LONDON (Apr. 24)
Members of Parliament representing all parties today expressed indignation at the conviction by a Polish court martial of thirty Jewish soldiers who left the polish Army because of anti-Semitic mistreatment end came to imprisonment ranging from one to three years.
Reporting the reaction of the MP’s the London Daily Express today adds that the British Government is likely to be asked to take action with regard to the sentences issued by the court martial. “It is believed in Polish quarters that the sentences might be revised by a higher authority,” the London paper adds.
Dr. Emanuel Szerer, one of the two Jewish members of the Polish National Council, who was permitted to attend the sessions of the court martial, today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “many of the convicted men were veterans- some of them wounded – of the battles of Poland and France. All had amply demonstrated their desire to fight Hitler and his hangmen.
“That these men were driven to the desperate step of leaving units to join the British army must impress everyone having an open heart for human distress,” Dr, Szerer continued. ” During the trial I looked beyond the accused soldiers to the real guilty ones who had caused the trouble by spreading and tolerating anti-Semitism in the army and elsewhere.”
Dr. Szerer demanded the immediate court martial of persons either spreading or tolerating anti-Semitism in the Polish armed forces. He said he did not blame the Polish people, whose democratic movements were fighting anti-Semitism, but emphasized that it was the “elementary duty of all responsible for the army, from the commanderies-chief and the government to the last officer and soldier to fight anti-Semitism.”
“All officers and non-commissioned officers guilty of fomenting or tolerating anti-Semitism should be deprived of their rank and quickly and severely punished ,”he urged. He expressed the view that Jewish soldiers should remain in the Polish army, contending the army belonged to all of Poland and not the officers and that “we must fight anti-Semitism by staying and not leaving any sphere of Polish life.”