No Ghettos in Free Poland, Zaleski Pledges

Terming the Lublin “reservation” a “devil’s invention, Polish Foreign Minister August Zaleski promised a delegation from the Federation of Polish Jews in France today that it and other ghettos instituted by the Nazis would be dissolved as soon as Polish independence is restored.

“The natural opposition of authoritative Jewish leaders to the Lublin ‘reservation’ is a self-understood matter,” Count Zaleski declared. “This is a malicious plan aiming to provoke the Polish population against the Jews and simultaneously creating a spirit of depression among the Jews themselves.

“The Polish Government, continuing its fight for freedom, will also abolish this ghetto. We do not recognize a special reservation for any part of our population In a free Poland, the Jews as well as the Poles will have the right to choose their own place of residence. This ghetto is a devil’s invention. We do not recognize it, just as we do not recognize the military occupation of Poland. In a free Poland, the Jews will enjoy equal rights granted to all citizens without racial or religious distinction.”

Sympathetically discussing a memorandum submitted to him by the delegation, which he promised to bring before a session of the Cabinet-in-exile, Zaleski continued

“Concerning my own attitude, I can only assure you that my entire energy will be devoted to seeing that the Jews are treated differently than hitherto. I have already stated it publicly through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and I am reiterating now that I recognize no classification of citizens. To me all Polish citizens are equal. I have already ordered the consulates to abolish their former special attitude towards Jews and have also ordered a strict investigation with regard to cases where Jews abroad were deprived of their passports.”

Zaleski was startled when informed by the delegation that the number of Polish Jews in western Europe who had been deprived of their passports was estimated at 30,000. Asked whether the Cabinet was undertaking any action within Poland, through channels at its disposal, to counteract inciting anti-Jewish propaganda by the Nazis, Zaleski stated:

“This is one of the questions which engages our attention very much. We still face difficulties in reaching our people in Poland, but we hope to overcome these difficulties. We consider it in the interests of Poland that brotherly relations exist between the Poles and the Jews in order that united resistance may be displayed to the Nazis.”

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