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Czech Newspaper Publishes Appeal to Poles to End ‘shameful Anti-semitism’

May 6, 1968
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A Czechoslovakian trade union newspaper has published an appeal by three Czech writers urging Polish leaders “to put an end to the shameful anti-Semitism threatening to stain the common fight of the Poles and the Jews against Hitler’s fascism,” it was reported here today from Prague. The appeal, by Pavel Kohout, Jan Prochazka and Arnost Lustig, was carried by “Prace.” The three said that the “liberation” in Poland in 1956 influenced the current liberalization in Czechoslovakia. The three writers asked the Gomulka regime not to confuse student unrest, the “natural criticism of the younger generation, with hostile subversion and not to drive Polish citizens by harsh sanctions to positions that are inherently alien to them.”

Dispatches from Warsaw today reported that the dismissal of the art, literary and production directors of eight film units was recommended at a recent Communist Party meeting at Film Polski, the state film monopoly. A majority of those affected by the recommendation, which is tantamount to an order, are Jews, as are a majority of the Poles ousted from Party Jobs in the last two months.

The Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported earlier the dismissal from the Communist Party of Aleksander Ford, a 60-year-old Jewish director who was often called “the father of Polish cinema.” Ford was criticized for his contacts with Arthur Brauner, a Polish-born film producer in West Germany who was described by PAP as an ardent Zionist. According to informed sources, another Jew and longtime film maker, Jerzy Bossak, has been dismissed as head of the State Documentary Film Studio in Warsaw.

Reports reaching here from Moscow quoted the newspaper, Pravda Ukrainy’s announcement that an important group of Soviet writers had condemned Zionism as an anti-Soviet manifestation. A resolution adopted by the Kiev board of the Ukraine Writers Union said, “equally abhorant to us are the manifestations of bourgeois nationalism, great power chauvanism and Zionism,” the paper said.

Another dispatch from Warsaw today reported the firing of a Jewish electrician from a power plant for holding “Zionist” views. The victim was Szymon Szymoniwcz who was accused of having become an “aggressive Zionist” after returning from a visit to his son in Israel, according to the newspaper, Gazeta Robotnicaz of Wroclaw. Szymoniwcz was accused of having brought home a map showing Israel’s new borders and of having depicted Israel’s “brutal aggression” of last June as a “defensive operation.”

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