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First Group of Chronically Ill, Crippled Jewish Dp’s Leaves for Israel Tomorrow

March 20, 1950
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The first group of Jewish hard core DP’s consisting of 30 chronically ill, crippled and bedridden men and women will leave Tuesday from a hospital in this Bavarian spa town to begin their journey to Israel.

The group, ranging in age from 24 to 86, will be taken from their beds on stretchers to a nearby railroad siding to start the trip that many have been waiting half-a-century to make. They will arrive in Israel in time to observe the Passover holiday.

Under special arrangements completed today by the Joint Distribution Committee, the group will travel to Munich on two train cars that have been converted into a hospital-on-wheels. In Munich they will be joined by 150 healthy DP’s and will then proceed to Venice, where they will board an Israel transport for the journey to Israel. The transport will have a fully equipped sickbay and a full corps of physicians and nurses.

To meet the problem of caring for the sick and aged refugees arriving in Israel, Samuel Haber, director of the J.D.C. in Germany, said that a $15,000,000 welfare fund has been established in Israel by the J.D.C., the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency. He added that a recent grant of $2,500,000 by the International Refugee Organization will also be used to care for the hard core cases in Israel. Mr. Haber pointed out that these persons and their families now comprise about 50 percent of the 13,000 Jews remaining in German DP camps. Most of them are scheduled to emigrate before the end of 1950.

The J.D.C. director said the problem of what to do with these DP’s has been “particularly tough.” He declared: “Already overcrowded Israel, where most wish to settle, can offer no facilities for the treatment which they require. But to leave them to rot in Germany,” he said, “would have been a mockery of justice.”

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