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Smolar, J.t.a. Writer, Says Plight of Polish Jews Worst, Russian Situation Improved

“In no country of Eastern Europe is the situation of the Jews today a favorable one. But worst of all is the situation in Poland, which contains the largest Jewish community in Europe.”

This is the opinion of B. Smolar, who has acted during the past year and a half as special correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Soviet Russia and in other East-European countries. Mr. Smolar, who arrived here last week, besides his stay in Soviet Russia visited Poland, Roumania, Czecho-Slovakia, Austria and Germany, to which countries he was sent as special correspondent to report for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on the condition of the Jews in those countries.

“There is almost no country in Eastern Europe where Jews do not suffer economically and politically, but what I saw in Poland was much worse than I expected to find,” said Mr. Smolar. “It is true that one hasn’t heard recently about anti-Jewish excesses in Poland. But on the other hand it is also true that anti-Semitism there is systematic and deeply imbedded among all classes of the population.

“While Roumania has only a small group of anti-Semites, members of the so-called intelligentsia who take advantage of the dire economic situation of the peasants to incite the latter to make pogroms upon Jews, the Polish government is conducting a systematic campaign of economic extermination of the Jews eliminating them from industry and commerce. Jews cannot obtain government posts and Jewish merchants are taxed exorbitantly. But the worst thing about it is that the situation of the Jews in Poland seems to be hopeless.”

Asked about the present situation of the Jews in Soviet Russia, Mr. Smolar, who spent more than a year there said:

“Briefly one can say that the economic situation of the Jews there is improving. The fact that many Jewish young men from the small towns have lately been taken into the industrial establishments lends hope that the economic condition of the declassed Jews of the small towns will eventually improve. While part of these declassed Jews who have up to now been deprived of all citizenship rights have now been granted the right to settle on the land as farmers, another part is being supported by their children who obtain work in the industrial establishments. In general one can say that the economic situation of the impoverished and declassed Jews is continually improving.”

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