WARSAW (Jan. 24)
The first official indication that a far-reaching anti-Jewish program was in preparation was given today after Premier Felijan Slawoj-Skladkowski had announced in the Sejm that the Government was working on concrete plans for Jewish emigration. The official Gazeta Polska declared editorially that the “Jewish problem is on one hand the question of a general exodus of Jewish masses from Poland” and on the other hand “a carefully planned immediate policy regarding the Jewish minority, independent of emigration.”
“The Polish Jews have realized that the forms of their continued existence in Poland within the frontiers of the Polish State will be regulated, and, although they do not write about it, they seemed to have reconciled themselves to this fact,” the editorial stated. Asserting that the problem hung over the Polish population as “a painful and unbearable question,” the paper said that an atmosphere had been created in Poland making this question more urgent than any other and concluded by saying that “this harmful atmosphere” must be removed.
It is generally assumed in Jewish circles that the impending legislation will be on the lines of the program announced last May by the Government party, Camp of National Unity, which called for legislative action to reduce Jewish participation in economic life, the press, theater, radio and cultural life. It is expected that the legislative program will not be based on racial lines since, according to the Government party program, the restrictions would not affect persons of Jewish origin who “have severed themselves from the Jewish environment and have rendered undoubted services to the Polish State.”
The indication of the forthcoming anti-Jewish measures came on the heels of Premier Slawoj-Skladkowski’s statement to the Sejm yesterday, replying to an interpellation of the Government party majority of 104 deputies, in which he said that the Government, particularly the Foreign Office, was working out preliminary plans for the financing of emigration, liquidation of Jewish property and transfer of capital.
Jewish emigration is dictated not only by political, but also economic and demographic considerations, General Slawoj-Skladkowski asserted. The entire Polish public opinion demands that Jewish emigration be speeded up and intensified, he said. Reporting that the number of Jews leaving Poland had declined from the pre-war figure of 70,000 annually to the present 10,000 a year, the Premier said that this decline was caused by external rather than internal circumstances, referring to the closing of the gates of other countries.
The Polish Government, he said, will use its influence to obtain outlets for emigration by international action and will not accept the nation that new outlets will be opened only as a result of catastrophes from which the Jewish people suffer. While regarding favorably emigration to Palestine, the Premier expressed the opinion that the Holy Land could serve only as a partial solution of the problem. He expressed the hope that the Jews of Poland and abroad would use their influence, “in their own interests,” to assure success for the Polish Government’s steps.
A delegation from the recently-formed Jewish Colonization Committee is proceeding this week to Amsterdam and London, it was announced today. The delegation will be headed by Chief Rabbi Moses Schorr, chairman of the committee.