Russia Reported Adopting Tougher Policy on Repatriation of Polish Jews

The Soviet Government is now adopting a tougher policy with regard to permitting Polish Jews to return to Poland, it is reported here by the Jewish Observer in a special supplement surveying the life of the Jews in countries belonging to the Soviet bloc.

Special difficulties are being imposed on Jews who seek repatriation to Poland, evidently because many of the Jews hope ultimately to emigrate from Poland to Israel. Russian officials are demanding from Jews seeking repatriation various documents which are difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. Few or no documents of the kind are demanded from members of non-Jewish minority groups seeking repatriation.

Jewish would-be repatriates are being asked why they did not leave the Soviet Union when they were permitted to do so in 1946. There are indications that the Polish Consulate in Moscow is being subjected to Soviet government pressure, being urged to abstain from intervening on behalf of the Jewish applicants for repatriation.

As a result of the tougher Soviet policy, repatriation of Jews to Poland has slowed down to a trickle of not more than about 300 a month, according to the survey, while the flow of non-Jewish repatriates has remained at a much higher, constant figure.

(The reduction of the number of Jewish employes in Soviet factories and the practice of a “numerous clauses” admitting Jewish students to Soviet universities was reported here today by Leon Crystal, staff member of the Jewish Daily Forward, who returned from a short trip to Russia and Rumania. He said he found more religious freedom in Rumania than in the Soviet Union.)

The Manchester Guardian’s Warsaw correspondent declared in a dispatch yesterday that, in his opinion, the Polish government’s expulsion last week of Israeli diplomat Jacob Barmor “is believed to reflect the changing atmosphere in the country, conditioned by directives from Moscow.”

According to the Manchester Guardian correspondent, it is feared by diplomats in Warsaw that the new policy of the Gomulka government, under Soviet pressure, may affect the recently improved relations between Poland and Israel. The Warsaw-Jerusalem rapprochement had resulted in greater trade between the two countries, freedom for Polish Jews to emigrate to Israel, and a limited tourist traffic from Poland to Israel.

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