Poland Limits Jewish Emigration; Only Zionists and Close Relatives Can Leave Country

Following the announcement of new rules for the immigration of Israel-bound Jews from Poland, there has been a rush of would-be emigrants at three offices which are involved in the issuance of passports under the latest regulations.

The offices–the Israeli legation, the Central Jewish Committee and the Ministry of Public Administration–are crowded all day long with applicants who must either prove that they are active Zionists or have close relatives residing in Israel before they are given permission to emigrate. All applicants must first receive certification from the Central Jewish Committee stating that they ere Jews, then they must obtain from the Israeli consulate a statement that they will be issued a visa for Israel. Only after the first two steps are completed will the government agency handle the application.

A major obstacle in the path of would-be emigrants is the furnishing of proof of active membership in a Zionist organization. This proof must be furnished by the Various Zionist groups to the Ministry of Public Administration. What constitutes evidence of active membership has still not been decided officially, and it is feared in some circles that it will be interpreted to mean membership prior to the outbreak of the recent war.

Under these conditions the Israeli consulate is not issuing any promise of a visa for persons who cannot demonstrate satisfactory proof of membership in a Zionist group. Meanwhile, the rush to join Zionist organizations has caused at least one such group–the Mizrachi–to close its membership books, to assist its earlier members in obtaining visas.

As for persons who wish to emigrate because they have close relatives in the Jewish state, it has thus far been interpreted that such a relative is a parent, child or, in some cases, a sibling. In general, it appears that this regulation is applied literally in the case of persons who have lost all members of the Polish branch of their families.

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