Poland Accepts Jews from Russia Who Cannot Prove Polish Citizenship

Polish newspapers arriving here today from Warsaw report that Poland is accepting Jews from the Soviet Union even if they cannot prove previous Polish citizenship. The report says that the Polish Ministry of Interior has issued a decree providing for the issuance of “temporary identity documents” to persons repatriated by the Soviet authorities to Poland “who have no Polish citizenship but whose foreign citizenship has not been firmly established.”

It is understood that some of the Jews being sent to Poland from territory now under jurisdiction of Russia claim that during World War II they lost their documents proving Polish citizenship. The fact, however, that they are being sent to Poland indicates that the Russian Government takes the word of such Jews when they claim Polish citizenship, even though documents to prove their status are missing.

Meanwhile, the Jewish newspaper Folkstimme published in Warsaw complains that Jewish repatriates from the Soviet Union are being mistreated by Poles, victimized by speculators, and even refused adequate medical care in some instances. The latest issue of the Folkstimme which arrived here today says that in spite of government decrees guaranteeing housing, work and social care for the repatriates, officials at reception centers are themselves mistreating the Jews returning to Poland.

In one instance, the paper reports, two children of Jewish repatriates died because a doctor at the reception center refused to treat them. Other doctors are behaving in similar fashion toward the repatriates, the article states. Many of the repatriates are flocking into Lignite, according to the report, “on the misapprehension that there they can find homes and work.” The report adds that some of the repatriates have been charged by speculators and black marketeers as high as 5,000 zlotys for the privilege of renting a home which was vacant. Others have found no housing whatever, and have no work.

In one town, in Czerdzovniv, the Jewish community was able to find housing for 36 repatriated families, “but there are still many who have as yet no homes,” according to the report. In another town, in Czari, the municipal council was persuaded by the Jewish community to help find housing for the Jews newly arrived from the USSR. Some of this housing had been vacated by other Jews who had left Poland for Israel. But in most instances, it is clear from the Folkstimme article, Poles are ignoring the government decrees. The newspaper appeals for greater consideration for the repatriates who, it declares, “must be protected from swindlers.”

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