Simon Bloomberg Protest Resignation Letter to UNRRA.
To: The Director, UNRRA Central H.Q.
From: The Director, UNRRA Team 806, Belsen
18th October 1946
It is now three months since I reported the presence of Jewish Refugees at Belsen. These people arrived here after 1 July 1946 and under Technical Instruction No 6 could not be registered as Displaced Persons. The Camp Committee estimates there are two thousand and among them are very old and infirm people and young children. Their state is pitiable and they are living on the charity of the Displaced Persons in the Camp, from whose meagre rations they receive just enough to stay alive. Many have been reunited with relations they have been separated from for years.
These refugees are living in frightful conditions in the barracks vacated by the Poles, without regular food, little or no bedding and an under-staffed Jewish Relief Unit to look after them. They have been informed they can obtain German rations if they register with the authorities and are dispersed among the German population but they refuse to throw themselves at the mercy of the Burgermeisters knowing full well they will be differentiated against.
The situation is so distressing I feel that as a UNRRA Official I can no longer carry out this policy regarding infiltrees with which I am in total disagreement. I am anxious to remain in my post and stay until the end to help care for the people at Belsen, but unless there is a change in policy I regret I shall have to resign. – Simon Bloomberg.
Letter to Simon Bloomberg from the Jewish Relief Unit.
To: Mr Simon Bloomberg, European Director
Jewish Relief Unit.
From: Mr Leonard Cohen, Chairman,
Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad
5 February 1948
Dear Mr. Bloomberg,
I need not tell you how grieved we all are that the time has come that you are leaving us. Our regret is, fortunately, tempered by the knowledge that you have put the organisation onto a strong basis and have made arrangements for the work to be carried on.
The twelve months that you have been with us have been for me personally the most pleasant I have enjoyed with the Committee. Difficulties which in the past caused me much worry have been quickly dispelled by your kind heart, clear head and sense of humour, a combination not frequently to be found. I shall miss your counsel greatly.
I am afraid I cannot express adequately how much the Committee appreciates the fine service you have rendered. I know that for your part the knowledge that you have been able to bring some happiness to the unfortunate lot of your fellow Jews will be reward and thanks enough.
Yours sincerely, Leonard Cohen.