World Jewish Congress president Edgar Bronfman arrived in Warsaw today for a two-day stay during which he will confer with Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski, meet local Jewish community leaders and attend a performance of the Warsaw Yiddish Theater now celebrating its 35th anniversary. Bronfman arrived in Warsaw from Moscow. No details were immediately available on his stay in the Soviet Union.
The Jewish leader was welcomed at Warsaw Airport by the Polish Minister for Religious Affairs, Adam Lopatki, who, because of the role of the Catholic Church in Poland, is considered one of the three most prominent ministers in the Polish government.
Jaruzelski’s special adviser, Maj. Wieslaw Gornicki, said that Poland is “warmly welcoming” the eight-man Jewish delegation led by Bronfman. He said the main subjects to be discussed will deal with the protection of Jewish monuments, the preservation of Jewish culture, and the upkeep of Jewish cemeteries and museums.
Over three-and-a-half million Jews lived in Poland before the war and the vestiges of their civilization are considered a major chapter in the world Jewish cultural heritage. There are less than 20,000 Jews left in Poland today, most of them living in Warsaw.
According to foreign correspondents in Warsaw contacted by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by telephone, Bronfman told reporters at Warsaw Airport upon arrival, “I have come to Warsaw to discuss strictly Polish Jewish problems.” He denied rumors that he plans to discuss Soviet-Israeli relations or emigration plans for Soviet Jews.
The World Jewish Congress president met Jaruzelski in September in New York where the Polish President attended the UN General Assembly. He also visited Moscow earlier this year carrying, according to certain unconfirmed reports, a message from Israeli Premier Shimon Peres to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
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.