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American-jewish Press Demands Annulment of Sentences

April 26, 1944
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The entire Jewish press in the United States carries editorials today condemning the sentences imposed by the Polish court-martial in Great Britain on a group of about thirty Jewish soldiers who left the Polish Army because of anti-Semitism and came to London to join the British forces.

Demanding that the sentences which range from one to three years imprisonment be annuled and that Polish officers guilty of anti-Semitism be tried instead, the Jewish Daily Forward says that the anti-Semitism in the Polish Army, which reached a point where Polish Jews who are anxious to fight against the Nazis are forced to seek a transfer from the Polish armed forces, shows that “the Poles have learned nothing and have forgotten nothing.”

“The Polish Government-in-Exile,” the article says, “makes a serious mistake by thinking that the wild anti-Semitism in its army can be covered up and smoothed over.” The editorial advises the Polish Government “to root out anti-Semitic feedings from the army, if Poland really wishes to secure the sympathy of the democratic world.’

The Jewish Day, in an editorial says that the verdict of the Polish court-martial is “shameful” and must not be allowed to stand. It emphasizes that the Jewish soldiers were not “deserters” as the Polish authorities claim, but were ready to join the British forces to be sent immediately to the front. “The Polish Army and the Polish Government-in-Exile must get rid once and for all of the remnants of anti-Semitism,” the editorial says. “Those who speak in behalf of Nazi-tortured Poland must themselves not be stained with shameful Nazi activities.”

The Jewish Morning Journal points out that anti-Semitism in the Polish Army is no new development. It has existed in all Polish military units wherever they were stationed, including Iran and even Palestine. “In England, anti-Semitism in the Polish armed forces has, however, reached a climax,” it continues. “Jewish soldiers, unable to bear any longer the anti-Semitic poison, have begun to leave Polish units and seek a transfer to the British. They did not desert. They did not want to give up their fight against the common enemy. They simply wanted to fight in the ranks of more friendly people.” The paper concludes by stating that “anti-Semitism would never have had any opportunity to spread in the Polish Army, had it not been encouraged by high commanding officers.”

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