The “Joint” Takes a Human Inventory:
The End of the DP Problem Is in Sight
With the State of Israel an accomplished fact and the peak of the overseas emergency relief program now passed, the Joint Distribution Committee has felt the need to take stock as of 1948, to review the past and weigh the future. Accordingly, in mid-November, two hundred and fifty delegates and observers of thirty-one recipient and donor countries met with representatives of the JDC and eleven cooperating organizations on the Left Bank in Paris for a world “Conference on Jewish Relief and Rehabilitation.”
When Nazi Germany in the spring of 1945 yielded to the combined persuasion of Allied armies converging from West and East, she left a monument of six million Jewish corpses. Only 1,400,0000 European Jews remained after the crematories and gas-chambers capitulated, and better than half of these survivors were literally more dead than alive. Whatever breath they still were drawing seemed likely to be quite shut off by disease and hunger and the indifference of a war-ravaged continent with urgent problems of its own. As for the religious and social institutions by which European Jewry had sustained its vigorous identity in happier times, most lay in apparently irretrievable ruin. Not one organized Jewish community survived in all the lands from which the Nazis had been freshly purged.
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