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Poland Plans to Condemn 'Anti-Zionist' Purges

February 07, 1988|Associated Press

WARSAW — The Communist leadership is preparing to condemn the "anti-Zionist" purges of 1968, when thousands of Jews lost their party or government jobs and most of Poland's remaining Jews fled, an official source said Saturday.

A document "is in the final stage of preparation" before the 20th anniversary of March, 1968, student protests against censorship, which authorities at the time blamed on "Zionist traitors," the source said.

Poland also has invited several thousand Jews from Israel, the United States and other countries to attend ceremonies in April marking the 45th anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Jewish Ghetto uprising against the Nazis.

The source, who is close to the Polish leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, said the declaration could be ready within "a few days, or two weeks at the utmost."

"It is more or less a general review of . . . what we call the March (1968) events," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In Jerusalem, Jozef Gierowski, a history professor and member of an advisory consultative council to Jaruzelski, told a conference on Polish Jewry on Thursday that an official declaration will be issued this week admitting "political mistakes" were made in 1967-68, according to Israeli press reports.

Gierowski also said the declaration "will contain a condemnation of all forms of anti-Semitism and discrimination that contradict the tradition of Polish tolerance and conflict with Marxist ideology," the report said.

The source confirmed that Gierowski's remarks "more or less accurately reflect" the document's contents.

But he said it would probably be an "intra-party" document rather than an official government declaration as reported in the Israeli press.

The anti-Jewish campaign was ignited after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War when some Polish officials and army officers of Jewish origin were accused of celebrating the Israeli victory over the Soviet-backed Arab armies.

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