New York (Jul. 12)
Jewish and non-Jewish groups joined today in condemning the statement made in Warsaw yesterday by Cardinal Hlond.
The organizations which issued statements included the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Conference, the American Federation for Polish Jews and the Methodist Federation for Social Service.
Expressing its sense of shock at the Cardinal’s remarks, the executive of the Congress said that “to invoke a disputed political situation as reasons for the murder of innocent men, women and children is most certainly an act that runs counter to all rules of humanity and religion.
“No estimate, founded or unfounded, of the political activities of individual Jews, who as citizens of Poland have a perfect right to join any party or assume any government office, can serve as justification for murder or intimidation directed indiscriminately against all Jews of Poland,” the statement continued. “As a result of his statement, Cardinal Hlond will find it difficult to free himself of co-responsibility for anti-Jewish acts that might follow in the future. We are confident that all fair-minded and truth-loving Catholics everywhere will protest against the policy of persecution still being pursued against the sorely tried remnant of Polish Jewry.”
The Interim Committee of the American Jewish Conference in a statement de- clearing that it did not believe that Cardinal Hlond represented the views of the Catholic Church, said:
“To justify the murder of Jews by the allegation that Jews ‘occupy the leading positions in Poland’s government’ is tantamount to absolving the murderers of their guilt, and serves to undermine the earnest efforts of the Polish Government to extirpate anti-Semitism.
“This statement by a high church dignitary in Poland, the soil of which is saturated with the blood of two and one half million Jews, will not have the effect of quelling dissension in Poland, nor can it be that calming influence upon the Polish population which should be the desire of every spiritual leader. Furthermore, the statement carries with it the implication that the price which Jews must pay for the protection of life and property is non-participation in public service.”
SAYS HLOND STATEMENT IS REMINISCENT OF NAZI PROPAGANDA
Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, president of the Federation for Polish Jews, who unsuccessfully appealed to Cardinal Hlond, while in Poland recently, to issue a pastoral letter condemning anti-Semitism, charged that the Primate’s statement was “reminiscent of Hitler dogma.
“I told the Cardinal that it was wrong to place collective responsibility on a people for deeds of individuals and that the Jews of the country are not responsible for some of their faith who may occupy government positions,” Dr. Tenenbaum said, adding:
“The fallacy of Cardinal Hlond’s statement as to the guilt of the Jews because some of them occupy government positions is evidenced by the fact that during the pre-war Polish regime Jews were barred from government positions, yet anti-Semitism flourished throughout the country.”
The New York Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Service in a statement which was incorporated in a telegram to President Truman said:
“In his statement to the press the Cardinal repeats the main propaganda line that brought the Hitler regime into power and which has been voiced continuously by Father Coughlin, Gerald L.K. Smith and even by representatives of the Wood-Rankin committee in this country.”