New York, Mar. 10 (JTA) – A hitherto "Top Secret" 35-page set of State Department documents reveals that Jewish survivors of the Holocaust seeking their way out of Europe to Palestine after World War II, were labelled "illegals" by the State Department and were kept under strict and extensive surveillance by Department investigators. The documents also charge that two Jewish relief agencies aiding Holocaust survivors were involved in "black market" operations.
The report, which was classified "Top Secret" by the State Department, dated May 14, 1947, is the same one that reported in detail about the Vatican-controlled "monastery route" which aided and abetted fleeing Nazi war criminals, including the notorious SS officers Otto Skorzeny, Klaus Barbie and Franz Stangl.
The official name of the document is "Illegal Emigration Movements in and Through Italy." It became known as the "La Vista" report in American intelligence circles, so named after its author, Vincent La Vista, an international lawyer then (1947) military attache to the American Embassy in Rome and already a skilled intelligence/diplomatic State Department officer. (The details of this report dealing with the "monastery route" were reported by me in the Daily News Bulletins of February 16, 17 and 18.)
JDC AND HIAS KEPT UNDER SURVEILLANCE
According to the La Vista report, the two Jewish agencies which were most closely watched by State Department investigators operating out of the American Embassy in Rome were the American Joint Distribution Committee and the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS).
With a distinct tone of disapproval, the La Vista Report stated that "the administrative staffs of the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency which provided shelter and aid for millions of refugees after World War II) camps are either furnished by the Jewish relief agencies or they are under control of the Jewish relief agencies."
The Jewish relief agencies also converted UNRRA supplies into one vast" black market," the Report claimed." ... the black market sales of rations drawn from UNRRA are, in the opinion of this writer (La Vista), the largest source of income for both the Jewish underground and the legitimate Jewish relief agencies operating in Italy."
The "Jewish underground," the Report stated, also was a major conduit for "Russian and Yugoslav communist agents." At least "10% of the underground refugees," the State Department investigators claimed, who were trying "illegally to run the British blockade" into Palestine were "communist agents."
The La Vista Report stated further: "At the UNRRA ... DP camp outside Rome ... A Rumanian Jewess and a rabid communist directs the office ... (and) aids the illegal activities of the Jews and the communist agents."
NO SYMPATHY OR APPROVAL
The State Department was able to trace the precise sea-land routes taken by refugees fleeing to Palestine. No indication of any sympathy or approval of what the Jewish refugees were fleeing from in order to establish a Jewish homeland is present in the La Vista Report.
The Report stated: "... the only pre-requisite to establishing identity as a displaced Jewish refugee is the ability to speak Jewish (sic!) (not Hebrew) and the language of the country from which the Jew was supposed to have come."
On the eve of the War of Independence in 1948 out of which emerged the modern State of Israel, the State Department investigators grudgingly admitted that "The Jewish underground now operating in Italy for the sole purpose of assisting (illegal) emigration to Egypt and Palestine is one of the most efficient organizations with which this writer (La Vista) has ever come in contact."