Polish Jewish Deputies Tell Sejni, Jews, 11 Percent of Populace, Pay 40 Percent of Taxes, but Lack S
Menu JTA Search

Polish Jewish Deputies Tell Sejni, Jews, 11 Percent of Populace, Pay 40 Percent of Taxes, but Lack S

Download PDF for this date

The Jewish Deputies-Club has submitted an interpellation to the Polish parliament, complaining that while the Jewish population of Poland is eleven percent of the total, the Jews pay forty percent of the direct government taxes, and that in spite, of this heavy burden, the Jewish population does not have elementary schools in proper proportion to its numbers or to the taxes it pays.

The interpellation pointed out that while the government makes elementary schools provision for 70 percent of the German children and 69 percent of the White Russian children, barely 50 percent of the Jewish children are similarly provided for, and consequently the rest of the Jewish children must attend either the expensive private schools or go without schooling.

According to the statistics presented to the Sejm, there are 227,000 Jewish children attending the elementary schools, where Polish is the language of instruction, but the majority of these arc compelled to attend classes on Saturdays because less than half of the elementary schools give Jewish children relief from Saturday classes.

Of 36,000 Jewish children in Warsaw only 16,000 attend government schools, which means that 12 percent of, the Jewish children go without schooling while only four percent of the Christian children are without schools. The private schools, which are considerably more expensive, are attended by 43 percent of the Jewish children against 13 percent of the Christian children.

The interpellation further claimed that Article 120 of the Polish constition, which provides that where Jewish children are in a majority they must be taught the Jewish religion, is being violated. Even where the Jewish religion is taught, the local Jewish communities'” must pay the teachers, although Christian religious teachers are paid from the general budget. It is claimed; too, that in many eases the schools do not permit the appointment’ of a Jewish religious teacher, even when the Jewish community is willing to pay the cost. Only a few schools possess government teachers for Jewish religion. During the last four years, schools where classes arc not held on Satur- (Continued on Page 3)

It is also claimed in the interpellation that Jewish teachers are being oppressed. It is pointed out that for 230,000 Jewish children, a minimum of 4,850 Jevvish teachers should have been appointed, but as a matter of fact there are only 1.SS0 Jewish teachers employed. Thus almost three thousand non-Jewish teachers have taken- the places of Jewish teachers in schools where Jewish children are taught.

In this connection the Jewish deputies recalled that a notice on the wall of the office of the department of education states that teachers seeking employment must submit their birth and baptismal certificates. All of the facts and figures contained in the interpellation appear to confirm the fact that, in spite of the constitution and the provisions of the minorities treaty, 40 percent of the Jewish children are without schools; notwithstanding the constitutional principle of equality, the Jewish schools, even where Polish is the language of instruction, do hot receive funds due them in the same proportion as the Christian schools, that this pressure aims at compulsory assimilation of the Jewish children and that there is a campaign on foot not to accept Jewish teachers.

The interpellation asks the Minister of Education what measures he intends to adopt in view of the situation.

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