LONDON (Sep. 3)
A remarkable plea to the surviving Jews of Poland not to be stampeded into emigration to Israel appears in an issue of Volkstimme, War-saw Yiddish newspaper, which has just been received here.
In a surprisingly frank appraisal of the situation, the writer, Shmuel Hurwitz, admitted that “there would be no point in denying that a great many Jews in Poland have become very restless.” He denied, however, that “there are many who have reached a final decision to leave.”
The desire to emigrate is not confined to “those disposing of considerable means or well-situated relatives,” or to the “enemies of Socialism who have been longing for the paradise of capitalism,” he admitted but extends to the average “man in the street.
He attributed this development not only to the “more liberal-minded visa facilities now available, to the fact that experiences in World War I and II and the Maidenek (extermination camp) period had not yet been overcome but also to the anti-Semitic trends and incidents of the recent past, which have left their impact although both the (Communist) Party and the Government had denounced discrimination clearly in recent statements.”
The writer appealed to the Jews not to “exaggerate disproportionately” incidents of anti-Semitism and discrimination in the country. He asserted that the Polish Government had clearly demonstrated its concern for the interests of the Jews of Poland. He pledged that the Social and Cultural Union of Jews in Poland would continue its efforts to improve upon the cultural life of the Jewish community which, he said, he was convinced would “meet the challenge and stand its ground.”
There are about 50,000 Jews in Poland today, remnants of a community which exceeded three million at the outbreak of World War II. Under the present “liberalized” visa policy of the Polish Government, about a hundred passports a month are being issued to Polish Jews who want to emigrate to Israel to join relatives residing there.