“Save the rest of Central Europe’s Jewish youth!” – These were the words of a summons “to the Jewish world” published by survivors of Buchenwald in April 1945. To implement this appeal and represent the interests of the Jews in the liberated camp, they had founded the Jewish Relief Committee in mid-April. Its membership comprised a large number of former inmates who had been active in the camp resistance. On 23 April 1945, it was officially affiliated with the International Camp Committee.

The members of the Jewish Relief Committee concentrated primarily on two urgent matters: they worked to find relatives of survivors and means of emigration, as many of the former Jewish inmates saw a future for themselves only outside of Europe. They demanded immigration certificates for Palestine. In their appeal, they had pointed out: “A number of our comrades wish to be admitted to the Jewish Brigade deployed in Palestine so as to be able to fight in the league of Allied Armies.” After all, World War II was not over yet.

(Ronald Hirte)

Source: “Jüdischer Hilfsausschuss, An die Zionistische Öffentlichkeit, Buchenwald, 22. April 1945” (Beit Lochamei HaGetaot Archive).