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Fights in Polish Parliament over Minorities Rights Bill

“The Jews in Poland do not desire to be used as a tool for Polonizing the Ukrainian and White Russian territories. The Jewish people have a culture of their own to preserve, and they are desirous of doing so,” stated Deputy Isaac Greenbaum, on behalf of the Jewish deputies in the Polish Sejm, when the bill proposed by the Government, regulating the rights of the Polish minorities in the Polish Republic came before the Diet for discussion.

Stormy scenes and fights marked the passage of this bill, which puts an end to the dreams of the White Russians, Ukrainians and other territorial minorities for self-government on their own territories. It grants them only a limited use of their own national language in official communication with local authorities.

Although the Polish Socialist Party and the Polish Radical Peasant Party. Wyzvolenie, were in principal in favor of granting territorial autonomy to the national minorities, they voted with the majority for the bill.

Deputy Chrustizki, in the name of the Ukrainians, Deputy Taraskiewicz, in the name of the White Russians and Uta, in the name of the Germans tried to speak against the measure, but they were continually shouted down and interrupted by the majority.

One of the Jewish deputies, Prilutzki, while protesting was assaulted by a deputy of the right wing, which supported the measure. Prilutzki returned the blows and both were excluded from Parliament for the next three sessions.

The representatives of the national minorities, afterhthe passage of the bill, left the house singing their national hymns, the Jews singing “Hatikvah.”

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