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Anti-semitism in Pre-war Poland Result of Germanic Influences, Says Polish Publication

Anti-Semitism in Poland originated with the introduction of Germanic influences into the nation’s economic life in the 19th century and was deliberately sharpened during the 130 years that Poland was partitioned and under the rulership of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Czarist Russia, according to the forthcoming issue of “Polish Facts and Figures” issued by the Polish Government Information Center here.

The publication says vigorous efforts were made to combat anti-Semitism in the period between 1919-1939 and cites several pieces of legislation by the post-World War I Polish Government guaranteeing equality to Jews. “It should be emphasized,” it continues, “that no legal discrimination whatever against Jews was to be found in Poland up to the last moment before the Hitler invasion.” Admitting the existence of anti-Semitism in this period, it asserts that the extent of the anti-Jewish excesses was “insignificant” compared to the “scope and wealth of development of political, cultural and economic life of millions of Polish Jews.”

The pamphlet traces the history of the Jewish community from the middle ages when Poland was a haven for persecuted Jews through the Nazi occupation. It stresses the economic, political and cultural contributions which the Jews made to the country as a whole.

Discussing post-war reconstruction plans of the Polish Government-in-Exile in London, the pamphlet says that Jews will be indemnified for property confiscated by the Germans and will have “equal rights and duties” with all other Polish citizens.

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