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Jews Told First Loyalty is to Party

The 1972 program of Poland’s Jewish Social and Cultural Association has been announced, and it emphasizes that this country’s Jews are expected to be loyal members of the Polish Communist Party first and Jews second. Outlining the Association’s program at a conference of representatives of its branches, General Secretary Ruta Gutkowska declared that there are two tasks before the Association: the implementation of the decisions of the Sixth Conference of the Polish Workers’ Party and carrying out the Association’s own cultural activity.

She said the Association must see Itself as an integral part of Poland and active within the framework of the Party. Even when it comes to Jewish cultural activity, Mrs. Gutkowska asserted, it must be realized that the Party is all-important and its aims. and purposes valid for all citizens at all times. Maintaining such an attitude towards their cultural heritage is not expected to prove difficult for the small Polish Jewish community.

(Since 1961, when, according to the American Jewish Yearbook, there were about 32,000 Jews in Poland, the number of Jews has dwindled to under 9,000. In the two years between 1968 and 1970, emigration and deaths out the size of the community by more than 50 percent, from 21,000 to 9,000.) The few Jewish leaders left are loyal members of the Party and the active members of the Association also belong to the Party. The elderly and infirm, including those in old-age homes, are left alone to pray or read Yiddish writings of the past.

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