There is still much to be done to improve the economic situation of the Jews in Poland, just the same as that of the Christian population, admitted His Excellency, the Polish Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Tytus Filipowicz, in an exclusive interview given to a representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, at the Hotel Delmonico, last Sunday.
The Polish Ambassador, however, insisted that the greater part of the legal restrictions against Jews which emanate from the Czaristic laws are already abolished by the Polish government.
“There is no doubt that there is a certain amount of anti-Semitism in a fraction of Poles. I am quite willing to admit that. But, on the other hand, there is an ‘anti-Goyism’ among the fraction of Jews. The Government can do very little to eradicate such sentiments, which work ought to be left to the various social workers and to time,” said the Minister.
Referring to the recent speech of the Jewish deputy, Isaac Gruenbaum, who in the Sejm contradicted Mr. Filipowicz’s statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency saying that the Jews in Poland enjoy full citizenship rights, the Polish Ambassador declared:
“Contradictions are always possible. Had I said that ninety-five percent of the czaristic restrictions in Poland are abolished, indeed it would have been only ninety-four percent, then Deputy Gruenbaum would also be able to contradict me. Inasmuch as certain
demands of Mr. Gruenbaum may be justifiedâ€”and as a representative of the Jews in Poland he is entitled to make such demands upon the Polish governmentâ€”we must remember that Mr. Gruenbaum is an opposition leader and that much of his criticism of the Polish government is meant to be spoken ‘through the window’.”
Referring to the recent speech of the Prime Minister in the Polish Sejm, the Ambassador said that Mr. Bartel will probably in one of his future speeches in the Sejm return once more to the Jewish demands, which he only touched upon in his first declaration in the Sejm.
“Whatever may be said as to the legal position of Jews in Poland and of small improvements which still remain to be introduced, of one thing there is no doubt; that is, that within the history of the Jews in Europe in the last five hundred years there is impossible to find any other period of fifteen years, in which the legal situation of the Jews was so radically changed in their favor as is the case with the last fifteen years of Jewish history in Poland,” declared the Ambassador.
Touching upon the question of the economic plight of the Jews in Poland, Mr. Filipowicz stated: “It is true that the economic situation of the Polish Jews is bad. But this is a result first, of the general economic situation of the country, which has not yet recovered from the war, as well as from the hundred and forty years of foreign occupation which squeezed out the wealth of Poland; second, of the fact that Poland finds itself now in the period of economic and industrial transition similar to that through which other countries passed in the middle of the nineteenth century, and it is the middleman and handicraftsmanâ€”of whom a large proportion are Jewsâ€”who suffer from rapid introduction of the modern industrial system.”
The Polish Ambassador then declared that that he prizes highly the opinion of the American Jews, especially their interests with regard to the situation of the Jews in Poland. “I’ll be glad to listen to you and confer with representatives of the Jews in America as often as will be necessary and I’ll do anything within my power to find out if there can be found means, by which American Jews can in the most efficient manner help their brethren in Poland,” he stated.