[Released November 13, 1945. Dated August 31, 1945
My dear Mr. Prime Minister:
Because of the natural interest of this Government
in the present condition and future fate of those displaced
persons in Germany who
may prove to be stateless or non-repatriable, we recently sent Mr. Earl
G. Harrison to inquire into the situation.
Mr. Harrison was formerly the United States Commissioner
of Immigration and Naturalization, and is now the Representative of
this Government on the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees. The
United Kingdom and the United States, as you know, have taken an active
interest in the work of this Committee.
Instructions were given to Mr. Harrison to inquire
particularly into the problems and needs of the Jewish refugees among
the displaced persons.
Mr. Harrison visited not only the American zone in
Germany, but spent some time also in the British zone where he was extended
every courtesy by the 21st Army Headquarters.
I have now received his report.
In view of our conversations at Potsdam I am sure that you will find
certain portions of the report interesting. I am, therefore, sending
you a copy.
I should like to call your attention to the conclusions
and recommendations appearing on page 8 and the following pages —
especially the references to Palestine.
It appears that the available certificates for immigration
to Palestine will be exhausted in the near future. It is suggested
that the granting of an additional one hundred thousand of such certificates
would contribute greatly to a sound solution for the future of Jews
still in Germany and Austria,
and for other Jewish refugees who do not wish to remain where they are
or who for understandable reasons do not desire to return to their countries
On the basis of this and other information which has
come to me I concur in the belief that no other single matter is so
important for those who have known the horrors of concentration camps
for over a decade as is the future of immigration possibilities into
Palestine. The number of such persons who wish immigration to Palestine
or who would qualify for admission there is, unfortunately, no longer
as large as it was before the Nazis began their extermination
program. As I said to you in Potsdam, the American people, as a
whole, firmly believe that immigration into Palestine should not be
closed and that a reasonable number of Europe's persecuted Jews should,
in accordance with their wishes, be permitted to resettle there.
I know you are in agreement on the proposition that
future peace in Europe depends in large measure upon our finding sound
solutions of problems confronting the displaced and formerly persecuted
groups of people. No claim is more meritorious than that of the groups
who for so many years have known persecution and enslavement.
The main solution appears to lie in the quick evacuation
of as many as possible of the non-repatriable Jews, who wish it, to
Palestine. If it is to be effective, such action should not be long
Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN