New York (Mar. 10)
– The World Jewish Congress has called on “the highest leadership” in the Polish government for “vigorous and unequivocal condemnation” of ulta-nationalists in Poland who are fanning anti-Semitism apparently for political ends.
A telegram urging “stern measures” against the group was sent yesterday to the Polish Ambassador in Washington, Romuald Spasowski, by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, chairman of the WJC American Section, who asked that the message be conveyed to Polish Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski and First Secretary Stanislaw Kania of the Polish Communist Party.
The message referred to a rally held in Warsaw last Sunday at which speakers denounced Jews as a “Zionist clique”, charged that Jews in the Politburo during the Stalin ear were responsible for the “blood bath” of Polish patriots, and that the “second generation of Zionists” were attempting to seize power in Poland through the independent labor movement, Solidarity.
The rally was preceded by the appearance of leaflets and posters in Warsaw several days earlier calling on Poles to rise up against” Jewish chauvinists” attempting to “usurp power” through the union.
The anti-Semitic campaign was strongly denounced over the weekend by leaders of Solidarity in Warsaw. Solidarity sponsored a much larger rally at Warsaw University Sunday to mark the anniversary of the suppression of student demonstrations in 1968. It was attended by about 3000 students,
professors and trade unionists who heard speakers denounce prejudice and the anti-Semitic purges in the Polish Communist Party in 1968.
The nationalist rally, which took place outside the former Ministry of Public Security building drew about 600 persons, described in press accounts from Warsaw as mostly elderly and aged veterans of the anti-Communist Home Army.
Schneier’s message stated: “On behalf of the World Jewish Congress American Section, I wish to express our grave concern at the fanning of anti-Semitism and specifically the recent outdoor anti-Semitic rally in Warsaw. We urgently request from the highest leadership of your government vigorous and unequivocal condemnation and stern measures against those who use the cannard of anti-Semitism to serve their own purposes. We urge you to learn from history that such events do not serve the best interests of your country.”
Observers in Warsaw attributed the anti-Semitic campaign to a small but well organized rightist group that includes several well known Polish film-makers, journalists and possibly Communist Party officials in the background who espouse Polish nationalism and resort to anti-Semitism as a means of arousing public support.
WARNINGS AGAINST ZIONISTS
One speaker at the rightist rally, who identified himself as “Capt. Stachurski” of the former Home Army, denounced Jews who were members of the Politburo in the 1950s. “They were people for whom Poland was only a temporary homeland,” he said according to press reports of the rally.
“Those Jewish nationalists made a bloodbath; thousands of the best Poles lost their lives during those times. Let us block the way to power to the next generation of Zionists. Let us see the clean socialist shape of Poland, “he said according to the reports.
Another speaker, Kazimierz Studentowicz, identified as an activist in the pre-war Polish Labor Party, extolled “Polish workers who will care only for Polish interests” and warned that “The monster has disappeared, but its tentacles remain,” an obvious reference to the 5000 Jews who remain in Poland out of a Jewish community of several million before World War II.
Speakers at the Solidarity rally recalled events of 13 years ago when, after a period of liberalization, the Polish government and Communist Party began a purge of Jewish officials regardless of their strong Communist credentials, and other dissidents. Those events were termed a “defeat for the whole society” and speakers vowed that they would not be repeated.
UNION DENOUNCES ANTI-SEMITISM
Earlier, leaders of Solidarity indicated that they were aware of the growing anti-Semitic campaign by rightists which, they charged, was “an effort to raise public tensions” and possibly provoke disorder. Janusz Onyskiewicz, a spokesman for the Warsaw union, addressed a news conference Saturday called to denounce the appearance of numerous leaflets and posters in Warsaw uring Poles to rise up against “Trotskyist-Zionist chauvinists.” The leaflets were either unsigned or signed by a hitherto unknown organization calling itself “Generation Always Faithful to Their Homeland.”
The Warsaw union issued a general appeal for people to “stand against this attempt at anti-Semitic action.” According to press reports, the union termed the campaign “untrue, repulsive and reminiscent of Nazi and czarist propaganda.”