One hundred and twenty thousand Jewish workmen and clerks in Warsaw and its suburbs are jobless, and more than 50% of the Jewish merchant class in the same district are entirely without income, according to a cablegram to the Joint Distribution Committee from Dr. Bernhard Kahn, European director of the organization, reporting on a tour he has just completed of Poland to study the present situation of the Jews in that country. Many Jews, who until recently contributed generously to local communal institutions are now borrowers from the free loan societies set up in that country by the Joint Distribution Committee.
Dr. Kahn’s cable was made public by James N. Rosenberg, vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, and chairman of the New York Allied Jewish Campaign.
In making public the contents of Dr. Kann’s cable, yesterday, Mr. Rosenberg said that the economic crisis in Poland was not without its repercussions in this country and had a direct effect on business here. In this connection, Mr. Rosenberg gave out for publication the following extract from a letter to him from Owen D. Young, chairman of the board of the General Electric Company, regarding the Allied Jewish Campaign,
“This is the kind of effort which America should support and which I hope will receive quick response from the people of New York,” writes Mr. Young. “The work, although worthy as a charitable enterprise, is much more than thatâ€”it is an economic step of the right kind.
“We are suffering now in this country from the limited buying power which exists in many countries normally our customers, and any constructive effort which we can make for their rehabilitation as distinguished from relief should be encouraged and supported.”
Mr. Rosenberg also made public a letter from Paul D. Cravath who writes:
“My recent visits to Russia and Poland have given me an appreciation I had not had before of the terrible suffering and great economic needs of millions of Jews in Central Europe whose misfortunes are due to causes for which they are in no way responsible.”
Dr. Kahn’s cable says among other things:
“Have found heart-breaking depression in all of the larger industrial centers, Lodz is industrially dead, with eighty percent of the textile workers and 60% of the needle workers unemployed. Bialystok, formerly a busy textile center, is at a complete standstill. The same situation exists in the leather centers lying between Crodao and Bialystok. Of the factories still running in those sections, the average earnings of workmen still employed is less than three dollars a week.
“The small town Jewish population, which under normal conditions derives its living by commerce with the neighboring peasant population is entirely helpless, from 75 to 80% of them receiving loans. Many among the borrowers are men, who until recently, were contributors to the funds of the free loan societies.”