Case of Jewish Soldiers in Polish Army Submitted to President; Ask Reversal of Verdict

The case of the twenty-one Jewish soldiers sentenced to imprisonment by a Polish court-martial for attempting to leave their units because of anti-Semitism and to join the British Army, was presented here today to Polish President Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz by Dr. Ignacy Schwarzbart, one of the two Jewish members of the Polish National Council.

The President discussed for a full hour with Dr. Schwarzbart the position of the Jews in the Polish armed forces. At the same time the Polish National Council released today the text of the statements made by Dr. Scharzbart and by Dr. Emanuel zerer, the two Jewish representatives, at a closed session of the Council two days ago.

Both statements emphasized that the Polish people as a whole are not being accused of anti-Semitism, but that no attention has been paid by the Polish authorities to Jewish complaints about the mistreatment of Jews in the Polish Army. Both charged the military command with failing to deal with the problem energetically. they also urged the Jewish soldiers to remain in the Polish armed forces.

Dr. Schwarzbart, in his statement, demanded that the commanding officer reverse the sentences imposed by the court-martial. He also insisted that the Polish officers and men who have been practicing anti-Semitism be court-martialed. He urged that the implication, in official Polish documents, that the Jewish soldiers were tried for “desertion” be corrected and appealed to the Polish Government to eradicate anti-Semitism in the army by intensified education.

Dr. Szerer also demanded that the sentences against the Jewish soldiers be innulled. He emphasized that he disagreed with the steps taken by the persecuted Jewish soldiers, but added that they had not committed any crime since the Polish Government had previously facilitated the transfer of 200 Jewish soldiers from the Polish armed forces to the British.

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