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Despair Faces Polish Jewry, Leaders Claim

An appeal to the Jews of the world for “brotherly help” for Polish Jewry in the “most fatal epic of its history” was issued here tonight by the extraordinary conference of Polish Jewish leaders.

German Jewry’s calamity must not be allowed to overshadow the Polish Jewish catastrophe, Chief Rabbi Dr. Rubenstein of Wilno declared today at the opening of the special conference of Polish Jewish leaders called to ask world help for the poverty-stricken Jews of Poland. Rabbi Dr. M. Schorr presided at the opening session.

Describing the “black plight” of Polish Jewry, Rabbi Rubenstein said that “one fifth of world Jewry, resident in Poland, is on the verge of collapse.”

Raphael Szereszewski, Polish Jewish philanthropist, stated that 150,000 Jewish families in Poland are living on charity and loan funds created by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

“Polish Jewry,” he said, “is straining to the utmost the existence of these institutions, but even so financial help from the United States is utterly inadequate.”

Deputy Wislicki declared it was most urgent to re-establish the central bank for Jewish cooperatives in order to enable them to obtain government credits. Relations with the Joint Foundation Council in Paris must be improved before this can be accomplished, he said.

From his sickbed, Rabbi Dr. Joshua Then sent a message urging the conference to “direct the eyes of world Jewry to the Polish Jewish situation, since 3,500.000 Polish Jews are literally on the verge of the abyss.”

Other speakers, including Rabbi I. M. Lewin, Dr. Gottlieb and Hillel Zeitlin, spoke in the same despairing manner.

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