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Polish Foreign Minister Lauds Jews’ Contribution to World’s Civilization

October 20, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The admission of Polish Jews to full cooperation in the economic and cultural development of Poland will bring the best results for the country, August Zaleski, Polish Foreign Minister in the Pilsudski cabinate, stated in an interview with Jacob Landau, managing director of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“I follow with friendly interest the achievements of the Zionist movement,” the minister stated. “The development of the activity of the Zionist Organization in Poland encounters no difficulties. A decree instructing the administration authorities to regard the Zionist Organization in Poland as a political party which does not require special legalization but needs only a registration for special activities outside of the political limits was issued,” the minister said.

Asked what is the attitude of the present government toward the demand for Jewish autonomy in the country, the Foreign Minister replied that as an adherent of the cultural development of all sections of the citizenry irrespective of nationality, he recognizes the desirability of all efforts in that direction within the limits of the existing laws. “The Polish constitution goes further than the international minority treaties,” he stated. “The constitution secures to all citizens the preservation of their nationality and the development of their language and their national characteristics. The constitution provides for the creation of autonomous minority federations with public rights. I regard with sympathy the Jewish efforts to obtain an organized form of cultural autonomy,” he declared.

Asked for his opinion as to the cultural and economic contributions of the Jews in Poland, the Foreign Minister praised the contribution of the Jews to the world’s civilization. “The family of mankind consists of various peoples and it developes in accordance with the pace of the development of all its members. Each civilized nation contributes much. The Jews are not a closed organism but are scattered in all countries. They frequently fuse, culturally and economically with the peoples among whom they are dwelling and they occupy an honorable position in human endeavor. They have contributed famous philosophers; artists and heroes. The work of the Jews can be a valuable element in the economic and cultural development of the country. Consequently, the mutual cooperation between Jews and non-Jews in Poland will bring best results,” he stated.

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