ALMOST half the Jews in the world find themselves today under the Nazi heel. It is impossible to determine the rate at which their physical destruction is proceeding. Nor is it possible to visualize the condition in which the Jewish masses of Poland, Rumania, occupied Russia and even Hungary will be found when the pall of darkness is finally lifted from Nazi-occupied Europe. Tragic as is the position of the Polish peasant, he is rooted in his native soil -- at least where he has not been dragged away from it and made to slave in an armament factory. The Jew in his Ghetto, on the other hand, finds himself despoiled of everything. Deprived of his meagre possessions, driven from his home, torn from his family, he has become the most abject of all the abject victims of the terror. In the reconstruction of a new and -- let us hope -- a better world, the reintegration of the Jew will thus present a peculiarly difficult problem, and one which is likely to tax both the energies and the good will of the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.
The experience of the past twenty years, and the vexed problem of "minorities" which has caused so much trouble in Europe, hardly give much ground for hope of a satisfactory solution on the spot. No doubt many Jews will return and re-adapt themselves to the new conditions; but there will be vast masses which will have to emigrate. It would probably be unduly optimistic to assume that countries like the United States, Canada, and some of the South American republics, will radically change their immigration policy after this war -- particularly in the strained economic conditions then to be expected. The hunted and disinherited will once more be faced with the eternal question: "Whither?" And little promise can be held out for them unless decisive steps are taken towards a radical solution of their problem.
It is a complex problem, which means
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