Jews in Poland Not Affected by New Emigration Law; Can Leave Country

New emigration regulations in Poland, which went into effect this month, are not being used to hamper the movement of Polish Jews to Israel, it was reported today in a cable from Warsaw to the New York Times. The new regulations permit the withholding of emigration passports from anyone whose presence in Poland is considered necessary for the national economy of the country.

“The exodus to Israel continues,” the report says. It has slowed down in recent weeks, but passports still are being issued at the rate of 1,500 monthly after having reached a peak earlier this year of 3,000 a month. About 25,000 Jews are believed to have reached Israel from Poland in the last year. No one is certain of the number of Jews left in Poland and estimates vary between 20,000 and 40,000. A considerable percentage of these are expected to go if the Government leaves the gates open.”

Wladyslaw Gomulka’s personal sympathy seems to have been a determining factor in maintaining a liberal policy on the controversial question of emigration to Israel,” the report states. “The Polish Communists’ First Secretary has resisted considerable pressure to halt the exodus,” it reveals. “The party’s campaign against anti-Semitism has succeeded in halting the overt abusing of Jews that was common in Poland only a few months ago. But the Stalinists continue to foster propaganda among the Communist party’s lower ranks that most of Poland’s troubles have been caused by Jews, particularly those writers and journalists who were prominent in the struggle for democratization.”

The Times correspondent says that Gomulka himself angrily rebuked the Stalinists when their spokesman, Kazimerz Mijal, raised the subject before a meeting of the party’s central committee last month. The time has come, M. Gomulka said, to end once and for all making Jews responsible for the Communist regime’s misfortunes and mistakes. The Communist leader ridiculed the idea of Israeli agents in Poland, saying that it was silly to believe that Israel was attempting to undermine the Communist regime.

An even angrier reply to M. Mijal was made by Edward Ochab, a member of the Politburo, who declared: “Comrades, enough of this nonsense about Zionist agents, and about Israel. Don’t you realize that nothing harmed the good name of the Soviet Union and of the entire Communist movement as did the follies about the Jewish doctors and the anti-Zionist campaign?”

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