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Dr. Emil Sommerstein, Longtime Leader of Polish Jewry, Dead

May 27, 1957
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Emil Sommerstein, longtime leader of Polish Jewry, member of the first postwar Polish Government and an active Zionist, died here yesterday. The funeral was held today. He was 74.

Dr. Sommerstein, who was active in Jewish political, educational and business circles, was president of a club composed of the Jewish deputies in the prewar Polish Parliament, defending Jewish interests in Poland. During the war he was imprisoned by the Soviet authorities, but released afterwards and became a member of the first post-war Polish Cabinet, when a number of non-Communists served together with Socialists and Communists.

During this period, Dr. Sommerstein arranged for the repatriation to Poland of some 140, 000 Jews who had fled to the USSR to escape the Nazis. Most of them went on to Israel, with Dr. Sommerstein’s assistance. He came to the U.S. in 1946.

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