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Polish Government Plan to Cut Exit Visas for Jews Evokes Sharp Protest

Two groups of former Polish Jews have protested the Warsaw Government’s announced intention, starting Sept. 1, of curtailing exit visas for Jews who want to leave for Israel. A resolution adopted at a joint meeting of the Association of Polish-Jewish ex-Servicemen and the Association of Jews of Polish Origin demanded that “those Polish Jews who still wish to leave the country where they are degraded and persecuted must be allowed to do so without hindrance and humiliation.”

Polish Jews have been emigrating in fairly large numbers since the June, 1967 Arab-Israel war when the Warsaw regime severed diplomatic relations with Israel and adopted an openly anti-Israel stand. The numbers departing increased last year following student riots in Poland which the authorities blamed on “Zionists” and which were followed by an official anti-Jewish purge and propaganda campaign. Departing Jews obtain their Israeli visas from the Dutch Embassy which handles Israeli interests in Warsaw. Exit permits are issued without difficulty, though Jews are permitted to take only $5 in cash out of the country and must pay a heavy tariff to remove valuable personal property. The Polish Government announced recently that it would adopt a stricter policy on exit visas for Jews beginning Sept. 1.

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