitude and bondage. People of England, press your government to quit Eretz Israel now. Demand that your sons and daughters return home, or you may never see them again.”
The promptness with which the police acted, and the scope of their raids, indicated that the Surete either had an agent planted in the ranks of the extremists or that one of the terrorists had betrayed his companions to the police.
Meanwhile, a Foreign Ministry spokesman told the J.T.A. here that British reports that the French Government had made a new proposal to admit the Exodus refugees to France were false. He denied a British news agency report, published on Friday, to the effect that the Quai D’Orsay had proposed to London that the Exodus deportees be taken to France until they could be admitted to Palestine. He said, however, that in earlier conversations on the subject, the French had suggested that the best means of persuading the Jews to leave their prison ships was to promise them early transfer to Palestine.
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.