Warsaw (Dec. 20)
(By Our Warsaw Correspondent)
After some fifteen years the Polish merchants have decided officially to end the anti-Jewish boycott. This decision is a result of the new tendency apparent lately in leading economic and political circles in Poland and which has found expression on several occasions. Thus at the conference which took place at the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Dec. 10, where the leaders of Polish business were present, a new tone was heard. The president of the Polish Merchants’ Association, Deputy Wartalski, in his address referred to the Jewish problem in the following way: “I want to emphasize,” he stated, “that at this time we have abandoned the position which was at one time represented in the Sejin by the priest, Deputy Lutoslawski. We have dropped the viewpoint of a war against the Jewish businessman. This we have done in the interests of the Polish Republic.”
Of course, the problem of the relations between the Polish and Jewish businessmen has not yet been solved. It will be a long time perhaps before the Polish businessmen and merchants realize fully that the economic policy they have pursued has been destructive not only to the Jews but to the country as a whole. There still exist two separate business associations, one of Poles and one of Jews, as a result of the anti-Jewish boycott movement conducted for many years by the Dmowskis and the Lutoslawskis. But when we compare the utterances of the present head of the Polish merchants with those of the former presidents we can see the change that is taking place gradually. Even a year ago at the industrialists’ and businessmen’s conference in Prague, Wartalski declared that the national and racial war in the economic sphere is harmful to both sides. But at that time Wartalski had no support for his view in the Executive Committee of the Polish Merchants’ Association.
Now, however, at the last meeting of the Executive Committee a resolution was adopted to end the boycott and extermination policy against the Jews. And the chief speaker on this point was the chairman of the Executive, Boguslaw Herdze.
Two years ago the Polish merchants supported Grabski’s taxation policy, which was deliberately aimed at the Jews. At that time the Jewish Deputy Wielicki pointed out that the crisis and the bankruptcies that broke down the Jewish businessmen would soon make themselves felt in the sphere of the Polish businessmen. When this prophecy came true the Executive of the Polish Merchants’ Association resolved to put and end to the false and minous economic policy hitherto practiced and empowered the president of their body, representing 130 branches thronghout the country, to declare at the conference in the Ministry of Trade that the Polish merchants are seeking an understanding with the Jews and a united from of all merchants and businessmen, regardless of race or nationality.
It is now reported here that preparations are being made for a conference in the early part of January at which Jewish and Polish merchants will be present and an effort will be made to arrive at a definite understanding and cooperation of the two groups.