Shechita Bill Adopted; Jewish Legislators May Resign
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Shechita Bill Adopted; Jewish Legislators May Resign

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The five Jewish members of the Polish Parliament, three in the Sejm and two in the Senate, were today considering resigning their seats in protest against the bill adopted by the lower house Friday night limiting the Jewish ritual slaughter of cattle and fowl.

Two leaders of the Jewish Community of Warsaw today officially notified the Government that they have resigned their posts as president and vice-president in protest against the bill’s passage. They are A. Mazur, president, and Moishe Lerner, vice-president.

The measure, with the Government amendments permitting sufficient kosher meat for religious needs, was adopted, the Jewish deputies alone opposing, in an atmosphere ringing with anti-Jewish speeches.

Government speakers joined anti-Government deputies in giving voice to violent anti-Semitic utterances. American and other foreign observers were started by the outspokenly Jew-baiting character of the addresses by the Government representatives, which differed little from those delivered by the Endek(Nationalist) deputies.

In his speech on the measure, General Roman Georecki, Minister of Trade, emphasized that the Polish Government was indifferent to public opinion abroad, declaring , "we do not care what foreign countries think of our action."

The intensity of the anti-Semitic speeches in the lower house served to depress Jewish leaders who, together with rabbis from all over the country, are meeting tonight to map details of the seven-week meatless strike beginning April 7. Purpose of the strike, proclaimed yesterday, will be to show the Government how Polish peasants and trade will be adversely affected by the restrictions on the sale of Kosher meat when the law becomes effective January 1, 1937.

According to the measure, Jews, Mohammedands and Karaites (a Mosaic sect) will be permitted to maintain their own abattoirs, but the Government will control them under a numbers clausus system of concessions. The Government will also control the supply of cattle to be slaughtered for religious needs. Amendments to the bill providing a special tax on kosher meat and prohibiting ritual slaughter entirely in districts with less than fifteen per cent of the population Jewish, were rejected by narrow margins.

Consideration of the bill by the Senate is expected before the forthcoming holiday recess.

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