British Parliamentarians Charge That Jews Are Ill-treated in Polish Army
Menu JTA Search

British Parliamentarians Charge That Jews Are Ill-treated in Polish Army

Download PDF for this date

Sharp words were exchanged in the House of Commons today on the question of alleged anti-Semitism “in certain units of the Polish Army,” it is reported by Reuters, leading British news agency.

The question was raised by Miss Eleanore Rathbone, Independent member of Parliament, during a debate on a measure allowing the British Government to conscript allied nationals. “I know that the Polish Premier and Chief of the Polish Army, Gen. Sikorski, has protested against it,” Miss Rathbone said, stating that “there has been grievous anti-Semitism in some units of the Polish Army, although not many.”

Lord Winterton, a member of the Conservative party, who said that he had no official association with the Polish Army, declared that there was no truth in Miss Rethbone’s assertion and that she has shown a great lack of responsibility. Her statement was calculated to do great mischief, he stated.

Dennis Pritt, Laborite, supported Miss Rathbone’s assertion. “I have plenty of evidence that the Jews in the Polish Army are ill-treated,” he said.

“I don’t regard Pritt as a good authority on Semitism or anti-Semitic questions,” Lord Winterton interjected.

“Then we both share a similar view about each other,” Pritt retorted amid laughter.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Labor, McCorquodale, protested against bringing charges against a gallant ally. Pritt retorted angrily that they should credit him with the responsibility. “I don’t make such charges until I know they are right.” Miss Rathbone also protested, declaring she was not making charges against the Polish Army or its High Command but only against certain officers in a few units.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund