Menu JTA Search

League Council Recognizes Urgency of Petitions for Upper Silesian Jews

The urgency of the Jewish petitions to the League of Nations was recognized this morning at a secret session of the League Council. The German representative, Herr Keller, also admitted the urgency of the petitions. Thus all three petitions regarding the status of the Jews in the plebiscite area — that presented by the Jewish organizations of various countries, the one from the parliamentary club of Jewish deputies (Kolo) of Poland, and the petition of Franz Bernheim, former resident of the region, will come up for discussion by the League.

Doubt, however, was cast on the admissibility of the Bernheim petition by the German representative who said there was some question as to whether Bernheim, who lost his position with a business house in Gleiwitz, as a result of the Nazi anti-Jewish decrees, and now resides in Prague, can be considered a member of an Upper Silesian minority group.

Sir Eric Drummond, general secretary of the League, asked that Germany submit the grounds on which this doubt was based at the next meeting of the council.

FEAR ISSUE OBSCURED

Fear is expressed in League circles that the important issue of disarmament, which leaped to the fore with announcement that Premier Mussolini of Italy had secured agreement of the nations to his four-power pact, may obscure the Jewish question. This is particularly so, it is felt, since the powers are not anxious in the present state of political uncertainty and conjecture to increase the acuteness of the situation as might result from outspoken criticism of Nazi policies.

Discussion of the Jewish question in Upper Silesia by the League Council, it is believed, would extend to discussion of the situation of the Jews in Germany using the declaration of the German peace delegation in 1919 as a basis.

WARNED OF VIOLATIONS

It was learned here last night that Dr, Felix Calonder, the Swiss president of the Upper Silesia mixed commission, officially drew the attention of the German representative a month ago to the violation of the 1922 German-Polish convention. Under Article 585 of the convention, the representative was obliged to communicate Dr. Calonder’s notification without delay to the German Government which consequently, had the warning against violations a month ago.

Following the announcement of Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations, the Irish representative becomes rapporteur on minorities to the League council, it was pointed out here. It is believed that the Committee of Three, by which the petition of the Jewish organizations will be reported, will consist of an Italian, Spanish and Norwegian representative.

NEXT STORY