Polish Government Plans “wide Amnesty” for Convicted Jewish Soldiers
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Polish Government Plans “wide Amnesty” for Convicted Jewish Soldiers

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The Polish Government is planning to grant a “wide amnesty” to Jewish soldiers who have been convicted by a Polish court-martial of leaving their units without leave, because of the anti-Semitism prevalent there, in order of seek admittance into the British Army, it was reported here today.

A Polish spokesman said that an official statement would be issued tomorrow. He indicated that the statement will be “very conciliatory,” but added that the amnesty will not cover all the convicted Jews.

Meanwhile, the question of anti-Semitism in the Polish Army was raised in the house of Commons again today by Tom Driberg, Independent, who suggested that the British Government ask the Polish authorities to hold future court-martials in public in accordance with Polish law. Foreign Secretary Eden rejected the suggestion.

In the course of his speech, Driberg revealed the interesting fact that among Jewish soldiers who are still to be tried by Polish court-martials for leaving the Polish Army because of anti-Semitism, is one who has been living in England for years and speaks only English. Since this soldier does not understand Polish, Driberg urged that the British Government intercede to have his trial conducted in English.

Although Driberg did not mention the name of the Jewish soldier involved, it was reported in the London press yesterday that he is Herbert Hear, a Polish Jew who has been living in England for eleven years. Although he speaks no Polish, he enlisted in the Polish forces and was later among the Jewish soldiers who came to London to seek transfer from the Polish Army to the British because of the anti-Jewish atmosphere in the Polish unit in which he served. He was not present when the other Jewish soldiers were arrested as “deserters” in London, but the British civil police arrested him yesterday and handed him over to the Polish military authorities.


Polish soldiers from the United States and Canada serving with the Polish Army in Britain, held a conference at Edinburgh during the week-end and adopted a resolution condemning the Jewish soldiers who are asking for a transfer from the Polish forces.

Gen. Gluchowski, commander of the Polish troops in Britain, was one of the principal speakers at the conference, it was learned here today. The gathering was presided over by an American-polish war veteran named Dolnicki, who fought for Poland in the last World War. The resolution adopted states that “if there have been any incidents against Jews in the Polish Army, they are not the result of racial and religious differences.”

The British Council for Civil Liberties, which is demanding the transfer of the Jews. today published a survey on the treatment of Jews in Poland before and during the war. The survey mentions the attacks on Jewish students in Polish universities, the introduction of “ghetto benches” there, the boycott of Jewish shops, the compulsory recruitment in France of Polish Jews who had at the same time, been deprived of Polish nationality, and the anti-Semitic incidents during the evacuation of the Polish Army from Russia.

The civil Liberties group reveals in its survey that after the defeat of the German Army in Africa, Poles from Marshall Rommel’s units who were taken prisoner by the British and transferred to Polish military units in England, were heard singing the Nazi Horst Wessel song which urges the killing of Jews. They also circulated anti-Jewish picture-cards which resembled reprints from the notorious anti-Semetic Nazi publication “Der Stuermer.”

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