Blasphemy Against Jewish Religion Not Punishable Crime in Poland
Menu JTA Search

Blasphemy Against Jewish Religion Not Punishable Crime in Poland

Download PDF for this date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Blasphemy against the Jewish religion in public print is not a punishable crime under the present laws of the Republic of Poland, it developed when the Warsaw Kehillah attempted to bring suit against a Polish newspaper.

The “Glos Prawdy,” generally considered a semi-official organ of the Pilsudski government, recently published an article attacking the Jewish religion in connection with an incident which occurred in the Great Synagogue on Tlomacki Street in Warsaw on Yom Kippur. The incident occurred when a convert, the son of a former trustee of the synagogue, visited the house of worship during the Yom Kippur services and because of the attention he attracted among the congregation, he felt so uncomfortable that he had to leave. This was interpreted by the newspaper as an act of intolerance which led to the expulsion of a Christian visitor from the synagogue, the paper asserted. In this connection it published a severe attack containing many blasphemous phrases and the Kehillah of Warsaw decided to bring the matter to court. It was learned, however, that although all other Czarist laws were abolished in the resurrected Polish Republic, the Czarist law pertaining to blasphemy is still valid. According to this law court action for blasphemy may be brought only when the insult is directed against any one of the Christian denominations.

The Kehillah then decided to formally petition the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior to take legislative steps for the abolition of the old law.

The “Glos Prawdy” comments today on this decision of the Warsaw Kehillah and continues to attack the Jewish religion. The newspaper maintains that the charge of blasphemy was unfounded as the first article was intended only to criticise the synagogue ritual which, the paper asserts, “keeps the Jewish masses in darkness,” which results in the circumstance that “Poland has to tolerate the most ignorant Jewish mass in the world.” The newspaper declares that it will continue the fight it has begun.


A national conference of the Association for the Reorganization of the Z. O. A., the American Zionist opposition body, will be held in Washington on Thanksgiving Day, November 29.

Announcement to this effect was made yesterday by Mr. Jacob de Haas, one of the leaders of the oppositional movement.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund