840.48 Refugees/4542: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

6009. Dr. Nahum Goldmann of the World Jewish Congress has approached the Department with a proposal to provide food, clothing, and medicine to remnant groups of surviving Jews who may be specifically located in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other parts of Central Europe.

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Dr. Goldmann proposed that the International Red Cross be the agent to reach these groups and gave the impression that the International Red Cross had expressed willingness to do so. He asked if the American Government could make some contribution in money to allow the International Red Cross to buy in Europe medicines and concentrated foods which it could use as opportunities developed. He stated that the Jewish people in this country could raise privately approximately $2,000,000. He thought the total program depending on developments might run to perhaps $10,000,000.

Dr. Goldmann was informed that the Executive Committee in London of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees had been established by this Government and the other member Governments of the Intergovernmental Committee as the agency to act upon proposals of this character. We had agreed with the British Government that we would jointly underwrite the cost of specific projects to help refugees in Europe in a situation such as he described. We would be very glad to bring his proposal to the attention of the Executive Committee and the British Government through our London Embassy and would under our particular arrangement with the British Government be prepared to share with Great Britain the cost of specific projects approved by the Executive Committee (procedure, of course, would follow the understanding we and the British have reached with the Executive Committee relating to prior consultation with us before a project is sanctioned or an expenditure incurred thereon). We would also be glad to recommend to the consideration of the Executive Committee the possibility of accepting the International Red Cross as the agency (in territories occupied by the enemy) to be employed to carry out approved projects and that the Committee favorably consider such particular projects as the International Red Cross might recommend as practical for the assistance of the remnant groups in question.

You are requested to bring this matter appropriately to the attention of the Executive Committee on or before its next meeting and advise the Department of any action taken by the Committee regarding it.

You may bear in mind for possible use in discussing this proposal that the adoption of the program on a project basis would obviate the necessity of seeking large overall sums of official funds.

The foregoing is subject to the general proviso that the German Government obtain no benefit from the execution of any project.