Polish Officials in Russia Discriminate Against Jews in Distributing American Relief
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Polish Officials in Russia Discriminate Against Jews in Distributing American Relief

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Though the Polish embassy in Russia has issued definite instructions to its officials that American relief for Polish citizens stranded in the USSR should be distributed to Polish Jews and non-Jews alike, these instructions are not being obeyed, it was learned today from reports reaching here from various sections of the country where the refugees from Poland are concentrated.

The reports reveal that in many places the Polish Jews do not receive the same proportion of relief as that given to non-Jewish refugees from Poland. Polish officials in charge of the distribution of relief-purchased with American lend-lease funds-are reported to be definitely discriminating against the Jewish refugees. The Polish embassy is powerless to remedy the situation since no efficient control is possible over these officials’ activities because of the remote places in which they are working.

Immediate investigation of the complaints reaching here from Polish-Jewish refugees would similarly be difficult in view of the fact that the complaints come from refugees located in distant places in Siberia and Uzbekistan where there are no railway communications. There is no doubt, however, that many of the complaints are justified. Even Polish embassy circles in Kuibyshev are aware of the situation. The embassy, it is understood, is not in a position to dismiss the officials against whom the complaints are directed though it considers their discriminatory activities an act of disloyalty to the present Polish Government since they may jeopardise the Polish lend-lease arrangements with the United States.


Complaints have also been received here from refugees with regard to the old clothing and shoes sent from America. Most of the articles, the complaints stress, are in such bad shape that they are of little use. Medical relief received from the American Joint Distribution Committee, however, is greatly appreciated here by both the Jewish and non-Jewish refugees from Poland.

The bulk of the relief for the refugees from Poland reaches Russia under the lend-lease arrangement which Gen. Sikorski, the Polish premier, concluded with the U.S. Government in Washington. Relief shipments of clothing and other commodities are also received from the Jewish Labor Committee in America and from the Rada Polonia, the American Polish Relief Council. Relief is sent here from Palestine through the Polish Red Cross there. Jewish relief for the refugees from Poland is arriving here from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England, where the local Jewish and Polish relief committees are working in complete cooperation.

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