The disappointment at the belated appearance of Jewish organizations was due to the fact that the Allied forces refused to permit the operation of civilian organizations in their zones for at least three or four months after liberation. The first permanent JDC mission arrived in the US zone in Munich only on August 4, 1945 and the WJC and others came even later. The problem facing these organizations, especially the JDC, charged by American Jewry with help to Jews abroad, was one of legality. They were not geared to illegal activities, and the post factum explanation was that illegal entry would have been practically ineffective because no significant aid could be brought in that way. Moreover, this would have jeopardized the much more important legal activity. It can safely be said that as far as the Jewish Agency is concerned, nobody even suggested any other approach save that of applications to the military authorities to permit the sending of a mission, which indeed got under way in November 1945. The first Haganah members, who came to Europe as emissaries without the approval of the Haganah command, began operating in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in June and July. The overall picture therefore is that the camp survivors were rescued by non-Jewish soldiers, treated well or ill by a non-Jewish military and aided morally by individual Jewish soldiers in Allied armies, Jewish chaplains and the Palestinian army units.
The same can be said for the survivors in Eastern Europe. There, rescue and treatment or maltreatment were effected by local military and, later, civilian authorities that were either Soviet or Soviet-controlled. Without Soviet agreement no possibilities existed for foreign Jewish organizations to appear on the scene; though the JDC and the WJC attempted to enter Poland even before the end of the war, they were not successful. As early as August 1944, Dr. Emil Sommerstein, an old-time General Zionist leader from pre-war Galicia in Poland, who was fished out of a Soviet prison camp and placed in charge of a Jewish Central Committee attached to the Polish Communist Committee of National Liberation in Lublin, established contact with the Jewish Agency. However, all attempts that were made from the summer of 1944 on by approaches to the authorities (both Polish and Soviet) to get official emissaries of the Jewish Agency into Poland failed. Palestinian Jewish representatives worked in Rumania, and Rumanian Jews reached Poland early in 1945. But it is a fact that those among the remnant of Polish Jewry who were eager to leave Poland on their way to Palestine sought out Palestinian emissaries. Ex-partisans and returnees from the Soviet Union of the underground organization Bericha from Poland reached Rumania in March 1945, and contacted emissaries there, especially Moshe Agamy of the Mossad. In late May and early June, these groups moved toward Italy and the Palestinian Jewish soldiers there, just as the first emissaries from the Palestinian units began to search for survivors in eastern and south-eastern Europe.
Strong feelings were expressed, and a deep sense of grievance can be discerned both in contemporary literature and in reminiscences of camp survivors on the one hand, and the Bericha groups of eastern Europe on the other hand. The charismatic leader of the Bergen-Belsen survivors, Josef Rosensaft, was no more explicit on this point than was Abba Kovner and his friends of the early Bericha. The argument was put forward that just as the survivors in the end made contact with Jewish Palestine, Jewish Palestine could have made contact with them. They are saying that individual emissaries might have helped the survivors morally, which could have had a considerable effect. Materially such help would have been insignificant, and the major organizations had no way of massive illegal entry into newly liberated Europe.
Whatever the objective facts of the situation, it is abundantly clear that the non-appearance of Jewish organizations had a lasting effect on the survivors. Feelings of resentment at being abandoned by the Jewish world were strong and pervasive.
Source: Gutman, Yisrael and Saf, Avital (eds.), The Nazi Concentration Camps, Proceedings of the Fourth Yad Vashem International Historical Conference, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1984, pp. 495-497.