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Failure to Elect Ten on Jewish Tickets Costs Polish Jewry Parliamentary Rights

The failure of the electorate to return more than eight Jews running on Jewish tickets to the Sejm in Sunday’s national election, thus making it impossible for the Jewish members to form a Parliamentary Club because the constitution requires at least 10 members for such a club, will prevent the Jews from having any representation in the various Parliamentary commissions.

With 13 Jewish members in the last Sejm, the Jewish Parliamentary Club was unable to put up a strong fight for Jewish rights in the budget and education commission. The sweep of the pro-government bloc not only resulted in the defeat of five of the previous thirteen Jewish deputies but also led to the triumph of the National Democrats and the Korfanty Party, both anti-Semitic groups. The National Democrats increased their mandates by 30 seats while the Korfanty wing gained four seats.

Of the eight Jews who won, seven were elected on the United Zionist ticket, while one was elected on the Agudist ticket. In addition to these five Jews were elected on the pro-government ticket. In Warsaw only Isaac Gruenbaum, dean of the Jewish deputies and former president of the Jewish Parliamentary Club, was elected.

Heschel Farbstein, noted Zionist leader and president of the Warsaw Jewish community, was defeated.

Others elected were Rabbis Levin, Agudist, and the following Zionists: Joshua Thon, in Crakow; Henry Rosmarin, in Stanislavov; N. Somerstein, in Lemberg; S. Rosenblatt and Chaim Neiger, in Lodz, and Russ Alexander. The Jews elected on the government ticket were M. Minchberg, M. Wislicki, M. Kaufman, G. Minkovsky and Ignacy Jaeger.

Rabbi Brod, Deputy Farbstein and M. Wigodsky, candidates of the United Zionist bloc, were defeated. In Vilna and Bialystock, Jewish candidates lost by but a few hundred votes as a result of a split among the Jewish voters who were presented with the opportunity of voting for five Jewish tickets not only in this city but throughout the country.

In Warsaw alone 150,000 Jews went to the polls, of whom 80,000 cast their votes for the Jewish tickets, while the rest of the Jewish votes were divided among other parties, with a large majority to the pro-government bloc. The general impression here is that the failure of the Jewish electorate to concentrate on one, or at the most two, Jewish tickets was an important factor in the Pilsudski victory.

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