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An international Jewish organisation, founded in 1927 to deal with Jewish migration
The name is an acronym for the three Jewish organisations that set it up: HIAS (the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society, an American Jewish organisation based in New York); ICA (the Jewish Colonisation Association, founded by Baron de Hirsch in 1891, based in Britain); and Emig-Direkt (founded in Berlin in 1921). The organisation's activities, which were largely financed by the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC), enabled tens of thousands of Jews to escape from Europe via Lisbon during the Holocaust. HICEM's main activity was helping Jewish refugees from all over Europe with information, applications for permits, transportation, money, etc. The organisation was based in Paris. In 1940, on the eve of the German occupation of the city, it moved to Lisbon, where it worked under cover of the emigration office of the local community.
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