The first official figures on the total number of Polish Jews surviving in liberated Poland and in various parts of Russia were issued here today by the Central Jewish Relief Committee in an appeal for urgent relief addressed to the Jews of America, England and Palestine.
The appeal, transmitted through the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, establishes that in the whole of liberated Poland there are today no more than 30,000 Jews including 10,000 who succeeded in escaping from Warsaw to the suburb of Praga now held by the Red Army. The number of Polish Jews now residing in the USSR is given as 250,000.
In Lublin, where only about 100 Jews were found when the city was liberated from the Germans, there are today 2,800 Jews officially registered with the local Jewish relief committee. In the city of Bialystok, where 914 Jews were found during the first days of its liberation, there are 1,300 Jews. In the town of Zamosc, there were only nine Jews at the moment of liberation, but now there are 400. In Krasno, 300 Jewish families re-appeared from their forest hiding places shortly after the town was freed from the Germans.
RE-EMIGRATION OF POLISH JEWS FROM RUSSIA TO POLAND IS EXPECTED
“The present Jewish population in liberated Poland, numbering 30,000, will soon be increased, however, firstly, through the re-emigration of Polish Jews from the Soviet Union to the Polish homeland, which has already begun; and secondly because of the Polish-Ukrainian, Polish-Byelorussian and Polish-Lithuanian agreement under which part of the Jews now living in Western Ukraine, Western Byelorussia and in the Vilno district, will move to Poland,” the statement says. “From this it follows that the Jewish population in the liberated area is destined to rise swiftly in the near future.
“The former dwellings of Jews in the liberated area are in most cases completely demolished,” the appeal says. “The Polish Committee of National Liberation has no possibility of meeting the dire needs of all those saved. The lives and health of the 30,000 victims of Nazi terror can be saved only by means of considerable help from abroad.”
Pointing out that the Polish Committee of National Liberation has contributed millions of zlotys to the Jewish Relief Committee in Lublin, the appeal states; “It is now the turn of the great organization in America, Great Britain, Canada and Palestine to respond with shipment of sorely needed winter clothing, shoes, vitamins and medical supplies to the aid of polish Jewry.
“Yet it would be a mistake to organize relief only for the Jews saved in the homeland,” the appeal continues. “The bulk of polish Jewry is now living in the Soviet Union. Over 250,000 Polish Jews live in various districts of the USSR from the Altais to Kiev, from Omsk to the Caucasus. They are receiving regular assistance from the Union of polish Patriots and other organizations. But it is more than apparent that in the present situation these efforts are not sufficient to meet all their needs. This is why immediate help from abroad is indispensable – help in food and clothing. Let American, British and Palestine Jews remember that at the moment it is the Jewish population in the Soviet Union that constitutes in the main the physically and morally most healthy part of polish Jewry,” the appeal concludes.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.