Menu JTA Search

Sejm Aide Pleads for Polish Jews

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

A desperate plea for government intervention in behalf of the destitute Jewish population of Poland was sounded here tonight at a meeting of the Parliament budget committee by Dr. F. Rautenstreich, Jewish member of the Sejm.

Citing figures showing the extreme plight of the Jews of the country, the Jewish deputy visibly moved most of his hearers with his impassioned recital.

“Sixty per cent of the Jews in the small townships are in dire need of charity,” the former member of the Senate told the budget committee.

ONE IN FOUR STARVING

“One out of every four Jews in Warsaw is starving. Fifty per cent of the Jews in the city of Lwow are in the same desperate position and so are thirty per cent of the number of Jews in Lodz and Bialystock.”

His appeal for immediate assistance for destitute Polish Jewry impressed all but the National Democratic (Endek) anti-government deputies. The Endeks launched a bitter attack on the government for giving subsidies to the free loan societies maintained by Polish Jews with funds largely subscribed by foreign Jewish relief agencies. A large part of the Polish Jewish artisan class and small merchants are dependent on these societies for funds with which to continue at their trades. The Endeks protested that the societies “strengthen the competitive ability of the Jewish merchants.”

Despite the fact that the 3,500,000 Jews of Poland pay more than forty per cent of the taxes, the government assigned only 182,760 (approximately $34,000) zlotys for Jewish educational needs out of a total educational budget of 300,000,000 zlotys, Deputy M. Sommerstein complained today in the debate in the budget commission.

He blamed the government for the liquidation of the Jewish public schools in Poland and the withdrawal of rights from Yiddish, Hebrew and artisans schools.

The Jewish deputy also pointed out that university authorities in the medical and law schools were applying a strict numerus clausus against the Jewish students, and that the existing difficulties of the Jewish medical students were being aggravated by the demand that Jewish students dissect only Jewish corpses.

Jewish students recently besieged the offices of various Jewish communities demanding bodies of indigent Jews in order that they may complete their anatomy courses. Such dissection is against the Jewish law.

NEXT STORY