Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Russians Close Border to Jews Escaping from Poland; Act on Allied Decision

December 26, 1945
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Acting on a decision taken by the Kommandantur, in which the American, British, French and Russian military authorities are represented, the Soviet authorities have closed the frontier through which Jews escaping from Poland have been entering the Russian zone of Berlin on route to displaced persons camps in the American and the British zones.

The decision was taken last Friday, when it was also decided to evacuate about 4,000 Polish Jews from Berlin into the three western zones of Germany. Forty-eight hours notice was given by the Russian authorities before closing their border.

As a result of this drastic measure, which caused consternation among displaced Jews in the American and British zones, who were expecting to be united with surviving relatives from Poland, about 800 Polish Jews were arrested yesterday in the Russian zone and transferred to the Magdeburg prison. Other Jewish refugees were arrested on the frontier.

The general feeling here is that the British and the American military officials in Germany do not comprehend the tragic situation of the Jews in Poland. Some of them are trying to create the impression that the Jews are fleeing from Poland because they are stimulated by Zionist propaganda to do so, and also because of the fact that they do not receive sufficient protection from the Polish Government against anti-Semitic terror. Open and camouflaged anti-Jewish sentiments are noticeable among most of the British officers and even among some Americans. Only the French display any deep humanitarian understanding for the Jews who are escaping from Poland, it was stressed by responsible Jewish observers.

Recommended from JTA