Gestapo Agrees to Release Jews from Camps; 1,200 Reach Switzerland; More Due Today
Geneva, Feb. 8 (JTA) – One of the most fantastic feats of rescue of Jewish internees from German concentration camps has been accomplished by a group of twenty orthodox Swiss Jews who sent Jean M. Musy, a former member of the Swiss Federal Council, to Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler in order to negotiate with him concerning the fate of Jews remaining in Germany.
As a result of the negotiations, a group of 1,200 Jews released from the concentration camp in Theresienstadt arrived in Switzerland last night from Germany, and 540 more are expected to arrive here tomorrow. The release of these internees is considered a very important achievement.
Addressing a press conference today, Swiss Minister of Justice, Eduard von Steiger, said that it is hoped that henceforth regular transports of Jews from Germany will arrive in Switzerland. All the arrivals, he declared, will be placed in refugee camps in Switzerland and will be obliged to leave the country at the earliest possible date.
About one-half of the 1,200 Jews from Theresienstadt are natives of Holland who were deported by the Germans from Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. There are also 58 children under the age of 12 in the group. The remainder are Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia. The 540 Jews who are expected to reach Switzerland tomorrow are deportees from France. The refugees from Theresienstadt were given food to last for the three-day trip from the camp to the Swiss frontier.