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Flight of Jews Fleeing to Munich from Eastern Europe Described by JTA Correspondent

December 13, 1945
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

This capital of Bavaria almost overnight has become the center of continental European Jewry. Pogram conditions in Poland, the unfriendliness in Hungary and other countries toward the Jews and the fear of further persection of those eastern Jews who survived Hitler and returned to their homelands all have caused thousands to leave and to converge on Munich.

The reason for the selection of this city is because the grapevine has spread the story that the way to Palestine leads from Warsaw to Prague, by way of Munich, or though Munich to Vienna and Salzburg. Refugees from eastern Europe, including those from the Russian zone, have been arriving at the Deutsches Museum, the American Army transient center in Munich, at the rate of 300 daily. The huge museum building, which as partly destroyed by bombs, has been turned into an extensive barracks with some 500 (##) and 300 cots.

On Saturday night last, 1,060 people occupied this space while scores stood in line attempting to obtain accommodations which were non-existent because three major Fevarian refugee camps, those at Landsberg, Feldafing and Fahrenwald, where there were accommodations for 10,000 people, already house 15,200. Smaller camps are coming into existence, but the general result is conditions which in many respects approximate those of the Nazi concentration camps. Thirty individuals appointed to the Central Committee for Bavarian Displaced Jews now have the responsibility of looking after the 35,000 unfortunates in this area. They are aided by the Joint Distribution Committee, headed by Dr. Levy Becker and an American chaplain named Abraham J. Klausner who, at this critical juncture, was transferred by the Army to the American zone in Berlin.

The order has been given by the American Army that the Jews should be grouped spart from all other DP’s and, in addition, orders came from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower that these people should be given special attention. Seven weeks ago, when reports of programs and persecutions were brought out of Poland by the first fleeing refugees, who indicated that many more would soon follow them, such responsible refugees-camp directors U.A.C. Glasscold, at Landsberg, reported to the Army authorities and to UNRRA officials that they could soon expect an influx of 10,000. No move was made, however, to meet that crisis.

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