NEW YORK (Apr. 18)
Jewish organizations in this country, specifically the American Jewish Committee, came under attack in the state-controlled Polish press today for allegedly planning to slander Poland in the course of observing the 25th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. A dispatch from New York by Stanislaw Glabinski of the official Polish Press Agency (PAP) claimed that “the political significance of these ceremonies is being revealed by the bulletin issued by the American Jewish Committee which does not pull any punches when it comes to the slandering of Poland.” The dispatch was widely published in Polish newspapers, it was reported here.
The American Jewish Committee, in a statement issued here by Bertram H. Gold, executive director, declared that the AJC “has never pulled punches in the defense of the human rights of Jews and of all people, nor does it pull punches in applauding those governments that have extended human rights.” Mr. Gold said that the organization, until recently, had held Poland up as an example of how a Jewish minority can develop a communal life in a Communist country. Now, however, “day after day we read the cynical accounts of how 25,000 Jews, the pitiful remnant of nearly 3-1/2 million Jews destroyed or dispersed as a result of the Nazi holocaust, apparently are being blamed for the rising wave of protests against the rigid totalitarianism of the ruling United Workers Party.” he said. “It is particularly ironic,” the statement continued, “that these events should be taking place during the international year for human rights and during the time of the 25th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. We are not engaging in what the Polish report calls ‘slander’ since we clearly enjoy the defense of truth. Recent attempts by Polish anti-Semites to downgrade the heroism of the thousands of valiant Jews who died in the Warsaw Ghetto, resisting deportation are obscene and clumsy attempts to re-write history…This latest outburst on the part of the Polish Government, through its press agency, should double our efforts to make the clear truth of the Warsaw Ghetto known in the anniversary observances.”
The Polish Press Agency dispatch charged that the anniversary ceremonies to be held in New York on April 22 had been planned in advance to adopt “resolutions directed against People’s Poland.” It also charged that a New York TV documentary on the ghetto uprising had been deliberately altered so that “all fragments showing the assistance of Poles (to the Jews) have been removed from it and a new commentary, unfriendly toward Poles, has been written.” The dispatch claimed further that Polish press reports of an alleged anti-Polish campaign being conducted by “Zionist circles” was being used by “American Zionists as proof of anti-Semitism in Poland.”