WASHINGTON (Sep. 20)
Jews and Poles were urged to “lay aside” their “mutual antagonism” in a call for amity by six prominent members of both groups here.
A statement, noting that Jews and Poles face similar concerns in today’s world, was signed by Simon Wiesenthal, head of the war crimes documentation center in Vienrta, Joseph Lichten of the Anti-Defanation League of B’nai B’rith, and Michael Borwicz, an author and historian.
The Polish signatories were Prof. Jan Karski of Georgetown University, Jerzy Lerski, professor emeritus at San Francisco University, and Jan Nowak, director of the Polish-American Congress, Wiesenthal and Borwicz are Holocaust survivors.
The statement, released on the 44th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, acknowledged that the “mutual antagonism” arose from Jewish bitterness over anti-Semitism in Poland in this century. It noted, however, the sacrifices by non-Jewish Poles to rescue Jews during World War II and other reasons why Poles believe the depth of anti-Semitism has been exaggerated.
USE DIALOGUE TO UNITE JEWS AND POLES
“Mutual recrimination serves no useful purpose,” the statement said. “Men of good will are trying to create a real dialogue and mutual understanding. Let us use this dialogue to find what unites” Jews and Poles. In that connection, the statement referred to the dangers shared by Poland and Israel,
“Poland’s geographical position makes it particularly vulnerable to the current Soviet menace Sand Israel is surrounded by a sea of hostile Arab countries,” the statement said. It suggested that “rapprochement” between Jews and Poles would be advanced if Poles “at home and abroad” Forcefully supported Israel and if all Jews would support the right of “people of all nationalities and religions”–not just Soviet Jews — to emigrate from the Soviet Union.