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Between the Lines

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The Polish government, young as it is, has a fine tradition with regard to the Jews of Poland: whenever she needs them, she utilizes them. Once she has utilized them, she sends them packing.

This tradition is again illustrated now when the Polish government has ordered the forced liquidation of the Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee established by the Jews of Poland. Having instigated Jewish leaders in Poland to establish this committee in the early days of the Nazi regime, the government of Poland now practically declares the existence of this Committee illegal.


One who knows the history of the Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee in Poland also knows that the Polish government was not only instrumental in establishing this Committee, but that it actually utilized it for all kinds of anti-German propaganda abroad. Leaders of this Committee were sent to international Jewish gatherings in Amsterdam, in Geneva and in other centers, with the distinct mission to pour as much oil as possible on the anti-German feelings of world Jewry. These leaders were made to feel by the Polish government that they were performing an important mission in the interests of the Polish Republic by their campaign against Nazi Germany.

All this was, of course, in the days when Poland feared Nazi ambitions for Danzig and Upper Silesia. Utilizing the Jews as the vanguard in its hostility against Germany, the Polish government favored the Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee as an instrument to oust Germany from the Polish market and considered the work of this Committee as highly patriotic.


The number of Jewish firms and business agents who had represented German enterprises in Poland for generations and who were ruined by their desire to display their patriotism for Poland, is estimated at many thousands. They all severed their commercial relations with Germany, not so much because of the Jewish boycott, as because of their anxiety to satisfy the wish of the Polish government. Did the Polish government compensate them in any way for their patriotic action? Did it provide them with other concessions to make up their losses?


The Polish government calmly observed how thousands of Jews were being ruined by the boycott, but it continued to stimulate it. The boycott was necessary to Polish diplomacy, and the Jews were their best tool.

Then the flirtation between Nazi Germany and the Polish government started; Goebbels paid a visit to Poland; a goodwill mission of Nazi journalists proceeded to Warsaw; a ten-year non-aggression pact was signed; Poland became certain of its position in Danzig and Upper Silesia for at least another ten years, and there was no longer any need for anti-Nazi propaganda — no longer need for raking fire with Jewish hands.


The stern devotion of the Polish government toward the Jewish Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee in Poland then suddenly began to cool off. The Jewish press was suddenly given to understand that Hitler is now a Polish ally, and should not be criticized. The Boycott Committee gradually came into disfavor. The purpose was achieved. The Jews have done their job, now they can go. Their services are no longer required.

Perhaps the ardent Jewish patriots of Poland will learn something from this forced liquidation of the Anti-Nazi Boycott Committee. It should serve as a lesson to them in future not to give away something for nothing, and not to be taken in by meaningless and false smiles of Polish officials.

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