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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1943. General
(1943)

Bermuda Conference to consider the refugee problem, April 19-28, 1943, and the implementation of certain of the conference recommendations,   pp. 134-249 PDF (43.4 MB)


Page 134


BERMUDA CONFERENCE TO CONSIDER THE REFUGEE
  PROBLEM, APRIL 19-28, 1943, AND THE IMPLEMENTA-
  TION OF CERTAIN OF THE CONFERENCE RECOM-
  MENDATIONS1
840.48 Refugees/3633
        The British Em bassy to the Department of {State
                         AIDE-MIEMOIRE
            REFUGEES FROM NAZI-OCCUPIED TERRITORY
  Many thousands of refugees continue to crowd into neutral coun-
tries in Europe, and the situation is developing with such rapidity
and in such proportions that His Majesty's Government in the United
Kingdom have become impressed with the necessity for consultation
and joint effort in dealing with the problem. Certain complicating
factors which accompany this development appear to His Majesty's
Government to emphasize this necessity.
  (a) The refugee problem cannot be treated as though it were a
wholly Jewish problem which could be handled by Jewish agencies
or by machinery only adapted for assisting Jews. There are so many
non-Jewish refugees and there is so much acute suffering among non-
Jews in Allied countries that Allied criticism would probably result if
any marked preference were shown in removing Jews from territories
in enemy occupation. There is also the distinct danger of stimulating
anti-semitism in areas where an excessive number of foreign Jews
are introduced.
  (b) There is at present always a danger of raising false hopes
among refugees by suggesting or announcing alternative possible
destinations in excess of shipping probabilities.
  (c) There is a possibility that the Germans or their satellites may
change over from the policy of extermination to one of extrusion, and
aim as they did before the war at embarrassing other countries by
flooding them with alien immigrants.
  2. His Majesty's Government, while aware of these complicating
factors, find it impossible to make a merely negative response to a
growing international problem, disturbing the public conscience and
involving the rescue of people threatened by Germany's extermination
policy. It is physically impossible on the score of shipping limitations
  1 For previous correspondence regarding governmental assistance to refugees,
  see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. I, pp. 450 ff. For additional correspondence,
see
  post, pp. 250 ff.
      134


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