[6.11. Anti-Jewish laws in Luxembourg, Italy,
and Holland 1938]
[May 1938: Luxembourg
expelling 52 Austrian Jewish refugees - JDC help for 200
new Jewish refugees]
In tiny Luxembourg 52 Austrian Jews were expelled by the
authorities in May .
JDC in Paris intervened with the Luxembourg government - a
very rare thing for JDC to do - and asked it to prevent
further expulsions. Luxembourg thereupon allowed 200
refugees to enter, with the understanding that JDC would
send aid and the refugees would ultimately be moved to
The Jewish community in that country (p. 242)
numbered only 200 taxpayers, and the aid committee, Esra,
was at the end of its resources by August . When JDC
could not sent enough money, Esra told the government that
it could no longer cope with the Austrian influx, and
asked for government restrictions on immigration, without,
however, excessive severity. Political refugees, it said,
should be treated "more humanely".
(End note 61: 9-38, for all the material on Luxembourg
quoted in the text).
[17 Aug 1938: Luxembourg
closes the border - police drives refugees back to NS
Germany - illegal refugees are handed over to Belgium
Probably as a result of this step, Luxembourg closed its
borders on August 17.
But illegal entry continued [with payed smugglers]. The
police used to drive the refugees back into Germany, while
those who managed to enter the country were sent over the
borders into Belgium and France.
[Since end of August
1938: JDC finances Esra - Luxembourg takes 1,000 Jewish
In late August JDC undertook to help Esra maintain housing
and feeding facilities for refugees. This took care of
poor refugees; the Luxembourg government than allowed
1,000 people of means to enter the country in late 1938.
[7 Sep 1938: Italy: Law
against citizenship of Jews who are staying since 1919]
Similar problems arose in other European countries. An
Italian decree of September 7, 1938, translated the
growing racist propaganda - instigated by the Germans and
their supporters among Italy's Fascists - into harsh
practice. All Jews who had become Italian citizens since
1919 had their citizenship revoked by a stroke of a pen.
All foreign Jews who had entered the country since 1919
were supposed to leave Italy within six months.
[1938: Holland: Figures -
strict border controls]
In Holland the borders were officially closed; 11,000
Jewish refugees had become absorbed in the country's
economy, but 2,000 were either on relief or preparing for
emigration, or both. Throughout 1938 the government gave
permission to about 2,000 additional Jews - mostly parents
of youngsters already working in Holland - to enter the
country legally. However, all further attempts to enter
Holland were frustrated by strict border controls.