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World Jewish Congress Surprised by “assumptions” of Jews in Poland

December 3, 1957
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A.L. Easterman, political director of the World Jewish Congress, denied today that the WJC had come to any agreement with representatives of the Jewish community of Poland on a series of demands put forward by the Polish Jews as the price of affiliation with the Congress.

Mr. Easterman expressed “surprise” at a number of “assumptions” contained in a statement of the Cultural and Social Association of Polish Jews issued as a summation of negotiations between Mr. Easterman and Prof. Arich Tartakower of the WJC staff and the Association. He insisted that there was no foundation for an interpretation that the Congress representatives had either accepted or acquiesced in the demands of the Association.

The WJC aide noted that during the negotiations which took place in May, it was made clear to the leadership of the Polish Jewish group that “as affiliation to the Congress was open to all Jewish communities on terms of complete equality, it was impossible and undesirable to make special arrangements with any one community or attach special conditions to its cooperation with the Congress.”

Mr. Easterman’s statement concluded with the hope that the “spirit manifested throughout our many conferences in Poland will enable us on both sides to achieve the mutual understanding we all profoundly seek.”


At a meeting of the central council of the Cultural and Social Association of Polish Jews held in Warsaw early in November, the “assumptions” on which the Polish group would affiliate–which was requested in the form of a written document–were voiced by Hersh Smoliar, chairman of the Association. He asked:

1. Both sides “eliminate in their cooperation all ideological and political aspects which divide them and unite on the basic principles which provide a possibility for cooperation. All decisions dealing with fundamental problems will be passed with the unanimous approval of all ideological and political forces represented in the Congress, excluding in advance any attempts at majority ‘dictat.’

2. The WJC will call on all organizations affiliated with it, “irrespective of their ideological and political views, to participate actively in the struggle for peace and peaceful cooperation among nations, to oppose any kind of war of aggression wherever it may come to light” and to cooperate with non-Jewish groups which conduct similar struggles for peace. The Congress will also “express itself in favor” of an immediate halt to hydrogen and atomic weapons tests.

3. The WJC “will oppose the re-creation of the Wehrmacht and the revival of Hitlerite forces in Germany headed by Hitlerite war criminals and murderers of the Jewish people.”


4. “The WJC will conduct the most intensive campaign against anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination against the Jewish population” and will ask all its affiliate groups to cooperate with non-Jewish organizations which “conduct the same struggle. “

5. The World Jewish Congress will “appeal to the people of Israel, to the Government of Israel and to all communal and political organizations not to let themselves be involved in any war intrigues of any colonial Great Power and to declare the strict neutrality of Israel towards the existing and any possible conflicts in the Middle East.”

6. The Congress will work “most effectively for the benefit of Jewish culture, contributing to mutual exchanges of experience among the different Jewish populations.”

7. The Congress will call on all its sections to extend their activities and “accept all the existing Jewish organizations which wish to join it, and in this way provide a basis for rebuilding the work of the WJC on a democratic basis.”

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