Polish Jews Reported to Be Alarmed About Sept. I Emigration Deadline, Seek Visas
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Polish Jews Reported to Be Alarmed About Sept. I Emigration Deadline, Seek Visas

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Polish immigrants who arrived here yesterday aboard the Israeli motor-ship Moledet reported growing alarm among Jews in Poland that they will not be able to leave that country after Sept. 1. That date was the deadline set by the Warsaw regime to end its hitherto fairly liberal policy of issuing exit permits to Jews desiring to go to Israel.

According to the new arrivals, large numbers of Jews were lining up at the Dutch Embassy in Warsaw every Hay to obtain Israeli visas. The Netherlands Embassy has been handling Israeli affairs in Poland since the Polish Government broke diplomatic relations with Israel after the June, 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

An estimated 5,000 of Poland’s 20,000-25,000 remaining Jews departed since 1967. The bulk of them left in 1968 when the Polish Government blamed student unrest on “Zionists,” launched an anti-Jewish campaign and purged Jews from posts in the Government, the Communist Party and the communications and other industries. Though exit visas were issued to Jews without too much difficulty, they are permitted to take only $5 in cash out of the country and must pay a heavy tax on household items and personal valuables. The change in policy on exit permits has been attributed to pressure from the Arab countries which charged that Polish Jews were strengthening Israel, although many of the Jews leaving Poland with Israeli visas eventually go to other countries. It was also said that Polish leaders were concerned over the departure of large numbers of scientists, engineers and physicians who are Jewish.

The Polish Government announced in June that “as of Sept. 1, Jews no longer will be permitted to apply for emigration to Israel ‘under relaxed provisions’ “. There were 3.5 million Jews in Poland before World War II.

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