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April 12, 1968 - Image 70

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-04-12

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Poland's Warsaw Ghetto Observance Is Boycotted in Protest
Against Anti-Semitism; Seeking Facilitation of Polish Jews'
Emigration; Many More Jews Are Ousted From Public Positions

LONDON, (JTA) — Widespread
support was reported here for a
total Jewish boycott of Poland's
official observance of the 25th anni-
versary of the Warsaw Ghetto re-
volt and the unveiling of the War-
saw sponsored Jewish pavilion at
the Auschwitz death camp site. Sen-
timent for the boycott, stemming
from Polish regime's current anti-
Jewish campaign, was described to
the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by
Stefan Crajek, president of the Or-
ganization of Partisans, Combat-
ants and Ghetto Fighters. Crajek,
who stopped here briefly on his
way back to Israel after visiting
the United States, Canada and Bel-
gium, said that the boycott was en-
thusiastically supported by groups
of survivors and resistance fighters
wherever he went. •
In a related development, Jewish
student groups here invited other
Jewish youth organizations to join
them in a march to the Polish Em-
bassy on April 21, after a mass
Meeting to commemorate the ghet-
to uprising.
Crajek said that Jews every-
where would mark the Warsaw
Ghetto anniversary. A world as-
sembly of concentration camp
survivors and resistance fighters
will be held in Israel from July
2! through July 26 where the
main subjects will be the contin-
uing struggle against neo-Nazism
and the fate of 'Polish Jewry,
Crajek said,
Lord -Lloyd, Britain's former
Conservative foreign secretary,
Monday deplored the anti-Semitic
campaign being conducted by the
Polish government in a letter to
the Times. He noted that "foreign
visitors are invariably taken by
their Polish hosts to see the re-
mains of Auschwitz in order to
impress on them the lessons of
Nazi oppression. Do the Polish
people, or at least their govern-
ment, now themselves need to be
reminded of the meaning • of that
lesson?" he asked.
"It is a depressing sign of the
times," Lord Lloyd's letter con-
tinued, "of the depths to which
the anti-Semitic policies of the
present 7olish government has
sunk, that it can summarily dis-
miss . . . citizens from public of-
fice which they have hitherto
adorned with the greatest distinc-
The Board of Deputies of British
Jews announced that it would lead
a silent march to the Polish Em-
bassy May 12 in protest against
the anti-Jewish campaign. In a co-
ordinated move, the Anglo-Jewish
Association sent a deputation to
the foreign office to urge the Brit-
ish government to use its influence
on behalf of Jews suffering from
discrimination in Eastern Europe.
The association was assured by
a foreign office spokesman that
Her Majesty's government will
do all in its power to discourage
and prevent the practice of dis-
crimination suffered by Jews in
various parts of the world. The
group, headed by Harold Seabag-
Montefiore, was received_ at the
foreign office by Goronwy Rob-
erts, minister of -state for Fore-
ign Affairs. The delegation raised
the subject of the association's
work in the field of human rights
and was told by Roberts that
the government took a grave in-
terest in the matter.
The current anti-Semitic cam-
paign in Eastern Europe, especi-
ally in Poland, was traced to the
failure of Soviet policy hi the Mid-
dle East which led to last June's
Six-Day War and subsequent vio-
lent attacks on Zionism and Israel
in the Soviet press. According to
Sir Barnett Janner, chairman of
the foreign affairs committee of
the Board of Deputies of British

70 — Friday, April 12, 1968

dowicz, one of two deputy direct-
ors. The Lodz school, which pro-
duced such prominent young
directors as Roman Polanski and
Jerzy Skolimowski, was attacked by
a Communist Party official for pro-
ducing films "falsifying the facts of
the period of Nazi occupation."
The Polish news agency announc-
ed the dismissal of Tomasz Lem-
part, counselor of the president of
the Polish Olympic Committee, and
Aleksander Gutowski, director of
the Scientific Institute of Physical
Culture, both Jews. They bring to
25 the number of officials, mostly
Jewish, ousted from their jobs or
from the Communist Party.
Poland's only Yiddish daily,
Folkshtimme, is being forced to
publish lengthy exerpts from
speeches by Egypt's President
Nasser and other Arab leaders in
addition to denunciations of "Zi-
onists" by Polish Party and gov-
erment officials and demands for
the dismissal of Jewish officials
for alleged Zionist sympathies, it
was learned here.
The paper, organ of the Jewish
Cultural Association, only on April
3, published a statement of alle-
giance and loyalty to the Polish re-
gime. 'But it was obviously under
intense pressure to condemn Zion-
ism, which it originally failed to do
•atid is therefore being fed, and
made to publish, anti-Zionist items
from PAP, the official Polish news
agency. One passage in the paper
reads: Zionists who falsify the true
purpose of Polish history and Po-
lish . culture." This, and exerpts
from Nasser and other Arab
speeches, carried the PAP credit
line. There was no editorial corn-
ment from the paper itself on April
(New York Times correspondent
Jonathan Randal reported from
Warsaw April 4 that "the Cultural
Association of Polish Jews bowed
to official pressure and publicly
condemned what the regime has
termed a Zionist-directed anti-
Polish slander campaign in the
West." Randal reported that a
resolution adopted by party mem-
bers in Szczecin (Stettin) demand-
ed the purge of "those Jews who
are cosmopolitan to the point of not
being able to choose between Po-
land and Israel." He quoted the
newspaper, Kurier Polski, in reply
to foreign critics who have accused
the Warsaw regime of anti-Semi-
tism: "It is not our fault that
among the open troublemongers
who attempt to create disturbances
in the country, among the creators
of abuse and errors, among those
guilty of negligence, economic as
well as educational, were a certain
percentage of people of Jewish
origin. Should we permit them to
go ahead because they are Jews?"
BRUSSELS (JTA) — The Union
of Belgian Jewish Students de-
ounced Polish police v i o l e n c e
against students in Warsaw and
other cities and protested against
the tactics of blaming Jews and
Zionists for creating popular un-
rest. In a resolution adopted here,
the students said that the use of
Zionists as scapegoats has contri-
buted to the revival of anti-Semit-
ism which is still strong in certain
section of the Polish population.
* * •
Committee Asks Polish,
U.S., Governments Facilitate
Exit of Jews from Poland
American Jewish Committee, in
meetings with the Polish ambassa
dor in Washington and. State De-
partment officials, urged Polish
and United States governments to
expedite the emigration of those
Jews who expressed a desire to
leave Poland. A three-man delega-
tion representing the committee
had a. meeting with Ambassador
Jerzy Michalowski, to ask the Po-
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS lish government to make good on

Jews, the Soviet propaganda quick-
ly developed into indiscriminate
propaganda against Jews generally.
Addressing a press conference,
Sir Barnett said the Soviet cam-
paign spilled over into Poland
where anti-Semitism was being
used blatantly in the power strug-
gle between rival factions in the
ruling Communist party and as a
means of suppressing liberal mani-
festations in Poland.
"The Polish government has not
balked at making a tiny Jewish
minority of some 18,000 souls the
scapegoat for internal troubles in
a land of over 32,000,000 popula-
tion," Sir Barnett said. He added
that the Board of Deputies "pro-
tests in the strongest terms this
shocking development" and noted
that "past experience has shown
that the use of Jews as scapegoats
is a device which is aimed at the
deStruction of liberty."
The Jewish leader said that,
speaking tor Angto-Jewry, he
wanted to express appreciation
to Prime Minister Harold Wilson
for his representations in Mos-
cow on behalf of Soviet Jews last
January and to other private
and public bodies which have
tried to alleviate the plight of
Jews in Eastern Ehrope.
The Belgian Movement Against
Racism, anti-Semitism and Xeno-
phobia (MRAX) sent a letter to
the foreign minister of Poland
expressing deep concern over the
plight of the Jewish minority in
that country. The letter charged
that the accusation of "Zionism"
against Polish Jew s, like the
charges of "Judeo-Marxism" in
other times, was an attempt to
arouse anti-Semitism as a diver-
sion from the Government's inter-
nal problem.
The Italian Jewish Youth Federa-
tion has protested to the Polish
government against its current
anti-Jewish campaign. The charge
that Jews are the organizers of
student unrest in Poland "is noth-
ing but a painful repetition. of
classical anti-Semitism," the group
A counter-movement meanwhile
seemed to be developing in Poland
with the apparent purpose of re-
moving the stigma of anti-Semi-
tism. A Polish veteran's organiza-
tion, the Union of Fighters for
Freedom and Democracy, announc-
ed, according to reports reaching
here, that it would sponsor histori-
cal research to document Polish aid
given to Jews during World War II.
The organization said that the
move was intended as a tribute to
Poles who saved Jews during the
Nazi occupation. Polish newspap-
ers, in their denunciations of "Zi-
onist elements" in Poland, have
been denigrating the role of Jews
in the anti-Nazi resistance. Some
papers have charged collaboration
between Jewish ghetto leaders and
the Nazis and have claimed that
only a relatively small number of
Jews took part in the 1943 ghetto
The Observer reported from
Warsaw that two factions in Po-
land are chasing "the Zionist
phantom in different directions."
The "nationalist" faction, led by
Interior Minister Moczar, is try-
ing to force a massive purge of
all unreliable elements, either
"Zionists" or opposed to the re-
gime. The other faction, close to
Communist Party chief Gomulka,
is attempting to distinguish be-
tween "Zionists" and "assimi-
lated Jews" loyal to the regime.
So far reports from Warsaw in-
dicate that the Moczar faction has
the upper hand. Two officials of
the film school at Lodz, both Jews,
were dismissed from their posts.
One is the school's rector, Jerzy
Toeplitz and the other, Roman Waj-

the promise by Wladyslaw Gomul-1
ka, Communist party chief, that
Jews not wishing to remain in
Poland would be given exit permits
permitting them to emigrate.
State Department officials were
urged to use their good offices to
speed up emigration procedures at
the U.S. embassy in Warsaw so that
Jews desiring to proceed to the
United States could be processed
by the Polish emigration authori-
ties. The delegation which called
at the Polish embassy left behind a
memorandum denouncing the re-
cent Polish press attempts to be-
little the efforts of the Jews in the
Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
The memorandum denounced
"the obscene attempts by Polish
anti-Semites" to revise history
and "denigrate the meaning of
the agony of Jewish resistance in
the Warsaw Ghetto 25 years
Later, the Polish ambassador
told the AJC that he would ask
his government to see what could
be done .about speeding up -issu-
ance of passports for Polish Jews
who wish to come to the United
The envoy told the delegation
that those Jews who are intimately
linked 'with Israel and do not _feel
fully at home in Poland would
be permitted to leave. He said
he did not know how many Jews
wanted to come to the West, in-
cluding the United States, but he
promised the delegation that he
would notify the Polish govern-
ment of the concern here and
would see what could be done
about speeding up the issuance
of passports..
Michalowski denied that recent
job dismissals and other signs of
unrest in Poland had anything to
do with anti-Semitism or that there
was persecution of Jews there.
But he said that "there are anti-
Sethites who would like to take
advantage _ of the present situa-
tion." He declared that the March
19 statement by WladyslaW Go-
mulka, Communist' Party chief,
was the only official policy posi-
tion announced by the government.
He denied that articles in the Po-
lish press which have been inter-
preted as anti-Semitic necessarily
represented official views. He said
there was press censorship in Po-
land but there was no control of
the entire press.
Rep. Bertram L. P ode 11, New
York Democrate, introduced a bill
in the House to admit 1,000 per-
sons from Poland who may seek
refuge in the United States • to
escape "religious persecution." De-
ouncing the Polish regime for its
current anti-Semitic campaign,
Rep. Podell said that "most of
those who leave Poland will no
doubt choose to emigrate to Is-
rael." But he felt a special number
of visas, above existing quotas,
should be afforded to those who
might prefer to come to the United
He said this would demonstrate
that America is keeping its doors
open to refugees from oppression.
The Podell bill specified that "the
spouse and children of any such
alien, if accompanying or following
to join, may be issued special im-
migrant visas notwithstanding such
numerical limitation."
The United States government
has noted a hardening pattern of
discrimination by the. Polish gov-
ernment against American Jews
seeking visas since the Six-Day
War last June, it was disclosed by
Rep. Edward J. Derwinski, Illinois
Republican. Rep. Der wins k i a
member of the House Foreign Af-
airs Committee, elicited this in-
formation from the executive de-
partment of the government. It
was attributed by Rep. Derwinski
to "authoritative sources."
The Congressman said Commu-

nist Poland indicated a tendency
to discriminate against American
Jews applying for visas shortly
after the war.
Rep. Derwinski revealed that
there was definite knowledge here
of an intensification of bias in the
issuance of visas during re c e n t
weeks. experienced not only by
Jews but also by non-Jews, espe-
cially those of Polish origin, he
said. He indicated that the Polish
authorities, in their fear and in-
security arising from current un-
rest, were attempting, to some ex-
tent, to "seal off" Poland from
American visitors.
* * *
Difficulties for Americans
Seeking to Visit Poland
NEW YORK (JTA) — A round-
up of leading tour operators and
travel agencies confirmed reports
current in the travel industry that
the Polish government is denying
visas to certain naturalized U.S.
citizens or, at least, making them
difficult to obtain. Most of the tour
operators queried by the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency indicated that
the greatest difficulties were ex-
perienced by American Jews of
Polish origin. This was supported
by a story in the April 2 edition of
Travel Weekly, which said that
"the exclusion reportedly focussed
on applicants of the Jewish faith
who were born in or resided in Po-
land and who emigrated before the
end of World War II." The Travel
Weekly story noted that while visa
application forms contain no ques-
tions bearing on religion, "the trade
view was that an obviously Jewish
name might cause problems."
An official of one of New York's
largest travel-bureaus told JTA
that he had recently noticed cer-
tain difficulties in obtaining visitors
visas for Poland for both Jewish
and non-Jewish clients. He said
there had been no outright rejec-
tions but abnormal d e l a y s and
complicated forms to fill out in the
cases of Americans of Polish origin.
He attributed this to what he said
was a Polish law requiring that
former nationals of that country
give up their Polish citizenship in
order to be eligible for a visa. He
said that the difficulties were en-
countered only when visitors visas
were sought, mostly by people
wishing to visit relatives in Poland,
and in that category there are more
Gentiles than Jews. He said that
there was no problem obtaining a
tourist visa.
A spokesman for a tour operator
that does a large business with
travellers to Poland said that re-
cently "it has been a bit' tougher
for Jews" to get visas. He said he
was encountering "burueaucratic
and legal obstacles" that were not
so obvious in the past and that the
process was much slower than it
had been.
* * *
Resolution on Polish Jewry
Rejected by UNA Conference

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

EDINBURGH (JTA) — The gen-
eral conference of the United Na-
tion Association here rejected an
emergency resolution on the plight
of Polish Jews for technical rea-
sons Tuesday and accepted an
amendment to a Mid d 1 e East
resolution which called for the
designation of Jerusalem as an
"international city under the Unit-
ed Nations." The association is a
voluntary body of organizations
and individuals friendly to the
United Nations. It has no official
status. • • - - . - •
The resolution on :Polish Jews,
introduced by Jack Barnett, gen-
eral secretary of the British sec-
tion of the World Jewish Congress,
protested Poland's official anti-
Jewish propaganda campaign and
the Warsaw regime's treatment of
the Jewish population of that


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