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Polish Government Permits Formation of Jewish Self-defense Units; Provides Arms

August 28, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Polish Government today granted permission to Jewish communities throughout the country to organize their own self-defense units for the purpose of resisting anti-Semitic terrorism which is keeping the Jewish population in a state of constant panic.

Jewish self-defense units will be provided with arms in accordance with an understanding reached between Jewish leaders and Polish Premier Eduard Osubka-Morawski. Public Security Minister Stanislaw Radkiewicz suggested that the self-defense units work under the supervision of local police authorities, but the Jewish leaders pointed out that it was the local police officers who, under the pretext of “cooperation,” took seventy guns from the Jews in Kielce when they were besieged by terrorists, and that these very same officers later participated in the pogrom.

The defense units will be organized by each of the local Jewish committees affiliated with the Central Jewish Committee in Warsaw. They will consist of Jewish officers and soldiers who served in the ranks of the Polish Army and Jews who fought as partisans, and will function under the central direction of the Warsaw Committee. The Polish Government will start supplying arms to these units this week.

One of the functions of the Jewish military units will be to transfer Jews from towns where they are exposed to danger to neighboring cities with larger Jewish communities. The transfer will be carried out under armed protection to assure that no attacks will be made on the Jews while en route.

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