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Establishment of Cooperatives Seen As Best Means of Reviving Jewish Economy in Poland

A plan for the establishment of several hundred Jewish cooperatives in Poland was outlined today to a meeting of the economic council of the Central Jewish Committee by Dr. Joseph Parnes, former partisan leader.

Dr. Parnes declared that the cooperative movement was the best means of establishing Jewish economy on a firm foundation. He revealed that eighteen cooperatives, organized on the “workshop” principle, have already been established, and that another twelve were in the process of being set up.

The aid being given the cooperative movement by the Polish Government was lauded by Parnes, who pointed out, however, that the Government cannot provide sufficient work and that the cooperatives themselves must take the initiative in finding work for the existing shops and those which are planned for the future. He also assured the conference that the economic council would make available to the cooperatives credits and foreign currency for the purchase of machinery and raw materials.

Parnes reviewed the history of cooperatives in pro-war Poland, recalling that there were 800 Jewish cooperatives, with 200,000 members, and a capital of over 100,000,000 zlotys. “This young organization which achieved great success in Jewish economic life, perished with Polish Jewry,” he said.

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