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Attitude of American Government Toward Palestine
Letter From President Roosevelt to King Ibn Saud, April 5, 1945
GREAT AND GOOD FRIEND:
I have received the communication which Your Majesty sent me under date of March 10, 1945, in which you refer to the question of Palestine and to the continuing interest of the Arabs in current developments affecting that country.
I am gratified that Your Majesty took this occasion to bring your views on this question to my attention and I have given the most careful attention to the statements which you make in your letter. I am also mindful of the memorable conversation which we had not so long ago and in the course of which I had an opportunity to obtain so vivid an impression of Your Majesty's sentiments on this question.
Your Majesty will recall that on previous occasions I communicated to you the attitude of the American Government toward Palestine and made clear our desire that no decision be taken with respect to the basic situation in that country without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews. Your Majesty will also doubtless recall that during our recent conversation I assured you that I would take no action, in my capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch of this Government, which might prove hostile to the Arab people.
It gives me pleasure to renew to Your Majesty the assurances which you have previously received regarding the attitude of my Government and my own, as Chief Executive, with regard to the question of Palestine and to inform you that the policy of this Government in this respect is unchanged.
I desire also at this time to send you my best wishes for Your Majesty's continued good health and for the welfare of your people.
Your Good Friend,
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
ABDUL AZIZ IBN ABDUR RAHMAN AL FAISAL AL SAUD
King of Saudi Arabia
Joined: 27 July 2006
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|Posted: 21 September 2006 at 4:41pm|
April 20 1946 - Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry
Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry - Preface
We were appointed by the Governments of the United States and of the United Kingdom, as a joint body of American and British membership, with the following Terms of Reference:
1. To examine political, economic and social conditions in Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein.
2. To examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution, and the practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries to enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression and to make estimates of those who wish or will be impelled by their conditions to migrate to Palestine or other countries outside Europe.
3. To hear the views of competent witnesses and to consult representative Arabs and Jews on the problems of Palestine as such problems are affected by conditions subject to examination under paragraphs 1 and 2 above and by other relevant facts and circumstances, and to make recommendations to His Majesty's Government and the Government of the United States for ad interim handling of these problems as well as for their permanent solution.
4. To make such other recommendations to His Majesty's Government and the Government of the United States as may be necessary to meet the immediate needs arising from conditions subject to examination under paragraph 2 above, by remedial action in the European countries in question or by the provision of facilities for emigration to and settlement in countries outside Europe.
The Governments urged upon us the need for the utmost expedition in dealing with the subjects committed to us for investigation, and requested to be furnished with our Report within one hundred and twenty days of the inception of our Inquiry.
We assembled in Washington on Friday, 4th January, 1946, and began our public sessions on the following Monday. We sailed from the United States on 18th January and resumed our public sessions in London on 25th January. We left for Europe on 4th and 5th February, and, working in subcommittees, proceeded to our investigations in Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy and Greece. On 28th February we flew to Cairo and, after sessions there, reached Jerusalem on 6th March. In Palestine, our sessions were interspersed with personal visits to different parts of the country, during which we sought to acquaint ourselves at first hand with its various characteristics and the ways of life of its inhabitants. Subcommittees visited the capitals of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi-Arabia and Trans-Jordan to hear the views of the Arab Governments and representatives of bodies concerned with the subjects before us. We left Palestine on 28th March and have concluded our deliberations in Switzerland. The detailed itinerary is shown in Appendix I.
We now submit the following Report.
|Jan. 4-17||Washington||Full Committee|
|Jan. 23-Feb. 4||London||Full Committee|
|Feb. 5-15||American Zone of Germany
Sir Frederick Leggett
French Zones of Germany and Austria
|Feb. 5-17||Berlin||Judge Hutcheson
Sir Jolm Singleton
|Feb. 7-13||Poland||Mr. Buxton
|Feb. 8-11||British Zone of Germany||Judge Hutcheson
Sir John Singleton
|Feb. 17-25||Vienna||Full Committee|
|Feb. 19-22||American Zone of Austria||Mr. Buxton
|Feb. 25-26||British Zone of Austria||Mr. Crum
|Feb. 25-27||Italy||Sir John Singleton
Sir Frederick Leggett
|Feb. 28-Mar. 5||Cairo||Full Committee|
|Mar. 6-28||Palestine||Full Committee|
|Mar. 15-20||Damascus; Beirut||Judge Hutcheson
|Mar. 16-21||Baghdad; Riyadh||Sir John Singleton
|Mar. 23-24||Amman||Lord Morrison
Sir Frederick Leggett
|Mar. 29-Apr. 20||Lausanne||Full Committee|
Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry - Chapter I
Recommendations and Comments
The European Problem
Recommendation No. 1. We have to report that such information as we received about countries other than Palestine gave no hope of substantial assistance in finding homes for Jews wishing or impelled to leave Europe.
But Palestine alone cannot meet the emigration needs of the Jewish victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution; the whole world shares responsibility for them and indeed for the resettlement of all "displaced persons".
We therefore recommend that our Governments together, and in association with other countries, should endeavor immediately to find new homes for all such "displaced persons", irrespective of creed or nationality, whose ties with their former communities have been irreparably broken.
Though emigration will solve the problems of some victims of persecution, the overwhelming majority, including a considerable number of Jews, will continue to live in Europe. We recommend therefore that our Governments endeavor to secure that immediate effect is given to the provision of the United Nations Charter calling for "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion".
In recommending that our Governments, in association with other countries, should endeavor to find new homes for "displaced persons", we do not suggest that any country should be asked to make a permanent change in its immigration policy. The conditions, which we have seen in Europe, are unprecedented, and so unlikely to arise again that eve are convinced that special provision could and should be made in existing immigration laws to meet this unique and peculiarly distressing situation. Furthermore, we believe that much could be accomplished-particularly in regard to those "displaced persons", including Jews, who have relatives in countries outside Europe-by a relaxation of administrative regulations.
Our investigations have led us to believe that a considerable number of Jews will continue to live in most European countries. In our view the mass emigration of all European Jews would be of service neither to the Jews themselves nor to Europe. Every effort should be made to enable the Jews to rebuild their shattered communities, while permitting those Jews, who wish to do so, to emigrate. In order to achieve this, restitution of Jewish property should be effected as soon as possible. Our investigations showed us that the Governments chiefly concerned had for the most part already passed legislation to this end. A real obstacle, however, to individual restitution is that the attempt to give effect to this legislation is frequently a cause of active anti-Semitism. We suggest that, for the reconstruction of the Jewish communities, restitution of their corporate property, either through reparations payments or through other means, is of the first importance.
Nazi occupation has left behind it a legacy of anti-Semitism. This cannot be combated by legislation alone. The only really effective antidotes are the enforcement by each Government of guaranteed civil liberties and equal rights, a program of education in the positive principles of democracy, the sanction of a strong world public opinion- combined with economic recovery and stability.
Refugee Immigration Into Palestine
Recommendation No. 2. We recommend (a) that 100,000 certificates be authorized immediately for the admission into Palestine of Jews who have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution; (b) that these certificates be awarded as far as possible in 1946 and that actual immigration be pushed forward as rapidly as conditions will permit.
The number of Jewish survivors of Nazi and Fascist persecution with whom we have to deal far exceeds 100,000; indeed there are more than that number in Germany, Austria and Italy alone. Although nearly a year has passed since their liberation, the majority of those in Germany and Austria are still living in assembly centers, the so" called "camps," island communities in the midst of those at whose hands they suffered so much.
In their interests and in the interests of Europe, the centers should be closed and their camp life ended. Most of them have cogent reasons for wishing to leave Europe. Many are the sole survivors of their families and few have any ties binding them to the- countries in which they used to live.
Since the end of hostilities, little has been done to provide for their resettlement elsewhere. Immigration laws and restrictions bar their entry to most countries and much time must pass before such laws and restrictions can be altered and effect given to the alterations. Some can go to countries where they have relatives; others may secure inclusion in certain quotas. Their number is comparatively small.
We-know of no country to which the great majority can go in the immediate future other than Palestine. Furthermore that is where almost all of them want to go. There they are sure that they will receive a welcome denied them elsewhere. There they hope to enjoy peace and rebuild their lives.
We believe it is essential that they should be given an opportunity to do so at the earliest possible time. Furthermore we have the assurances of the leaders of; the Jewish Agency that they will be supported and cared for.
We recommend the authorization and issue of 100,000 certificates for these reasons and because we feel that their immediate issue will have a most salutary effect upon the whole situation.
In the awarding of these certificates priority should as far as possible be given to those in the centers, and to those liberated in Germany and Austria who are no longer in the centers but remain in those countries. We do not desire that other Jewish victims who wish or will be impelled by their circumstances to leave the countries where they now are, or that those who fled from persecution before the outbreak of war, should be excluded. We appreciate that there will be difficulty in deciding questions of priority, but none the less we urge that so far as possible such a system should be adhered to, and that, in applying it, primary consideration should be given to the aged and infirm, to the very young and also to skilled workmen whose services will be needed for many months on work rendered necessary by the large influx.
It should be made clear that no advantage in the obtaining of a certificate is to be gained by migrating from one country to another, or by entering Palestine illegally.
Receiving so large a number will be a heavy burden on Palestine. We feel sure that the authorities will shoulder it and that they will have the full cooperation of the Jewish Agency.
Difficult problems will confront those responsible for organizing and carrying out the movement. The many organizations-public and private-working in Europe will certainly render all the aid they can; we mention UNRRA especially. (cooperation by all throughout is necessary.
We are sure that the Government of the United States, which has shown such keen interest in this matter, will participate vigorously and generously with the Government of Great Britain in its fulfillment. There are many ways in which help can be given.
Those who have opposed the admission of these unfortunate people into Palestine should know that we have fully considered all that they have put before us. We hope that they will look upon the situation again, that they will appreciate the considerations which have led us to our conclusion, and that above all, if they cannot see their way to help, at least they will not make the position of these sufferers more difficult.
Principles of Government: No Arab, No Jewish State
Recommendation No. 3. In order to dispose, once and for all, of the exclusive claims of Jews and Arabs to Palestine, we regard it as essentia1 that a clear statement of the following principles should be made:
I. That Jew shall not dominate Arab and Arab shall not dominate Jew in Palestine. II. That Palestine shall be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab state. III. That the form of government ultimately to be established, shall, under international guarantees, fully protect and preserve the interests in the Holy Land of Christendom and of the Moslem and Jewish faiths.
Thus Palestine must ultimately become a state which guards the rights and interests of Moslems, Jews and Christians alike; and accords to the inhabitants, as a whole, the fullest measure of self-government, consistent with the three paramount principles set forth above.
Throughout the long and bloody struggle of Jew and Arab for dominance in Palestine, each crying fiercely: "This land is mine"- except for the brief reference in the Report of the Royal Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Peel Report) and the little evidence, written and oral, that we received on this point-the great interest of the Christian World in Palestine has been completely overlooked, glossed over or brushed aside.
We, therefore, emphatically declare that Palestine is a Holy Land, sacred-to Christian, to Jew and to Moslem alike; and because it is a Holy Land, Palestine is not, and can never become, a land which any race or religion can justly claim as its very own.
We further, in the same emphatic way, affirm that the fact that it is the Holy Land, sets Palestine completely apart from other lands, and dedicates it to the precepts and practices of the Brotherhood of Man, not those of narrow nationalism.
For another reason, in the light of its long history, and particularly its history of the last thirty years, Palestine cannot be regarded as either a purely Arab or a purely Jewish land.
The Jews have a historic connection with the country. The Jewish National Home, though embodying a minority of the population, is today a reality established under international guarantee. It has a right to continued existence, protection and development.
Yet Palestine is not, and never can be, a purely Jewish land. It lies at the crossroads of the Arab world. Its Arab population, descended from long-time inhabitants of the area, rightly look upon Palestine as their homeland.
It is therefore neither just nor practicable that Palestine should become either an Arab State, in which an Arab majority would control the destiny of a Jewish minority, or a Jewish State, in which a Jewish majority would control that of an Arab minority. In neither case would minority guarantees afford adequate protection for the subordinated group.
A Palestinian put the matter thus: "In the hearts of us Jews there has always been a fear that some day this country would be turned into an Arab State and the Arabs would rule over us. This fear has at times reached the proportions of terror . . . Now this same feeling of fear has started up in the hearts of Arabs . . . fear lest the Jews acquire the ascendancy and rule over them."
Palestine, then, must be established as a country in which the legitimate national aspirations of both Jews and Arabs can be reconciled, without either side fearing the ascendancy of the other. In our view this cannot be done under any form of constitution in which a mere numerical majority is decisive, since it is precisely the struggle for a numerical majority which bedevils Arab-Jewish relations. To ensure genuine self-government for both the Arab and the Jewish communities, this struggle must be made purposeless by the constitution itself.
Mandate and United Nations Trusteeship
Recommendation No. 4. We have reached the conclusion that the hostility between Jews and Arabs and, in particular, the determination of each to achieve domination, if necessary by violence. make it almost certain that, now and for some time to come, any attempt to establish either an independent Palestinian State or independent Palestinian States would result in civil strife such as might threaten the peace of the world.
We therefore recommend that, until this hostility disappears, the Government of Palestine be continued as at present under mandate pending the execution of a trusteeship agreement under the United Nations.
We recognize that in view of the powerful forces both Arab and Jewish, operating from outside Palestine, the task of Great Britain, as Mandatory, has not been easy. The Peel Commission declared in 1937 that the Mandate was unworkable, and the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations thereupon pointed out that it became almost unworkable once it was publicly declared to be so by such a body. Two years later the British Government, having come to the conclusion that the alternative of partition proposed by the Peel Commission was also unworkable, announced their intention of taking steps to terminate the Mandate by the establishment of an independent Palestine State. Our recommendations are based on what we believe at this stage to be as fair a measure of justice to all as we can find in view of what has gone before and of all that has been done. We recognize that they are not in accord with the claims of either party, and furthermore that they involve a departure from the recent policy of the Mandatory. We recognize that, if they are adopted, they will involve a long period of trusteeship, which will mean a very heavy burden for any single Government to undertake, a burden which would be lightened if the difficulties were appreciated and the Trustee had the support of other members of the United Nations.
Equality of Standards
Recommendation No. 5. Looking towards a form of ultimate self-government, consistent with the three principles laid down in Recommendation No. 3, we recommend that the mandatory or trustee should proclaim the principle that Arab economic, educational and political advancement in Palestine is of equal importance with that of the Jews; and should at once prepare measures designed to bridge the gap which now exists and raise the Arab standard of living to that of the Jews; and so bring the two peoples to a full appreciation of their common interest and common destiny in the land where both belong.
Our examination of conditions in Palestine led us to the conclusion that one of the chief causes of friction is the great disparity between the Jewish and Arab standards of living. Even under conditions of war, which brought considerable financial benefits to the Arabs, this disparity has not been appreciably reduced. Only by a deliberate and carefully planned policy on the part of the Mandatory can the Arab standard of living be raised to that of the Jews. In stressing the need for such a policy we would particularly call attention to the discrepancies between the social services, including hospitals, available in Palestine for Jews and Arabs.
We fully recognize that the Jewish social services are financed to a very great extent by the Jewish community in Palestine, with the assistance of outside Jewish organizations; and we would stress that nothing should be done which would bring these social services down to the level of those provided for the Arabs, or halt the constant improvements now being made in them.
We suggest that consideration be given to the advisability of encouraging the formation by the Arabs of an Arab community on the lines of the Jewish community which now largely controls and finances Jewish social services. The Arabs will have to rely, to far greater extent than the Jews, on financial aid from the Government. But the Jews of Palestine should accept the necessity that taxation, raised from both Jews and Arabs, will have to be spent very largely on the Arabs on order to bridge the gap which now exists between the standard of living of the two peoples.
Future Immigration Policy
Recommendation No. 6. We recommend that, pending the early reference to the United Nations and the execution of a trusteeship agreement, the mandatory should administer Palestine according to the mandate which declares with regard to immigration that "The administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions".
We have recommended the admission of 100,000 immigrants, victims of Nazi persecution, as soon as possible. We now deal with the position after the admission of that number. We cannot look far into the future. We cannot construct a yardstick for annual immigration. Until a Trusteeship Agreement is executed it is our clear opinion that Palestine should be administered in accordance with the terms of the Mandate quoted above.
Further than that we cannot go in the form of a recommendation. In this disordered world speculation as to the economic position of any country a few years ahead would be a hazardous proceeding. It is particularly difficult to predict what, after a few years have passed, will be the economic and political condition of Palestine. We hope that the present friction and turbulence will soon die away and be replaced by an era of peace, absent so long from the Holy Land; that the Jew and Arab will soon realize that collaboration is to their mutual advantage-but no one can say how long this will take.
The possibility of the country sustaining a largely increased population at a decent standard of living depends on its economic future, which in turn depends largely on whether or not plans referred to in Recommendation No. 8 can be brought to fruition.
The Peel Commission stated that political as well as economic considerations have to be taken into account in regard to immigration, and recommended a "political high level" of 12,000 a year. We cannot recommend the fixing of a minimum or of a maximum for annual immigration in the future. There are too many uncertain factors.
We desire, however, to state certain considerations which we agree should be taken into account in determining what number of immigrants there should be in any period. It is the right of every independent nation to determine in the interests of its people the number of immigrants to be admitted to its lands. Similarly it must, we think, be conceded that it should be the right of the Government of Palestine to decide, having regard to the well-being of all the people of Palestine, the number of immigrants to be admitted within any given period.
In Palestine there is the Jewish National Home, created in consequence of the Balfour Declaration. Some may think that Declaration was wrong and should not have been made; some that it was a conception on a grand scale and that effect can be given to one of the most daring and significant colonization plans in history. Controversy as to which view is right is fruitless. The National Home is there. Its roots are deep in the soil of Palestine. It cannot be argued out of existence; neither can the achievements of the Jewish pioneers.
The Government of Palestine in having regard to the well-being of all the people of Palestine cannot ignore the interests of so large a section of the population. It cannot ignore the achievements of the last quarter of a century. No Government of Palestine doing its duty to the people of that land can fail to do its best not only to maintain a National Home, but also to foster its proper development, and such development must in our view involve immigration.
The well-being of all the people of Palestine, be they Jews, Arabs, or neither, must be the governing consideration. We reject the view that there shall be no further Jewish immigration into Palestine with-: out Arab acquiescence, a view which would result in the Arab dominating the Jew. We also reject the insistent Jewish demand that forced Jewish immigration must proceed apace in order to produce as quickly as possible a Jewish majority and a Jewish State. The well-being of the Jews must not be subordinated to that of the Arabs; nor that of the Arabs to the Jews. The well-being of both, the economic situation of Palestine as a whole, the degree of execution of plans for further development, all have to be carefully considered in deciding the number of immigrants for any particular period.
Palestine is a land sacred to three faiths and must not become the land of any one of them to the exclusion of the others, and Jewish immigration for the development of the National Home must not become a policy of discrimination against other immigrants. Any person, therefore, who desires and is qualified under applicable laws to enter Palestine must not be refused admission or subjected to discrimination on the ground that he is not a Jew. All provisions respecting immigration must be drawn, executed and applied with that principle always firmly in mind.
Further, while we recognize that any Jew who enters Palestine in accordance with its laws is there of right, we expressly disapprove of the position taken in some Jewish quarters that Palestine has in some way been ceded or granted as their State to the Jews of the world, that every Jew everywhere is, merely because he is a Jew, a citizen of Palestine and therefore can enter Palestine as of right without regard to conditions imposed by the Government upon entry, and that therefore there can be no illegal immigration of Jews into Palestine. We declare and affirm that any immigrant Jew who enters Palestine contrary to its laws is an illegal immigrant.
Recommendation No. 7. (a) We recommend that the Land Transfers Regulations of 1940 be rescinded and replaced by regulations based on a policy of freedom in the sale, lease or use of land, irrespective of race, community or creed, and providing adequate protection for the interests of small owners and tenant cultivators; (b) We further recommend that steps be taken to render nugatory and to prohibit provisions in conveyances, leases and agreements relating to land which stipulate that only members of one races community or creed may be employed on or about or in connection therewith; (c) We recommend that the Government should exercise such close supervision over the Holy Places and localities such as the Sea of Galilee and its vicinity as will protect them from desecration and from uses which offend the conscience of religious people, and that such laws as are required for this purpose be enacted forthwith.
The Land Transfers Regulations of 1940 sought to protect the Arab tenant and small owner by prohibiting the sale of land save to a Palestinian Arab in one zone, by restricting such sales in another, and allowing unrestricted sale of land only in the third zone. Their effect has been such as to amount to discrimination against the Jews; their tendency is to segregate and keep separate Arabs and Jews. In the zones where sales are prohibited or restricted, they have protected the Arab from the temptation to dispose of his land, on which his livelihood and that of his family so often depend, for a sum out of all proportion to its real value. Though made with the object of maintaining the existing standard of living of Arab cultivators, and of preventing the creation of a considerable landless Arab population, they afford no protection to the Arab living in the free zone. He may sell his land for a fantastic price and add to the congestion in the other zones by moving there. An Arab living a short distance away, just across the zone boundary, cannot obtain anything approximating the same sum for land of equal quality.
We are opposed to any legislation or restrictions discriminating against Jew or Arab. We recognize the need for protecting the Arab small owner and tenant, for providing against a large landless Arab population, for maintaining, indeed for raising, the Arab standard of living. This necessity was also recognized in the Peel Report (Chapter IX, paragraph 10) which endorsed the following principles of earlier reports: that (i) unless there is a marked change in the methods of cultivation the land in Palestine is unable to support a large increase in population, and (it) there is already congestion on the land in the hill districts. Those principles are as true, if not truer, today.
We do not believe that the necessary protection for the Arab can be provided only by confining the Jew to particular portions of Palestine. Such a policy, suggested by the Peel Commission, is consistent with their proposed solution, partition, but scarcely with that put forward by us.
The leases granted by the Jewish National Fund contain a provision that no labor other than Jewish shall be employed by the lessee on or about or in connection with the land subject to the lease, and a further provision that a sub-lease shall contain similar terms.
As we have said we are opposed to such discrimination. We appreciate that one of the reasons for such provisions was to secure employment for Jewish immigrants on the land. We do not think that object justifies the retention of such stipulations which are harmful to cooperation and understanding between Arab and Jew.
Land acquired by the Jewish National Fund or for a Waqf by the Supreme Moslem Council becomes inalienable. The Peel Commission expressed the view in its Report (Chapter IX, paragraph 80) that caution on the part of the Government in disposing of - State domain to these bodies was desirable. The situation requires watching.
It would not be to the interests of the inhabitants of Palestine if too large a proportion of the land should become inalienable whether held by one organization or another.
In the small, thickly populated country of Palestine, with its rapidly increasing population, it is in the interest of Jews and Arabs alike that all- land should be developed and put to the fullest possible use. The settlement of title to land should proceed as quickly as possible and the development of State lands, not required for public purposes and capable of use, should be facilitated.
The Holy Land of Palestine contains within its borders and throughout its territories places sacred to the followers of three great religions. The "Lido" with its dancing and swing music on the shore of the Sea of (Galilee offends the sensibilities of many Christian people. Reports came to our notice of other projects the completion of which would be equally objectionable. We therefore feel it right by our recommendation to emphasize the necessity for close supervision and to recommend the strengthening of the law should that be required.
Recommendation No. 8. Various plans for large-scale agricultural and industrial development in Palestine have been presented for our consideration; these projects, if successfully carried into effect, could not only greatly enlarge the capacity of the country to support an increasing population but also raise the living standards of Jew and Arab alike.
We are not in a position to assess the soundness of these specific plans; but we cannot state too strongly that, however technically feasible they may be, they will fail unless there is peace in Palestine. Moreover their full success requires the willing cooperation of adjacent Arab states, since they are not merely Palestinian projects. We recommend therefore that the examination, discussion and execution of these plans be conducted, from the start and throughout, in full consultation and cooperation not only with the Jewish Agency but also with the governments of the neighboring Arab States directly affected.
The building of the Jewish economy has enjoyed the advantage of abundant capital, provided on such terms as to make economic return a secondary consideration. The Arabs have had no such advantage. In principle, we do not think it wise or appropriate that plans, such as the project for a Jordan Valley Authority, should, if judged technically sound, be undertaken by any private organization, even though that organization, as suggested by the Jewish Agency, should give an assurance of Arab benefits and Arab participation in the management.
Such proposals, by reason of their magnitude and far-reaching effects, should be conceived as public projects, suitable for Government enterprise and accepted only provided that they are calculated to benefit all parts of the population. But the undertaking of a worthwhile project should not be held up merely from financial considerations which could be overcome with the aid of semi-philanthropic sources. Some-compromise should not be impossible which would combine Jewish finance with Government responsibility and control.
We welcome the knowledge that the Government of Palestine has itself prepared programs of postwar development; we could wish that means might be found for projects of larger range and on a more ambitious scale; but we recognize that until political peace is restored there is great difficulty in raising the necessary funds whether from revenue or borrowing.
Meanwhile it is suggested that the Government should acquire powers, at present lacking, to investigate fully the extent of the country's water resources, to control the use of underground water and to determine rights to surface water.
We doubt whether Palestine can expand its economy to the full, having regard to its limited natural resources, without a full and free interchange of goods and services with neighboring countries. In some respects, indeed, as in certain projects involving water supply, their active collaboration is indispensable to full development on an economic basis.
The removal of Article 18 of the Mandate would clear the way to those comprehensive tariff and trade agreements, not conflicting with any international obligations that might be accepted by the Mandatory or Trustee, which could ultimately lead to something like a customs union-an objective already in mind as between the surrounding countries of the Arab League.
Recommendation No. 9. We recommend that, in the interests of the conciliation of the two peoples and of general improvement of the Arab standard of living, the educational system of both Jews and Arabs be reformed, including the introduction of compulsory education within a reasonable time.
In Chapter XVI of the Peel Report, the bad features of the educational system of Palestine and the great disparity between the money spent on Arab and Jewish education were pointed out. The Report also emphasized that both Jewish and Arab education in Palestine were nationalistic in character. Particular attention was called to nationalist propaganda in Arab schools.
Our investigations disclosed that today the Jewish schools also- controlled and largely financed by the Jewish community-are imbued with a fiery spirit of nationalism. They have become most effective agencies for inculcating a spirit of aggressive Hebrew nationalism. We would urge most strongly that adequate control must be exercised by the Government over the education of both Jews and Arabs, in order to do away with the present excited emphasis on racialism and the perversion of education for propaganda purposes. The Government should ensure, by a careful supervision of text books and curricula, and by inspection of schools that education contributes to the conciliation of the two peoples.
We believe further that a large share of responsibility for Arab education might well be assumed by an Arab community, similar to the Jewish community already established in Palestine. But if the Arab and Jewish communities are to set themselves the goal of compulsory education, a much higher proportion of the annual Palestinian budget must be devoted to education than heretofore, most of which will be spent on Arab education. This will only be possible if the proportion of the budget now devoted to security can be substantially reduced.
We would also stress the urgent necessity of increasing the facilities for secondary, technical and university education available to Arabs. The disparity between the standard of living of the two peoples, to which we have already drawn attention, is very largely due to the fact that the Jewish professional and middle class so largely outnumbers that of the Arabs. This difference can only be removed by a very substantial increase in the facilities for higher education available to Arabs.
The Need for Peace in Palestine
Recommendation No. 10. We recommend that, if this Report is adopted, it should be made clear beyond all doubt to both Jews and Arabs that any attempt from either side, by threats of violence, by terrorism, or by the organization or use of illegal armies to prevent its execution, will be resolutely suppressed.
Furthermore, we express the view that the Jewish Agency should at once resume active cooperation with the Mandatory in the suppression of terrorism and of illegal immigration, and in the maintenance of that law and order throughout Palestine which is essential for the good of all, including the new immigrants.
April 20 1946 - Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry CHAPTER II
The Position of the Jews in Europe
1. We are required in paragraph 2 of our terms of reference "to examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution, and the practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries to enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression, and to make estimates of those who wish or will be impelled by their conditions to migrate to Palestine or other countries outside Europe".
2. In order to fulfil our task within the allotted period of 120 days and on account of the urgency of the problem, we divided into subcommittees, which between the 8th and 28th February, 1946, visited the American, British and French zones of Germany and Austria. Subcommittees also visited France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Greece and Switzerland. Circumstances did not permit us to go to Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria or the Russian zone of Austria, and we did not visit the Russian zone of Germany after we were informed by the Deputy Commander of the Soviet occupation forces that in that area there was no special Jewish problem.
3. There are about 98,000 Jews from other countries-displaced persons-now living in Germany, Austria and Italy, and a small additional number scattered throughout the countries of Europe. We found that the majority of these Jews in the American and British zones of Germany and Austria were living in assembly centers, once known as "camps", where accommodation and maintenance were provided by the military authorities. The Jewish occupants of these centers are not all "displaced persons," that is to say, persons outside their national boundaries by reason of the war. Since the end of the war there has been a very considerable movement of Jews into the American and British zones of Germany and Austria. It is estimated that, so far, some 30,000 have come from Poland. There has also been some migration, though on a smaller scale, from Rumania and Hungary; this shows signs of increasing. Since we left Europe there has been a slight restriction in the movement of migrants generally, but the possibility that there may be a considerable increase in the months to come must be borne in mind.
The officer commanding the American forces suggested the following as the reasons for the movement into the American zone of Germany: the expectation of generous treatment, the probability of finding relations there, the special activity in America on behalf of Jewish relief, and the feeling that the American zone was on the shortest route to Palestine. Detailed information covering the position of Jews in European countries is given in Appendixes
II and III.
4. The nature of the accommodation of displaced Jews differed widely in character. In some centers barracks were used; in others, huts, hotels, apartment houses and cottages. For example, in Hohne, commonly referred to as Belsen, in the British zone of Germany where 9,000 Jews were accommodated, the buildings were barracks formerly occupied by a unit of the German Army. At Bindermickel, in the American zone of Austria, flats built to house workers in the neighboring Gloering factory had been taken over, and in the south of Italy entire seaside villages had been made available for that purpose.
5. In the American and British zones, where the bulk of these persons were found, they were accommodated in separate centers from other displaced persons, or segregated voluntarily within a center. The maximum of self-administration is encouraged and there is usually a center committee which is responsible for directing group activities and for dealing with complaints. In many centers the occupants have their own courts for dealing with offenses and their own police.
6. UNRRA has taken an increasing part in the relief and rehabilitation of these Jews. In the autumn of 1944, it began to operate in Italy, and in February, 1945, took over administrative responsibility for the larger centers in the south of Italy. In the summer and latter part of 1945, it was assisting the Army in the American zones of Germany and Austria. At the end of February last, UNRRA assumed responsibility for the internal administration of Hohne and it now administers other centers in the British and French zones of Germany and of Austria.
Most centers in the United States zones are now operated by UNRRA teams as agents for the Army, which provides the accommodation' food, clothing and medical supplies. Voluntary agencies specially concerned with Jewish persons have been invited by military authorities and UNRRA to give assistance and the American Jewish Joint Distribution (committee, the Jewish Agency, and the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad now have representatives in the centers. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee provides specialists to assist with health, welfare and other services such as the supply of Kosher food, clothes, and material for spiritual and educational life. The Jewish Agency furnishes rehabilitation and resettlement services, particularly in regard to problems concerning projected emigration to Palestine.
7. We saw many conditions in the centers that might be criticized, owing to circumstances which were not always within the power of the military authorities to improve. There were lack of furniture, unsatisfactory cooking arrangements, overcrowding and a shortage of beds and bedding. We have no doubt that many of these conditions have been remedied and we saw evidence of the wholehearted effort of our authorities to do everything possible toward the well-being of these unfortunate people. Nevertheless, at the best, most of the centers could not be more than the place in which the occupants were given shelter, food and clothing. While everything possible was being done for their physical needs, there was little that could be done to improve their morale and relieve their mental anguish. Coming from the horrors of Nazi persecution, it was evident that they still felt themselves outcasts and unwanted.
It is perhaps unfortunate in some respects that nearly all of these settlements were in enemy territory. The displaced Jews see around them Germans living a family life in their own homes and outwardly little affected by the war, while they, usually the last surviving members of their families, are living still, as it seemed to them, under restrictions.
8. On the whole, having regard to the many problems with which they have had to contend, we feel that military authorities, UNRRA, and the various relief organizations concerned have every reason to be proud of what they have done to succor these remnants of Nazi persecution. In particular, we would like to pay our tribute to the men and women who are working so often in such depressing circumstances to alleviate the sufferings of these unfortunate people.
9. In the cold print of a report it is not possible accurately to portray our feelings with regard to the suffering deliberately inflicted by the Germans on those Jews who fell into their hands. The visit of our subcommittee to the ghetto in Warsaw has left on their minds an impression which will forever remain. Areas of that city on which for" merry stood large buildings are now a mass of brick rubble, covering the bodies of numberless unknown Jews. Adjoining the ghetto there still stands an old barracks used as a place for killing Jews. Viewing this in the cold grey light of a February day one could imagine the depths of human suffering there endured. In the courtyards of the barracks were pits containing human ash and human bones. The effect of that place on Jews who came searching, so often in vain, for any trace of their dear ones, can be left to the imagination.
When we remember that at Maidanek and Oswiecim and many other centers a deliberate policy of extermination, coupled with indescribable suffering, was inflicted upon the Jews, of whom it is estimated that certainly not less than five millions perished, we can well understand and sympathize with the intense desire of the surviving Jews to depart from localities so full of such poignant memories. It must also be understood that this happened in what were regarded as civilized communities.
10. There can scarcely be a Jew in Europe who has not suffered in greater or less degree either himself or herself or by the loss of relatives. Many non-Jews of all nationalities also suffered in the concentration camps and many of them died. This must not be forgotten. We are concerned in this report with the living survivors of European Jewry. We could harrow the feelings of those who read this Report by repetition of accounts we received of German frightfulness. We do not propose to do so. We wish to present a picture of the general situation as we saw it. Few of the older people survived; not many children, for special efforts seem to have been made to destroy them. The majority of the children who survived are orphans. The majority of the remaining survivors are young and middle-aged people. The latter escaped death only by their strong physique enabling them to sustain either the ordeals of forced labor in concentration camps, or the privations accompanying hiding. The young people have had little or no education save that of cruelty. It is not too much to say that they all owe their lives to liberation by the United Nations.
11. These Jewish survivors have not emerged from their ordeals unscathed either physically or mentally. It is rare indeed to find a complete Jewish family. Those who return to their old homes find them destroyed or occupied by others, their businesses gone or else in other hands. They search for relatives, frequently undertaking long journeys on hearing a rumor that one has been seen in another part of the country or in another center. Such was the system of the Germans that it is difficult for them ever to establish the death of their dear ones. They are faced also with very great difficulties in securing the restitution of their property. In Germany and in Poland, which were often described to us as "the cemetery of European Jewry," a Jew may see in the face of any man he looks upon the murderer of his family. It is understandable that few find themselves able to face such conditions
12. In Poland, Hungary and Rumania, the chief desire is to get out, to get away somewhere where there is a chance of building up a flew life, of finding some happiness, of living in peace and in security. In Germany also, where the number of Jews has been reduced from about 500,000 in 1933 to about 20,000 now, and most traces of Jewish life have been destroyed, there is a similar desire on the part of a large proportion of the survivors to make a home elsewhere, preferably in Palestine. In Czechoslovakia, particularly in Bohemia and Moravia, and in Austria, the position in regard to the reestablishment of the Jewish populations is more hopeful. The vast majority of the Jewish displaced persons and migrants, however, believe that the only place which offers a prospect is Palestine.
13. Whatever the previous position in life of those in the centers, from a judge in Memel to a young man who by reason of years of persecution has never been able to earn his livelihood, there is the widespread feeling that they have been brought to the same level of mere existence and homelessness. The first sense of happiness, following release from concentration camps and slave labor, has passed. Now they are conscious only of the constraint of their camp life, even though it is under new and more favorable conditions.
14. Work to them is associated with concentration camps and slave labor. Their aim then had been to do as little as they could to assist their persecutors, and now they are unwilling to engage in any activity which is not designed to fit them for a new life in Palestine. Even though they have spent a considerable time in a center, they still regard themselves as merely in transit to that country and, generally speaking, show little willingness even to assist in improving the conditions in which they are living. Often their days are spent in aimless wandering around. On the other hand, wherever facilities are provided for practical training for life in Palestine they eagerly take advantage of them.
15. We were deeply impressed by the tragedy of the situation of these Jewish survivors in the centers and by the tragedy of their purposeless existence. Many months have passed since they were freed from Nazi oppression and brutality, but they themselves feel that they are as far as ever from restoration to normal life. We consider that these men, women and children have a moral claim on the civilized world. Their pitiable condition has evoked a world-wide sympathy, but sympathy has so far taken the form only of providing them with the bare essentials of food, clothing and shelter. It seems to them that the only real chance of rebuilding their shattered lives and of becoming normal men and women again is that offered by the Jewish people in Palestine. Even though many might be glad to join relatives and friends in other countries, the doors of those countries at present appear to be closed to them. They are resentful because they are prevented from going to Palestine. In the meantime, as time passes, the new ties between those who are sharing this common frustration become stronger and, obsessed by their apparent rejection by other peoples of the world, their firm desire is to remain together in the future. It is this sense of cohesion, born of common suffering, which doubtless accounts for, if it does not wholly excuse, the firm resistance offered to proposals by competent bodies to remove young children to happier surroundings in other countries for careful rehabilitation. Men and women are marrying in the centers in increasing number, and, together with other members of the center communities, they wait with growing impatience for the time when they can go to the only friendly place they know.
16. If, as we hope, our recommendation for the authorization of immigration certificates is accepted, the great majority of the Jewish displaced persons whose situation requires urgent action will be provided for and it will be possible to achieve the desirable end of closing the Jewish displaced persons centers and thereby discourage the further migration of Jews in Europe. Jews have wandered through Europe almost as they wish, from center to center, zone to zone, and country to country. Such movements have added to the difficulty of tracing relatives, as has the practice, acquired by some during the war, of using various names. They have also imposed a heavy burden on the authorities who have constantly had to improvise reception arrangements. Stabilization will give sympathetic governments a better opportunity of implementing national schemes of resettlement and will encourage the Jews themselves to give more careful consideration to such opportunities. Moreover, the resources of the Allied military authorities are limited and it is necessary that their commitments in connection with refugees be reduced.
17. We have also been asked to examine "the practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries to enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression". The governments of the countries we visited expressed their opposition to anti-Semitism, but this is a poison which after years of infection takes time to eradicate. We hope that their efforts will be successful. We would urge also that the United Nations should exert all possible pressure in Germany and Austria to eliminate all trace of discrimination against Jews or resistance to their rehabilitation.
18. Further, a most important practical step that can be taken to assist the Jews in Europe who wish to remain is to secure the speedy restitution of their property. We realize that there are difficulties, but nonetheless we do not think that all that is possible is being done. Some governments have passed the necessary legislation; others are about to do so or have just done so. Many months have passed since the war has ended and from our inquiries it appears that only a few Jews have yet recovered what is properly theirs.
Further, we think that the governments of the countries where the Jews were persecuted should themselves provide assistance in the reestablishment of those Jews who seek to remain. This assistance might take the form of providing property in lieu of restitution.
19. Taking into account the possibility that an improvement in the economic and political conditions in Europe may affect the attitudes of those who now see no hope of reestablishing themselves in their countries, we estimate that as many as 500,000 may wish or be impelled to emigrate from Europe.
As described by many witnesses, a factor which has greatly increased the urgent, indeed frantic, desire of the Jews of Europe to emigrate is the feeling that all doors have been shut to them and that there is no exit.
We feel that our recommendations both in regard to the authorization of certificates for admission to Palestine, and in regard to the relaxation of immigration laws generally as an emergency and humanitarian measure, will not only bring succor to those to whom certificates are granted but also in great measure relieve the feelings of urgency with which the Jews look beyond Europe. They will be encouraged either to resettle themselves in Europe, if that is possible, or wait patiently in their respective countries until their time has come to leave.
European Jewry-Position in Various Countries
1. In 1933, according to the Census, there were in Germany 499,682 persons of the Jewish faith of whom 400,935 were of German nationality. Between 1933 and 1941 around 300,000 persons were able to emigrate to other countries, though many must later have been overtaken as a result of the successive Nazi conquests.
2. There are now, according to our information, about 74,000 Jewish displaced persons, including migrants, in Berlin and the American, British and French zones of Germany.* Of these, about 52,500 are accommodated in the centers, the remainder living outside. In the British zone, out of approximately 11,700 in centers, 9,000 are at Hohne. In the American zone, they are distributed in a number of centers, of which our Sub-committee visited nine.
3. Of the non-German Jewish population, 85 per cent are Poles; the remainder are mainly from the Baltic States, Hungary and Rumania.
4. In addition to displaced Jews, there are about 20,000 native Jews surviving in Germany. Evidence was presented to us to show that German Jews, freed from concentration camps or slave labor, are faced with great difficulty in finding a place again in the life of the country. Few of their communities still survive. For example, of a community of 4,500 in Stuttgart, only 178 remain, among whom are only two children.
While it is the firm policy of the military governments to eradicate all forms of Nazism, and priority is given to Jews and to other persecuted persons in respect of housing, food, clothing, etc., the German Jews are still naturally apprehensive of the future when those Governments will no longer be there. Anti-Semitism is traditional in Germany. In some German circles there is much shame and a desire to make recompense, but in-others there is a feeling that, now that the synagogues and all traces of Jewish life have been destroyed (only one rabbi survives in all of Germany), no attempt should be made to recreate Jewish life and so give rise to the possibility of a repetition of past events.
5. The Jews themselves feel that, most of their children having perished, their future in any case is dark. The more highly educated, particularly some of the professional Jews with whom we talked, appeared to have an interest in the building up of the communities, and are willing to stay and help. We suspect that this movement is developing, but we recognize that a few unfortunate incidents might well produce something of a panic and induce a change of attitude. The great need appears to be the restoration of property and financial help so that they may make a livelihood. Their lack of means adds greatly to their unwillingness to attempt to stay in Germany even when they are among friends. In Bavaria the German State Administrator for Jewish Affairs has a keen realization of the important part played by the Jews in German commerce and industry. He made it clear that there was a real intention to give all possible encouragement to Jews to reestablish themselves. Unless, however, greater opportunities for employment can soon be found, it seems probable that few of the German Jews will wish to remain in the country.
6. It is estimated that when Hitler invaded Austria in 1938, there were about 190,000 Jews residing in the country. Excluding displaced persons and migrants, there are now some 4,500 in Vienna and an additional 2,500 in the American, British and French zones.
We were informed by members of the Government that it was the Government's desire to rehabilitate all Austrians on a basis of full equality and without discrimination; and that the Government welcomed Austrian Jews, like other persons, irrespective of religion, who wished to take part in the rebuilding of the country. We were shown a letter addressed to the Government by a group numbering 1,000 Austrian Jews in Palestine and Egypt who wished to return.
7. Many of the Jews in Vienna are in receipt of assistance. The economy of the country was disrupted by the war and its recovery is not facilitated by the division of such a small land into four zones and Vienna into five sectors. It seems probable that this division of control is partly responsible for the delay in the promulgation of laws for the restitution of the property, without which it is most difficult for Jews to reestablish themselves. Some anti-Semitism still exists among the general population. The fact that Jewish displaced persons are in receipt of higher rations than the surrounding population, and that, for instance, at Bad Glastein they are housed in some of the best hotels, tends towards a local feeling of hostility to them. This is reflected upon Jews who are living outside the centers.
8. There are centers for Jewish displaced persons in both the American and the British zones of Austria. In the American zone there were in February approximately 5,600 occupants and on the first of April, 7,000. In the British zone in February there were 819, and on the first of April, 1,019. About 73 per cent of the 8,000 were Polish Jews. The number in the British zone last November was in the neighborhood of 5,000. Partly owing to the activities of the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, a considerable number succeeded in crossing the Italian frontier, though the total number who have crossed since last summer is not assessed at more than 8,000. Later the Jewish Brigade were withdrawn and the frontier controls tightened.
9. In Vienna converge two streams of migrants, one from Poland and another from Hungary and Rumania. From Vienna the migrants usually continue westwards through Enns and Salzburg to the American zone of Germany. On arrival in Vienna, the Jews are taken to transient centers. When some members of the Committee visited one of them-the Rothschild Hospital-an American officer told them that 150 Hungarian Jewish children and 90 Rumanian Jewish adults had arrived by train from Budapest the day before, and explained that the American Army authorities allowed the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to collect Jews in Hungary and to organize their arrival in groups.
10. The Vienna Area Command operates transient centers for Jews at the Rothschild Hospital and the Strudelhofgass, through which 3,085 Jews passed in December last, 3,229 in January, 2,443 in February and 1,150 in March. Transient centers were also opened at Enns and Salzburg in the American zone.
While at first endeavoring to check the flow of migrants, the American authorities felt impelled by humanitarian considerations to accept all who had arrived, after much hardship, at the border of the zone
11. We found that the Jews were sent by train from Vienna through the Russian zone to Enns and left a day or so later by lorries for Salzhurg. They arrived in groups of 200. In the Salzburg transient camp which we visited, there was accommodation for 250, and we were told that the officer responsible had given instructions that the number was to be kept at that figure. The period of residence at this camp was limited. The camp was run under military supervision by a number of Jews and they called out the names of those who were to move on The flow through this camp was at the rate of 2,000 a month. The officer in Vienna got reports from the transient camp as to the extent of the accommodation available from day to day and, having regard to those reports and the way in which Jews were accumulating in Vienna, he authorized the dispatch of a certain number to the American zone and provided the group with a pass which would take them through to Salzburg.
This showed quite a different practice from that adopted in the British zone, where efforts were made to prevent unauthorized migration. We pointed this out, and we have now been advised that the practice in the American zone has been changed and that it now accords with that followed in the British zone. This, we believe, is all to the good. Though on occasions Jews still arrive in Vienna in substantial numbers by train, their onward movement is no longer being facilitated. These migrants now receive the same ration as the ordinary Austrian civilian, 1,200 calories a day instead of the former ration of 2,300 to 2,400 a day when they were treated as "persecuted persons" In addition, however, they continue to receive parcels of food from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which amounts at present to about 400 calories a day.
12. When there was constant movement, it was obviously easier for the military authorities to transport the migrants in groups on trains and trucks from Vienna, since failure to supply transport would not have stopped their progress to the American zone of Germany The new policy, however, seems to be right in reducing the pressure upon certain areas and in deterring Jews, unless there is compelling reason to the contrary, from complicating the solution of the problem by irregular movement.
13. With a pre-war Jewish population of just under 10 per cent of the total,* the Jews constituted 27.3 per cent of the inhabitants of the cities and towns and only 3.2 per cent of the rural population. When Poland was partitioned in 1939, it is estimated that the territory occupied by the Germans was inhabited by 2,042,600 Jews, while that which came under Soviet rule contained 1,309,000.
14. We received conflicting information as to the extent of active anti-Semitism in Poland before the war. There is no doubt that it existed and was accompanied by economic discrimination against the Jews. A document supplied to us by a Jewish organization, however, states that before the war "Polish workers and most of the peasants generally refused to play the anti-Semitic game and the workers in particular often defended the Jews against their assailants." The development of nationalization, state enterprise and cooperative societies in Poland before the war not only led to the narrowing of what had been the normal field for Jewish activity, but, owing to racial feeling and competition for a living, led also to the gradual elimination of Jews from the industries taken over.
This in pre-war Poland resulted in an overcrowding of the professions and other occupations still open to private enterprise in which the majority of Jews had been employed.
15. We received a number of accounts of Polish participation in the German campaign of extermination of the Jews. Intense German propaganda was directed to inflaming the Poles against them and it would indeed be remarkable if it had been entirely without effect on some individuals. In view, however, of the strong opposition of the Poles to anything emanating from the Germans, we doubt whether the propaganda did much more than keep existing anti-Semitism alive.
Except for the closing sentence, we think the position during the war is stated with fair accuracy in the following quotation from the document referred to above: "In the defense of Warsaw and other cities the-Jews participated and fought side by side with the Poles and a better understanding between the two peoples seems to have been evolved during the Polish campaign. However, it was reported that when the Germans first occupied the country some Polish anti-Semitic groups collaborated with the Nazis in their. anti-Jewish policies. This was limited to relatively small groups of young people . . .The majority of the Polish people refused to collaborate with the Nazis on any score including that of anti-Semitism . . .
When the Jews, facing a desperate situation, decided to resist the complete destruction of the ghettos with arms, the Polish Underground Movement provided them with weapons. Thousands of Jews according to reliable reports have-succeeded in escaping the ghettos and have fled to the small towns and villages. The peasants are reported to have hidden them from the German executioners and a general feeling of solidarity with the Jews is prevailing throughout the country". The penalty for harboring a Jew was that all the inmates in the house in which he was found were shot.
16. It is impossible to secure accurate statistics in Poland today but it is estimated that only 80,000 of the former Jewish population of 3,351,000 are now there. In our view, based on information obtained from a number of widely different sources, the vast majority of this number now want to leave Poland, and will, if they can.
17. Their reasons for leaving are many and cogent. In our view it is not correct to say that at the present time "a general feeling of solidarity with the Jews prevails throughout the country." The contrary appears to be the case. Indeed, there seems to be a very considerable measure of hostility: among the population towards the Jews. In a country ravaged by war, perhaps more so than any other, with its economy disrupted, the Jews and Poles are competitors for a meager livelihood. The laws -give Jews the right to claim property that once belonged to them or deceased relatives, but the exercise of that right against the Polish possessor is in itself a cause of hostility. Indeed, stories were told of Jews being deterred from claiming what was lawfully theirs by threats to their personal safety.
18. Throughout the country there is a high degree of lawlessness. We are satisfied that the Government is doing what it can by the passage of legislation to destroy anti-Semitism but, until the rule of law is restored, the enforcement of its mandates must be both spasmodic and ineffective. We have referred to the-narrowing effect in pre-war Poland of nationalization and state enterprise on Jewish economy and there is a danger that the present regime, while preventing anti-Semitism so far as it can, may by its policy in other fields restrict the area of Jewish activity. There are many Signs of inflation, few of expanding private business. Jews occupy prominent positions in the Government and a number are employed in the civil service and police. This of itself appears to be a cause of hostility towards the Jews, since responsibility for unpopular actions of the Government is attributed to them.
19. In addition there was the elimination by the Germans of the whole foundation of Jewish life and culture, confiscation of their funds and property, the destruction of their synagogues and the obliteration of their cemeteries. For Polish Jews there are so many reminders of their suffering and of the death of their relatives, that to start again in Poland must indeed be a most formidable task. In the small village of Lowicz there were formerly about 3,000 Jews. Now there are only 20. This village is no doubt typical of countless other villages and cities throughout Europe. Such a Situation cannot fail to be disheartening and distressing to a returning Jew, often the sole survivor of his family. The desire must be intensely strong to pick up the threads of lye again elsewhere-where opportunities appear more favorable, where he will not be surrounded by a population inclined to resent his presence, and where he will not be perpetually reminded of past events.
20. Before the war Zionism in Poland was strong and a large number of Polish Jews migrated to Palestine.* Political Zionism with its demand for the creation of a Jewish State is strong among the Jewish survivors. Accounts of life in Palestine given before the war are remembered and rendered doubly attractive by contrast with the ordeals they have endured. These accounts are repeated now and play their part in inducing the Jews to set out on the road to Germany which is believed to lead to Palestine. Many Jewish organizations are now operating in Poland and a Jew who is homeless will normally make contact with them. If he wishes to leave Poland he will in all likelihood be advised to express his preference for Palestine. In association with others it becomes a fervent wish fervently expressed. But without propaganda or personal influence, there are, as we have indicated, sufficient reasons for Jews to wish to leave Poland and go to a country where they can be assured of sympathy and help.
21. In addition to the Polish Jews now in Poland, those Poles and Polish Jews now in the U. S. S. R. can, under an agreement entered into between the two Governments "withdraw from Soviet citizenship" and return to Poland. Some have already arrived and responsible officials declare that a further 800,000, including about 150,000 Jews, are expected to come. It appears to be the general view that the majority of the Jews returning will not wish to remain in Poland. Some however, may settle in the lands taken over from Germany, and we gathered that this would be welcomed by the Polish Government, although it is stated that no obstacle is placed in the path of Jews who wish to leave.
22. In view of this information and the possible departure of the majority of the 80,000 referred to in paragraph 16, up to 200,000 Jews may wish to leave the country and Poland consequently must be regarded as one of the chief possible sources of mass migration. Movement across the "green border", that is to say, through the woods and forests on the frontier in the southwest, is facilitated by the terrain and by the inadequacy of frontier controls in territory only lately brought under Polish administration.
23. UNRRA is operating in Poland and we believe that if it were allowed to provide reception centers, especially to assist those returning from the U. S. S. R., mood suffering would be prevented and perhaps a stabilizing influence introduced.
24. In what was inevitably a fleeting visit, some of us saw part of the work which the International Red Cross in Warsaw is doing to trace the fate or whereabouts of Poles and to supply information to inquirers at home or abroad, meager as it may often be. There is no special section for Jews but the work is largely concerned with them. We feel that this merciful work it greatly handicapped by the inadequacy of premises, equipment and stair. The Central Jewish Committee has a similar office.
25. The existence of an organization deliberately facilitating emigration was not established, but it seems probable that a kind of "grape vine" or underground system has come into existence whereby the emigrating Jew is passed on from hand to hand on the way out. We felt great concern lest this migration increase into an uncontrollable flood, leading to much suffering and chaos in the countries of passage, but information obtained since our visit indicates that there has been at least a temporary reduction in the flow. The two main routes that were followed at the time of our visit, both ending in the American zone of Germany, were through Berlin and through Vienna, Linz and Salzburg.
26 Before the war France had a Jewish population of about 320,000. It is estimated that there are now about 180,000. Although about 80,000 of these are not French nationals, the overwhelming majority are permanent residents now coming within the refugee or displaced persons categories. In February, some 40,000 Jews were in need of varying forms of relief largely supplied by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The French Government provides some assistance for the 5,000 who have returned out of the 120,000 deported. Another problem is presented by the substantial number of orphaned Jewish children who are now being cared for in most instances by private agencies. It is understood that there are some 20,000 recent refugees to whom France may be unable to extend the right of permanent residence. At present, this group is handicapped by difficulty in securing permits to work or travel.
27. Through Czechoslovakia must pass the other main stream of Jewish migrants on their way to Vienna. Before Munich, the Jewish population of Czechoslovakia totalled some 360,000. By September 1939, mainly as a result of emigration, the Jews within pre-Munich boundaries numbered but 315,000; about 80,000 in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia; approximately 135,000 in Slovakia, and around 100,000 in the Carpatho-Ukraine.
BOHEMIA, MORAVIA AND SILESIA
28. From the Czech provinces perhaps an additional 10,000 succeeded in emigrating after the outbreak of the war, thus escaping the fate of many thousands of their relatives, friends and neighbors left behind. About 68,000 entered concentration camps; only about 3,000 survived.
About 10,000 Czech Jews have returned; 2,500 or so from the countries in which they found temporary refuge, many of them as soldiers in the Czechoslovak armies. There are also 6,000-8,000 Jews from the Sub-Carpathian Ukraine who regard themselves as Czechoslovak citizens, so that there are roughly 16,000 registered Jews in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. It is estimated that in addition there are probably 3,000-4,000 unregistered Jews.
Following the liberation of the country, all anti-Jewish laws and decrees were voided. All compulsory transfers of Jewish property were declared null and void under a Presidential Decree of May 1945, but the process: of restitution is still in its initial stages Economic rehabilitation is thus not yet accomplished.
Nevertheless, the Council of Jewish Communities were confident that in due course Jews would take their place in the life of the Republic, and that as intelligent and diligent people they would be a useful and valuable element in the community.
29. Of the 135,000 Slovakian Jews, some 40,000 had already been lost to Hungary under the Vienna Arbitration in 1938. The usual rigid anti-Jewish measures were introduced during the war. Five thousand more Jews managed to leave the country and of the remaining 90,000, 72,000 were deported; a further 10,000 escaped to Hungary and 8,000 went into hiding or fought as partisans, of whom 3,000 were killed.
Eight thousand returned from deportation, 10,000 from territories restored by Hungary and 7,000 from countries where they had served as soldiers or in other capacities so that with the 5,000 survivors of partisan activity and those emerging from their hiding places, there are now only 30,000 left of the original 135,000. Of this 30,000, only 24,000 now profess the Jewish faith. The balance, in the belief that it might save their lives, accepted conversion. It is thought that most of them will revert to Judaism.
30. As a result of six years of Nazi education and propaganda and partly on account of fear of having to restore to Jews property on which their livelihood may now depend, anti-Semitism and hostility to Jews is evident. The policy of the State in facilitating cooperative enterprises renders it difficult for Jews, no less than others, who were in retail business to gain a footing. The granting of business licenses is often subject to conditions as to knowledge of languages and possession of capital which the Jews cannot meet.
31. There are many, particularly in Slovakia, who wish to emigrate. Zionism was always strong there and it is estimated that at the present time 60 per cent of the Jews wish to leave. This number is likely to diminish if and when the restitution of property enables them to become established. In the Czech provinces several hundred young Jews organized in the "Hechalutz", which is a Zionist organization for training young persons for life in Palestine, are determined to go there. There are 230-300 orphans whose relatives abroad desire to take care of them. In Czechoslovakia, the majority of the survivors have during the Nazi persecution lost all their near relatives.
32. The Government and leaders of intellectual movements are repudiating fiercely the ideology of anti-Semitism as incompatible with the principles of a civilized nation. In consequence, anti-Semitism is likely to diminish, and if this is accompanied by restitution of property, we think that a considerable number, including many who now profess a desire to migrate, will decide to remain in the country in which they were so deeply rooted.
Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia
33. We have been obliged to base our report with regard to these countries solely on documents and on such evidence as we were able to obtain from outside their borders. 3
34. In 1939, Rumania had a Jewish population of around 850,000. We were told that today, within the country's present borders, there are 335,000 the largest Jewish community in any European country. During the war all the German racial laws were put into effect. Many thousand of Jews were killed and most of those who survived were forced to do slave labor. Few retained any of their possessions. Their re-establishment in the economic life of the country presents great difficulties. For example, throughout the war Jewish youth received no technical instruction, and the attitude of the non-Jewish population is unfriendly.
In November, 1945, 50 per cent of Rumanian Jews were unable to make a living and were receiving assistance from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
The Government, we understand, sympathizes with the Jews and has passed laws providing for the restitution of their properties and rights, but their enforcement meets with similar difficulties to those met elsewhere. The dispossession of the present occupants from what they have begun to regard as their own homes and from the businesses on which they now depend for their livelihood encounters inevitable resistance. Enforcement of the laws which has commenced is in itself a cause of hostility towards Jews and, as in Poland, the presence of Jews in the Government and in the police creates a certain amount of hostile feeling against the Jewish community.
35. It is impossible for us to form any reliable estimate from the information we have received of the number of Jews who wish or will be impelled to leave Rumania but there are indications that many wish to do so. In the Regat, less affected by deportations, a larger proportion will doubtless wish to stay. Indeed, we have heard that from the country as a whole, some 150,000 have already made formal application for Palestine certificates.
36. In the territory that is Hungary today there were in 1939 about 400,000 Jews. This was a country whose people suffered severely from deportations. It is estimated that there are now about 200,000 Jews of whom 90 per cent live in Budapest.
While some Jews occupy Government positions and some we are told are profiting on inflation and the black market, the lot of the vast majority is shown by the following figures: in 194S, 77 per cent of all the Jews in Budapest were in receipt of clothing relief from Jewish organizations; 46 per cent received food; 66 per cent money; and 14 per cent help towards payment of rent. There is no legal discrimination against them, but owing to the failure to implement Government decrees, many Jews who lost everything have received little by-way of restitution.
Our information is that there has been a sharp rise in anti-Semitism. Propaganda in this direction has been carried on for 25 years and is still continuing. Efforts to recover property have the usual repercussions. Participation by Jews in the Government and their membership in the secret police cause the same reaction as in Poland.
37. All these factors and the deterioration of the country's economy have led to the conclusion that only the thoroughly assimilated, the older people and the Jewish Communists and Socialists will wish to remain, that is to say, 30,000-40,000 or less than 25 per cent of the Jewish population.
38. As in Poland, the chief desire seems to be to get out. The United States appears to be the first choice for immigration, but as it is appreciated that under the existing laws large-scale immigration there is impossible, between 50,000 and 60,000 Jews have expressed a wish to go to Palestine. They feel that better opportunities exist for immigration from military zones and consequently many hundreds of Hungarian Jews are still outside of Hungary and many are making their way into the American occupied zones of Germany and Austria.
39. We received evidence that both in Rumania and Hungary Zionist organizations are active, and that the movement westwards is well directed by those who received first rate training in illegal activities during the war. Their organizations have been kept intact and now form part of the Hungarian and Rumanian Central Jewish Committees. On these Committees the Zionists appear to have the controlling influence and non-Zionist bodies now seem to accept the necessity of large scale emigration while doing what they can to improve conditions for those Jews who wish to remain. Funds for relief are supplied by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. They are paid to the Jewish Central Committees in each country, and as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee cannot place any representatives east of Vienna, there is little, if any, control over their expenditure.
40. In Bulgaria, compared with other countries, the number of Jews who died as a result of Nazi persecution was small. There are now some 45,000 Jews in the country as compared with 50,000 in 1939. They were subjected to the whole range of discriminatory legislation, confiscation and forced sales of property and compulsory labor service. Again, though such legislation has been repealed, the position of Jews compares badly with that of other citizens and the machinery for securing restitution of property is cumbersome and slow.
There is, it appears, no anti-Semitism in Bulgaria, but in common with those who do not like the present regime, all non-Communist Jews desire to leave the country. The majority, apart from those benefiting from support of the Government, are impoverished and embittered. They desire to emigrate to any country where there is a possibility of a fresh start. Twelve thousand of them have registered for emigration to Palestine, but on our present information it appears doubtful whether they will be afforded facilities for leaving.
41. Of approximately 75,000 Jews in Yugoslavia before the war, it is estimated that about 11,000 remain. Their economic condition does not, it is believed, differ from that of the other inhabitants of the country and their attitude towards emigration appears to depend on their political outlook and not on fears of anti-Semitism of which no evidence exists. It is thought that about 2,750 Jews wish to emigrate to Palestine and 550 or so to other countries, chiefly to the United States.
42. The present Jewish population appears to be in the region of 46,000, of whom 30,000 are native Jews with regard to whom no special problem arises. There are some 6,500 non-Italian Jews in the four principal centers in the south of Italy under the administration of UNRRA, and in other parts there are further centers containing about; 5,500. An additional 4,000 non-Italian Jews are said to be existing precariously in various cities.
The center at Santa Maria di Bagni consists of the whole village set aside for the purpose by the Italian authorities. Once a summer seaside resort, the villas occupied by 2,000 non-Italian Jews are not unattractive, though badly lacking in furniture.
The reception given to our Sub-committee there was similar to that at many other centers in Germany and elsewhere visited by our members. Six hundred to seven hundred of the community marched in military fashion carrying banners. A cohort of small children marching in pairs carried a banner with the slogan "Down with the White Paper." Clearly the demonstration was not spontaneous, but carefully organized.
One group of young men, who it was said represented the more turbulent section of the community, carried a banner to the effect that the Committee WAS "an insult to the Jewish nation". Usually at other centers the banners demanded free immigration into Palestine, a Jewish State. "The end of the White Book". (sic)
The Sub-committee also visited another settlement on the coast in pleasant surroundings, Santa Maria di Leuca, containing nearly 2,000 non-Italian Jews, the majority of whom, as at the other camp to which reference has been made, were young people. The night was spent there and the next morning it was found that seven tires of the Committee's cars had been cut. Such unfortunate incidents are mentioned merely as evidence of the intense feeling against remaining in centers even in attractive surroundings and of the almost fanatical love for Palestine.
43. The Italian Government and people are friendly to these non-Italian Jews. But Italy in her present economic condition cannot assimilate them even if they wished to remain within her borders. There is no desire on the part of Italian Jews to emigrate.
44. We have referred to these people as non-Italian Jews for it is impossible to classify them as displaced persons and migrants. The majority of them have made their way over the frontier into Italy and regard the country only as a point of departure for Palestine.
45. In Greece there are some 10,000 Jews-survivors of a prewar population of 75,000. Of the largest community of 56,000 at Salonika, only some 2,000 survive. During the Nazi occupation, the great majority of Jews were deported, a few remained in hiding. The survivors are now scattered over the country. The largest communities are in Athens and Salonika.
Fundamentally, there is no anti-Semitism. Practically all Jewish property was confiscated, however, and though legislation directed to restitution has been enacted, the process will inevitably be difficult and may complicate relations between Jews and the surrounding population.
There are acute economic difficulties. About half of the Jewish population is in receipt of assistance. A lack of balance in the small communities, where the majority of the survivors are men, adversely affects the prospects of family life. The estimated number of potential emigrants ranges up to 50 per cent, depending upon the estimator. Much will depend on the progress of economic recovery.
46. The pre-war Jewish population was 90,000. It is now 33,000, of whom 6,000 are German and Austrian refugees and 2,000 are recent immigrants. The authorities are helpful to the Jews and the status of the German and Austrian refugees has been legalized. There is no tendency to large-scale emigration.
47. The pre-war Jewish population, including refugees, was approximately 150,000. There are now some 30,000, including 6,000 refugees of German, Austrian and other nationalities. Although granted temporary asylum, these refugees have not yet been given rights of permanent residence. The attitude of the Dutch Government is helpful to the Jews and there is no evidence of any strong desire to emigrate.
48. In Switzerland, a country which provided asylum for some 35,000 Jews, mostly from France and Italy, there are now about 10,500 Jewish refugees, 24,500 or so having returned to their country of origin or residence.
The policy of Switzerland has bean to afford temporary refuge and to allow transit. In addition, it is indicated that some 4,000 of these refugees may remain if funds are provided for their support, but that it cannot absorb the others.
* British 15,600; French i,600; American 54,000; Berlin 3,000.
* 1931 census total population 31,915,000- Jews by religion 3,113,000 (9.8 per cent). 1939 official estimate total population 35,339,000; Jews by religion, 3,351,000 (9.7 per cent).
* From 1922 to 1929. some 46 per cent of Jewish immigrants to Palestine were from Poland. After 1933, this percentage declined due to the increased Immigration from Germany caused by Nazi persecution. During the four years 1936 through 1939 German and Austrian immigrants, representing only a negligible percentage for the earlier period, increased from 30 to 57 per cent of the total, The proportion of Polish to total Jeremiah immigrants declined from 41 to 11 per cent.
Where were you when I was doing my Israel/Palestine paper????
Estimated Jewish Population of Europe
|Country||Total||Total||Native||Refugee and displaced||Nationality of refugee & displaced|
|Albania||200||300||50||250||Mainly Austrian and Yugoslav|
|Austria||60, 000||15, 000||7, 000||8, 000||73% Polish; 11% Hungarian; 6% Czech and 6% Rumanian|
|Belgium||90,000||33,000||25,000||8,000||Mainly German, Austrian & Polish|
|Czechoslovakia||315,000||65, 000||60, 000||6, 600||Mainly Polish; some Hungarian|
|France||320,000||180,000||150,000||20,000||Mainly German, Austrian & Polish|
|Germany||215, 000||94,000||20,000||74,000||85% Polish; 5% Hungarian; 4% Lithuanian, 3% Rumanian|
|Holland||150,000||30,000||24,000||6,000||Over 80% German & Austrian|
|Italy||50,000||46,000||30,000||16,000||75% Polish; 7% Rumanian; 5% Czech; 5% Hungarian|
|Total (Table A:)||6,015,700||1,153,106||1,000,600||152,000||-----------|
|Country||Total||Total||Native||Refugee and displaced||Nationality of refugee & displaced|
|United Kingdom||340,000||350,000||300,000||50,000||90% German & Austrian|
|Soviet Union||13,560,000||2,665,000||2,600,000||165,000||150,000 Polish; 15,000 Hungarian|
|Sweden||7,600||19,500||7,600||12,000||Mainly Polish, German & Austrian|
|Switzerland||26,000||28,600||18,000||10,500||Mainly Polish, German & Austrian|
|Total (Table B)||3,930,600||3,071,600||2,833,000||238,500||-------------|
|Total (Table A)||6,015,700||1,153,100||1,000,600||152,500||------------|
|Total for Europe||9,946,200||4,224,600||3,833,600||391,000||-------------|
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