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Conditions in Landsberg Camp for Displaced Jews Criticized by Allied Correspondents

December 11, 1945
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Conditions in the Landsberg camp for displaced Jews were condemned today in a statement issued by a group of American and Allied correspondents who arrived here during the week-end form Nuremberg. Included in the group of seven was a correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

All the correspondents came to the conclusion that the problem of the displaced Jews will not be solved unless the directives of Gen. Eisenhower concerning displaced persons are carried out. The Army has the authority, they found, but it does not have the humanitarian approach, and there is, moreover, definite evidence of anti-Semdtism among some of the officers and men.

On the other hand, UNRRA which is administering the camp, where there are 5,300 refugees jammed into a space designed for only 4,200, has the humanitarian approach, but lacks authority in certain fields now dominated by the Army.

Certain solutions proposed by UNRRA are often lost in a mass of red tape, the correspondents were told, and the growing complications in connection with displaced persons are creating annoyance among officers, which in turn leads to anti-Jewish feelings.

The text of the signed declaration issued by the correspondents reads as follows:

“The undersigned have inspected the Jewish displaced persons camp at Landsberg, Bavaria. We support the statement of Dr. Leo Srole, principal welfare officer of the UNRRA team at Landsberg, condemning conditions there. The camp is horribly over-crowded. We saw as many as 25 people living in a 15′ by 24′ room. At least two persons, and sometimes three, sleep in one bunk only three feet wide. Some live in cold, damp basements filled with the smoke of green burning wood since coal is unavailable. The draughty, ramshackle wooden barracks, we feel, are unfit for human habitation. The windows are broken although there is bitter cold. Blankets and clothing are insufficient. The food is unpalatable and inadequate. Only cold water is available for washing. The washrooms are sheeted with ice. The pipes are rusted and broken so that only one toilet exists for every 100 persons.

“We are of the opinion that if disease breaks out under these conditions, these pitiful remnants of the Nazi concention camps will be decimated. We feel that immediate and drastic action is imperative if these people, after long years of tragedy, are not to continue living in indescribable misery and under the constant threat of disease and death.”

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