NEW YORK (Jun. 14)
A Polish politician with a long anti-Jewish and anti-democratic record is enrolled at the War Department’s School of Military Government at Charlottesville, Va., on the recommendation of the Polish Government-in-Exile, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today.
The man, whose presence at the school has been confirmed, although neither the War Department nor the Charlottesville authorities would provide details, is Michael Grazynski, who holds the rank of major in the Polish Army and who for 13 years ruled Upper Silesia with an iron hand that fell heaviest on liberals and Jews.
Grazynski’s record as Polish administrator shows that he dissolved the autonomous Upper Silesian Diet in 1934; expelled hundreds of Jews from a flexible boundary area, which included most of Silesia, on the pretext that they constituted an “unreliable” political element in strategic territory; committed many liberals and Jews to the notorious Kartuzs-Bereza concentration camp established by the Beck government in Poland; instituted the Nazi-style boycott of Jewish enterprises; ousted the elected leaders of Jewish communal organizations and replaced them with commissars, including the Silesian branch of B’nai B’rith; ousted Jews from commerce and industry, prevented new Jewish physicians from practicing and eliminated those already established from private as well as government sick benefit societies; organized and personally directed a uniformed, armed guard of Polish Silesian youths modelled on Nazi storm troop lines and indoctrinated with Fascist ideologies; ousted hundreds of Jews from Teschen, when Poland invaded that Czechoslovak territory following the Munich pact.
When asked about Grazynski, Polish officials here and in Washington denied that he was anti-Semitic and emphasized that he was noted for his anti-Germanism. One official pointed out that Grazynski was regarded by the Germans as Polish public enemy No. 1, the Propaganda Ministry having declared that an agreement with Poland was not possible while a man like Grazynski was Governor of an area where many Germans were the victims of a relentless “Polonization” process.
GRAZYNSKI’S ANTI-JEWISH POLICY COINCIDED WITH HITLER’S RISE TO POWER
While there is more or less agreement in all quarters that Grazynski was anti-German, it is also pointed out that his open anti-Jewish policy, as indicated by his treatment of the 25,000 Jews of Upper Silesia who constituted less than two percent of the total population, coincided with Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in 1933.
Grazynski levied discriminatory taxes against Jews and imposed regulations which forced Jewish concerns out of business or compelled them to sell out at ridiculously low prices, and took the other measures already listed. When Jewish leaders framed protests to bring before the League of Nations’ High Commissioner in Kattowice, they were intimidated into withdrawing them by one of Grazynski’s collaborators, President Dombrowski of the Silesian Diet.
Shortly after the nationwide anti-Jewish boycott called by the Nazis in Germany in 1934, a similar boycott was put into effect in Upper Silesia. Pickets were thrown around all Jewish stores. When protests were made to the police chief, he replied that he could do nothing about it since the boycott had been sanctioned by Grazynski. When anti-Jewish violence broke out in Kattowice, marked by frequent street attacks on rabbis, Jewish leaders who protested to Grazynski were brushed off with this remark: “I can’t put a policeman on every corner to protect the Jews.”