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Jewish Notaries in Poland

Member of Polish Parliament

Warsaw

I recently touched upon the subject of the “numerus nullus” in the notary profession in Poland. At the time, I dealt with the problem of mass dismissals of Jewish notaries employed as assistants in the offices of Polish and Ukrainian notaries.

The article, which appeared in the Chwila of Lwow, was confiscated, but it also appeared in the Moment of Warsaw and the Nowy Dzienik of Krakow. Some time later, too, the ban on the Chwila was lifted by the Lwow court.

At the same time, the supreme judicial authority, the Minister of Justice, declared he would not permit any nationalist dissension in his province.

JEWS ARE PROSCRIBED

It seemed, therefore, that the affair had taken a favorable turn for the Jewish practitioners and applicants for the posts of notaries public.

But in the meantime something had happened. The Chamber of Notaries made known the new list of notaries and assistants, and the number of Jews had been reduced by fully fifty per cent.

Thus, although the law does not ##ermit discrimination against Jews in the lists, this is done in practice when Polish notaries inform applicants and assessors of the posts available, though they are not on the lists.

In this fashion there remained, of some thirty-odd Jewish applicants and practitioners, only three of the latter and two of the former.

Jewish applicants and practitioners were stricken from the list for no reason whatsoever. They were not informed of this and were unable to fight against the discrimination. Behind their backs they were condemned in a manner which violates the most elementary proscriptions.

MANY FACE MISERY

But the call to “de-Judaize” the notary profession, issued by an Endek newspaper, contains far deeper implications. Applicants and practitioners alone do not suffice. Even office personnel, municipal officials, typists, and cashiers are not spared.

Several weeks ago the Chamber of Notaries of Lwow issued a call to all notaries to prepare lists of their personnel and to indicate their nationality and religion in detail. After the preparation of these lists almost all Jewish employees—as though at a command—were discharged and non-Jews hired to replace them.

The slogan, “Poles for Poles,” is being fulfilled almost one hundred per cent. On the other hand, the cry for “Jewish employees for Jewish notaries” cannot be answered because there are no longer any Jewish notaries.

And thus again the existences of a significant number of Jewish families are being undermined. They have been placed outside the realm of professional life, and have been condemned to hunger and misery, even though they possess the necessary qualifications and have long years of experience behind them.

We therefore ask the government: “Why is such a practice tolerated?”

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