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Jews in Polish Census

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A conference has been held here at the Ministry of the Interior of representatives of the Electoral Commissioners in all the provinces and in the six chief towns, Warsaw, Lodz, Vilna, Posen, Lemberg and Cracow, for the purpose of deciding the plans of action for the forthcoming Polish census which will be carried out on December 9th. The Vice-Minister of the Interior, M. Korsak, who opened the conference, pointed out that when the first census was taken ten years ago the question of the Polish eastern frontiers and the Silesian question had not yet been settled and the Republic was still in a state of formation. Owing to the economic crisis, he said, conditions to-day, too, are not altogether normal, but the consciousness of a State organism of their own has already developed among the population.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is informed in authoritative quarters that the census is regarded as of immense importance also for the Jewish section of the population of Poland, in regard to their demands for rights and their daily struggle in all branches of social, economic and political life.

Reference would have to be made continually in these respects to the numbers of the Jewish population in Poland and their participation in the various spheres of activity as established by the results of the census. It is therefore essential that the Jews should participate in such a way that the census should reflect accurately the proper proportion of Polish Jews in the population and their participation in the various population groups, as well as the numbers of Yiddish speaking Jews, etc.

The census forms provide for information on the points of language, religion, nationality and ethnographical affiliation. It is of great importance that the forms should be properly filled in and thus present a real picture of Polish Jewry. In those districts which are inhabited by compact masses of minorities, the census forms will in addition to Polish be issued in Ukrainian, White Russian and Lithuanian. It is being urged that forms should also be printed in Yiddish for use in hundreds of towns and townships in Poland which are inhabited by compact masses of Jews who do not sufficiently master the Polish language, and who may not be able to fill in the census forms properly except in their mother tongue. It would also be desirable, it is urged, that the census enumerators in the Jewish districts should be themselves Jews, since non-Jews would not be as well acquainted with their affairs and would not be able to obtain as correct information from them. The great majority of the enumerators will be voluntary workers, for reasons of economy, it is pointed out, and since there is no question of payment involved, there should be sufficient Jews in the Jewish towns and townships who would volunteer for the work, without complaints of giving jobs to Jews.

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