“It will take more than two years to solve the problem of the transmigrate, who are distributed practically all over the world in Bucharest, Hamburg, Antwerp, Riga, Rotterdam, Warsaw, Constantinople, Paris, Cherbourg, Marseilles, Danzig, Vienna and Prague. 4,000 of them are Russians. To admit these 4,000 Russians alone will take over two years.” This was the statement made by Mr. B.C. Vladeck, a member of the Hias delegation, in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“The full census which we took of the Jewish emigrants at Atlantic Park,” Mr. Vladeck continued, “gives a sad picture of the position of the 800 Jewish souls there. There are 222 children and about 400 women at the Hostel. Only 198 are
males over 18 able to work and try their fortune. Of the 222 children, 26 are orphans bereft of both parents. There are also 24 widows who were going out to join brothers and sisters. In all, there are 75 persons who cannot be admitted to the United States, under any circumstances. 24 families, comprising 100 souls, are proceeding to declarant husbands and fathers, and there are over 50 girls proceeding to join brothers and sisters.
All the inhabitants of Atlantic Park are in possession of steamship tickets and of visas to the United States. Everything possible must be done to find room for these emigrants, some in England and some in other countries, as it will take years before a certain percentage of the present inhabitants of Atlantic Park will be able to go to the United States.
“It is impossible to leave the emigrants in a position where they will be condemned to wait month after month and sometimes year after year for the opportunity to enter the United States. The delegation has approached not only the Anglo-Jewish bodies and the representatives of the different Dominions, but also the Zionist Organization in London. The Zionist Organization has promised to do what it can to transfer to Palestine a certain number of the emigrants now in Atlantic Park who will not fall a burden to the community.
“It is interesting to note that when we questioned the emigrants where they desired to proceed, not one said that he would like to go to Russia. Some declared their willingness to go to Canada and South America, but the greater part have no alternative place in their mind, since all their relatives are in North America. It is possible that many of the male emigrants may in desperation decide to go back to Russia, and as a matter of fact such a movement exists among the refugees in Bessarabia. This has to be prevented, in view of the present economic position in Russia. It will be a new hardship for the emigrants if they are compelled to go to Russia, although I learn that the Ica is negotiating with the Russian authorities to enable a proportion of the emigrants to return.
“The Hias delegation has received a great deal of assistance from the Jewish organizations in England. It has discussed the situation with the Executive of the Conference held at Liverpool of representatives of all the North Atlantic steamship lines. I have every reason to be satisfied in general with the attention given to the matter by the companies, which are, of course, very interested in disposing of the emigrants as soon as possible.
“I cannot say whether the Hias delegation will be able to give relief to the stranded emigrants, but this is certain, that our arrival has roused public interest in the question, and we are sure that all the organizations concerned will see that the question is solved in a satisfactory manner.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.