Page 3, 4th June 1937

4th June 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 4th June 1937 — POGROMS IN POLAND

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Locations: Vilna


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CAUSES OF ANTISEMITISM Disloyalty to Country

From Our Central European Correspondent There has been a certain amount of stir of late in the British Press with regard to the recent pogrom of Brest-Litowsk in Poland, where a terrible amount of damage was sustained by the Jewish community.

There are many towns, particularly in Eastern Poland, with an extraordinarily high percentage of Jews. Pinsk, for instance, in the marshes of Polesia, is said to be not less than eighty per cent. Jewish, while Vilna is about half Jewish and I3ialystok would probably have about fifty per cent. Jews among its population.

The tendency is for the Jews of Poland (and elsewhere) to conglomerate in the towns, but they also have a quasi-monopoly of trade in the country districts in some parts, and the peasants are often bitter about the Jew's ability to drive a very hard bargain and usually conduct his business on lines that the simple and frequently illiterate peasant finds impossible to understand.

Where Responsibility Lies

It must not be imagined that the Polish Government encourages antisetnitic outbursts. The reverse is the case.

Antisemitic outbursts are nearly always popular in character, and the main antisemitic drive comes from the Endek (Fascist) group. which is anti-Government.

On the other hand, it may also be admitted that in some few cases no great enthusiasm is shown by certain officials to protect the Jews, and here it cannot be denied that a certain section of the Jews themselves are to blame.

Pro-Russian and Jewish It is an indisputable fact that many (by no means all. of course, or even the majority) Jews have not been thoroughly loyal to Poland. Particularly in Eastern Poland, pro-Russian and pro-Soviet feeling is only too common (this is very noticeable in Vilna), and it is a sad fact that the illegal Communist Party draws far too large a proportion of its adherents from the Jews. Tnia, coupled with a certain tactlessness in the face of the rising wave of antisemitism, has made the situation far more difficult for Jews than need have been the case.

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