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Emigration from Occupied France Virtually Impossible

July 14, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Emigration from occupied France has become virtually impossible following introduction by the Nazi authorities of their own exit visas in addition to those issued by the French authorities.

Henceforth any person desiring to leave Nazi-occupied areas either by way of the Franco-Spanish border or one of the Nazi-controlled French harbors must report with his passport and French exit visas to the local Nazi authorities and obtain a special exit visa from the German occupation forces.

This measure, added to the fact that the Spanish frontier with unoccupied France is closed, has trapped all those who still hoped to escape from Nazified France, particularly Jews and refugees from the Reich.

A report received here by the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association form Bordeaux expresses doubt whether Jewish organizations in France will be permitted to continue their activities in a manner corresponding to the pre-occupation period.

The report emphasizes that starvation is growing among the thousands of Jews who fled from various parts of France to Bordeaux, especially from Paris, in the belief that the Nazis would not reach Bordeaux. Among those said to be starving are many who left fortunes in Paris but are afraid to return, fearing they would be denounced to the Nazis as Jews or for anti-Nazi activities.

In a similar plight are about 1,000 non-Jewish political refugees who are still in Bordeaux despite the French order that every French refugee return to his home.

Jewish relief organizations here estimated, meanwhile, that hardly one per cent of the 450,000 Jews in France have succeeded in leaving the country. Of the estimated 2,000 Jews who were fortunate enough to cross into Portugal through Spain, or who found their way to England, the majority are of the richer class. Of the Jews who remained in France the majority are in the unoccupied areas but are affected by the order of the French authorities to return to their homes in the occupied zones.

Among the Jews who reached Portugal are many Dutch and Belgian citizens. It is reliably learned that Paul van Zeeland, former Belgian Premier and head of the Coordinating Foundation for refugees, who is now in Portugal, or Spain.

Meanwhile, arrangements have been completed here for the dispatch of more than 300 Dutch refugees, most of them Jews, to Dutch Guiana on a specially chartered steamer.

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