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Resurgence of Polish Anti-semitism Sparks Concern in Jewish Community

Poland’s tiny Jewish community is deeply concerned with resurgent anti-Semitism, even as momentous political change is taking place, an expert on Eastern Europe reported here this week.

Dr. Lukasz Hirszowicz, of the London-based Institute for Jewish Affairs, said the democratic changes in Poland have had no effect on rightwing groups, which are “heirs to the anti-Jewish tradition of Polish politics.”

What worries Polish Jewry, according to Hirszowicz, is not the anti-Semitism alone, but that it has been met by silence from the Polish Communist Party and its affiliates.

Anti-Semitic propaganda is being disseminated in complete freedom all over the country, without a word of criticism from the Communists, he said.

Hirszowicz cited what he called the “unusually strong language for a Polish Jewish newspaper” in recent editions of Folks-sztyme, Poland’s Jewish weekly.

Its Oct. 20 edition stated, “This year’s High Holidays in Warsaw passed with Jews in a depressed mood, due to rising anti-Semitic incitement throughout the country — a result of the Jew-hating oration of Poland’s Cardinal Glemp.

“Everywhere, in shopping lines, on trams and buses, and at tenants’ meetings, anti-Jewish slander accusing the Jews of guilt for all Poland’s calamities is being spread,” Folks-sztyme reported.

According to Hirszowicz, the one positive note is that leading Solidarity figures protested against Glemp’s homily.

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