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Jews Do Not Seek Emigration from West European Countries, Hias Director Reports

January 14, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The need for large scale Jewish emigration from Central and Eastern Europe to Palestine and other overseas countries was emphasized here today in a statement issued by Isaac Z. Asofsky, executive director of the HIAS, Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society, who has just returned from a six-week study of conditions of displaced Jews in various European countries. He emphasized that Jews in Western Europe do not desire to emigrate.

“With few exceptions, the native Jewish population of France, Holland and Belgium do not seek to emigrate from these countries.” Mr. Asofsky said. There are no visible signs of anti-Semitism in these countries, although for a short time after V-E Day there were local manifestations of anti-Semitism in France. But these were confined to individuals who resented the necessity of returning homes and other property which had been confiscated from the Jews by the Nazis and had found their way into the hands of some Frenchmen. But great progress has been made in the re-transfer of such property, and the resentment has not spread beyond the small number of people immediately affected.

“On the other hand, German Austrian and Polish refugees, and displaced Jews generally who are scattered in temporary havens all over Europe, face a bleak and hopeless future unless early steps are taken to enable them to emigrate to Palestine and other countries where they can set up permanent homes,” Mr. Asofaky continued. “Living conditions in the refugee camps have improved somewhat, but are still unsatisfactory, and the danger of epidemics brought on by lack of sufficient food, clothing and fuel is still great.”

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