Poland Has Only 80,000 Jews, Dr. Sommerstein Reports at World Zionist Conference
Menu JTA Search

Poland Has Only 80,000 Jews, Dr. Sommerstein Reports at World Zionist Conference

Download PDF for this date

Led by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the World Zionist Conference today tendered on enthusiastic reception to a delegation of eight Zionist leaders from liberated Poland who arrived yesterday from Warsaw, headed by Dr. Emil Sommerstein Zionist veteran and chairman of the Central Jewish Committee in Lublin. This is the first Jewish delegation from Poland since the outbreak of the war.

The delegation brought a letter from Premier Osubka-Morawski of Poland assuring the Zionist Conference that all Jews wishing to emigrate from Poland to Palestine will be allowed to do so and that organizations engaged in facilitating Jewish emigration to Palestine will be permitted to function freely throughout Poland. The letter also offered assurances that the Warsaw Government will energetically combat anti-Semitism and insure equal rights for all citizens. Measures to finance Jewish rehabilitations in Poland were also promised and steps will be taken to facilitate Jewish relief from organizations abroad.

“The attitude of the Warsaw Government towards Zionism,” Dr. Sommerstein said addressing today’s session of the World Zionist Conference, “is best illustrated by the fact that I was granted a diplomatic passport to make the trip to London.” He emphasized that there are today no more than 80,000 Jews in Poland, that they are “economically ruined and psychologically torn, but that they are all faithful to the Jewish people of which they consider themselves an integral part.”

Many of these surviving Jews are eager for a Jewish State in Palestine, Dr. Sommerstein said. “The 5,000 Jewish children rescued from Nazi hands must find their way from Poland to Palestine,” he emphasized. He added that the reactionary elements in Poland, “having hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives on their conscience, want to destroy the remnants of Polish Jewry, but are being vigorously combatted by the government.”


Isaac Zukerman, one of the commanders of the anti-German resistance in the Warsaw ghetto, addressing the conference on behalf of the Zionist laborities in Poland reported that there are at present seventeen Zionist training centers and Kibutzim in Poland where surviving Jewish youths are being prepared for emigration to Palestine. They include one maritime training center near Danzig.

Other members of the delegation from Poland who addressed today’s cession of the conference included Abraham Berman, Chaiah Grossman, Mendel Kossover and David Meller-all active participants in partisan units which combatted the Germans during the occupation. Emphasizing that the surviving Jews in Poland have confidence in the future of Polish Jewry, the speakers joined in expressing the hope that Palestine would be opened for the immigration of those Jews from Poland who may wish to go there. They emphasized that it is expected that many thousands of Polish Jews will shortly return from the USSR to Poland.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund