LONDON (Apr. 15)
Poland has refused to issue visas to British newspaper and television correspondents who had planned to report the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto revolt, scheduled to be held in Warsaw next weekend. The reason given here by the Polish Embassy today is that “the pressure on hotel accommodations in War saw is so great, that these accommodations are being reserved for people whose relatives were directly involved in the Ghetto uprising. ” That statement was made here by Stanislaw Kostarski, First Secretary of the Polish Embassy.
Michael Cliffe, a Labor member of Parliament, chairman of the 120-man British delegation going to Warsaw for the commemorative ceremonies–a group that includes non-Jews as well as Jews–informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here today that he has told the Polish Embassy here “in no uncertain terms” of the disappointment over the visa denials. While the ceremonies in Warsaw “must not be marred, ” he declared, he will “say more about it” in Warsaw. “It is the most lamentable excuse I have ever hard, ” he said, “and is bound to cause a lot of bad feeling. “
Television producers for the British Broadcasting Corporation and for the Independent Television network, as well as some of this country’s best-known radio and TV commentators, had planned on going to Warsaw for the occasion. They said today they had confirmed hotel reservations a month ago. One of the top producers, Girdon Reece, said “they just don’t want British television there. This must be one of the silliest examples of discrimination ever. “
It was learned today that some Polish-Jewish ex-servicemen in this country have also been denied visas for the occasion. Only one British correspondent has been allowed to cover the Ghetto revolt commemorative exercises. This man happens to be in Poland now for an entirely different reason, according to the Polish Embassy here.