The Jewish Problem in Poland

Confidential July 1938 memorandum - circulated in US official govt circles - on the position of this doomed minority

The following is the text of a confidential memorandum by Raymond L Buell, President of the Foreign Policy Association, sent to United States Assistant Secretary of State, George Messersmith, on 8 July 1938. Messersmith subsequently passed it on to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull, on the 13 July 1938.

Confidential Memorandum on the Jewish Problem in Poland - 8 July 1938


1. Poland, one of the most impoverished and over-popu­lated countries in Europe, is endeavouring to solve its economic problem by reducing the Jewish influence in commerce, industry and the professions.

2. The Jews of Poland probably will have to reconcile themselves to a more subordinate economic role in the future; but world opinion should endeavour to create conditions that will give an opportunity to the Jews displaced by present developments to be absorbed elsewhere, and so that political pressures against the Jew, such as the boycott and administrative discrimination, be abandoned.

3. No change of government is likely to improve the Jewish situation; indeed the reaction against a peasant-socialist government might eventually make the position of the Jew worse.

4. Agrarian reform, now taking place, will not help the Jew materially; there is not enough land to take care of the surplus, peasant population; and agrarian reform may even lead to decreased agricultural production to the disadvantage of the population.

- Industrialization is the only fundamental solution of the economic problem. This is being held back by questionable internal policies, and by the general international situation. Industrialisation which increases the power of the Jewish entrepreneur may eventually increase anti-semitism.

6. No internal colonisation plan, building up autonomous Jewish communities within Poland, or any other large plan for Jewish reconstruction, is now likely to succeed. Any plan for raising the standard of life of the Jewish mass above that of the Pole proper will probably increase anti-semitism, particularly if this plan is financed by foreign capital.


A. Loans to develop individual Jewish industries, upon a conservative and inconspicuous basis, employing Poles and Jewish workers. But even such a limited plan might encounter political opposition until after a more general industrialization and migration plan is underway.

B. Schools for training Jewish artisans and agricultur­alists, subject to the above reservations.

C. An economic institute, to study opportunities for migration, employment and industries, and to make recommendations relative to better standards of production.

D. Some assisted form of migration. Despite its economic limitations the international encouragement of assisted migration from Poland, of Jews and Poles alike, is important for psychological reasons. Such migration should serve as a temporary stop-gap, and reduce existing anti-Jewish tension, until industrialization gets under way.

J. The organization of a central Jewish authority in Poland, to make representations to the government and to correct Jewish malpractices.

F. The Evian conference should establish an international committee which, while devoting immediate attention to German refugee should have the responsibility of studying the Polis problem. If the conference falls to act in this sense, anti-semitism in Poland will probably increase.

G. Definite Settlement of the future status of Palestine, which is now interfering with any future plans for Polish migration.

H. A debt agreement between the United States and Poland, under which in return for a cancelled debt, Poland would establish a migratlon and industrialization fund to the same amount.

I. A declaration by foreign philanthropic organizations expressing a desire to assist with the efforts of Poland to solve its over-population problem by means which do not sacrifice the Jew.

J. Strong support for any movement in favor of world economic recovery and political appeasement.




July 1, 1938


A. Increasing anti-Semitism.

Although for the moment the anti-Semitic tension has diminished in Poland, Rumania and Hungary, anti-Semitism has increased in France and Belgium; systematic brutality is being applied to the Jew in Germany; and it is not difficult to believe that new measures will be directed against the Jew in Central Europe during the next few years if the world economic situation deteri­orates and Germany increases its political influence. While the problem concerns many nations, this memorandum will be limited to the situation in Poland which has the largest Jewish population in Europe. Having so far refrained from enacting openly anti-Jewish measures, Poland may yet decide the fate of the Jew in Central Europe.

B. The Jewish question in relation to the Polish economy and culture.

If one is to understand the Polish attitude toward the Jew, three main considerations must be borne in mind:

1. While probably a third of the 3 1/2 million Jews are living on the verge of starvation, from 5 to 8 million peasants are as badly off. This is because Poland is endeavouring to support one of the densest and most rapidly increasing populations in Europe upon an agricultural economy.

2. Although the Jews comprise only 10% of the population, they constitute half of the commercial enterprises, 47% of the artisans, nearly 50% of the lawyers and a large percentage of the doctors. More than half the textile industry in Lodz is Jewish; and some estimate that at least half the real property of Warsaw and other cities is in similar hands.

The Jew in Central Europe first acquired his preponderant position in economic life during the feudal period when these countries did not have a Christian middle class. Today however a social revolution is taking place in Poland and elsewhere, accentuated by a shortage of land, as a result of which the old feudal state is giving way to bourgeois capitalism, and a certain degree of social democracy. A new middle class is coming into existence which now competes with the Jew.

In many ways, this new class is being extended government assistance.


3. To a far greater extent than in Hungary or Rumania, the Polish Jew is unassimilated, being dominated by rabbinism and swayed by Tsadikas, or wunderrabis. The American visitor to a village, where he witnesses the orthodox Jew wearing his cap, black boots, long double-breasted coat, curls and beard, mingling with the Pole proper, wonders why more inter-racial conflicts have not occurred. The Pole charges that the Jewish middlemen miserably exploit the peasant; that Jewish industrialists are the most flagrant exploiters of labor; and that a disproportionate amount of vice is due to Jewish offenders.

No doubt many of these charges are false or exaggerated; but when even a small minority is gullty, the Jews as a whole become the object of attack, particularly during a period of great economic strain. This danger may be increased when the Jews as a whole constitute an unassimilated mass, having a culture of their own. The existence of this class may be utilized by the government as a weapon against the assimilated Jew.

Despite the guarantees of the minorities treaty of 1919 and the constitution of 1935 , the position of the Jew depends fundamentally upon the good-will of the Polish majority which constitute the largest consumers of Jewish goods and services and, what is even more important, have a monopoly of political power. Today, dominated by an accentuated form of nationalism, influenced by the racial ideas of the new Germany, and believing they can improve their own economic status by injuring the Jew, dominant circles of Polish opinion favor what is called the Polonization of commerce, industry and the professions. By this they mean the reduction of Jewish participation in these activities.

Not content to entrust the process of Polonization to the forces of social evolution, these circles, resorting to methods applied before the world war, favor, (1) the economic boycott, (2) administrative discrimination against the Jew, (3) the organized encouragement of Christian competition with Jews, particularly in trade, (4) the migration of the Jew to other countries.

While opinions may differ as to their intensiveness, the first three of these measures are being applied in Poland at the present time, with the at least tacit support of the government. So far, the government has refrained from the enactment of anti-semitic legislation, as has been done in Hungary and Germany.

It is probably true that as a result of the social evolution above mentioned the Jew in Central Europe must reconcile himself to a more subordinate economic role in the future. But it does not necessarily follow that such an evolution will eliminate the Jew from all economic life or be accompanied by the brutalities now applied in Germany. Given a condition of increasing production and purchasing power, the growth of a Christian middle class and the rise of cooperatives in Poland may diminish the proportion of Jewish economic control, without injuring the existing Jewish opportunities or standard of living.

Merely to exclude the Jews from the medical profession under a frozen economy would create a few more jobs for Polis doctors; but they would probably charge more for their services than the Jew; and the country, which is sorely in need of more doctors, would be worse off than before. But under a dynamic economy which is constantly increasing purchasing power, the proportion of Polish to Jewish doctors might increase, without curtailing existing opportunities for Jewish physicians.

World opinion cannot expect to see the present Jewish predominance in Central Europe frozen for all time. But it is on sound ground in asking that political pressures aimed at hastening this evolution, such as the economic boycott and other repressive measures, be dropped, and that conditions be created which will give an opportunity for the Jews displaced by these economic developments to be absorbed elsewhere.

Whether the Jew of Central Europe will be given this type of opportunity, will depend upon whether the western countries take an intelligent interest in Poland’s economic problem. If they remain in­ different to Polandis legitimate needs, and if international tensions grow worse, it is entirely possible that anti-Semitism in Poland will become more serious. Already there is agitation for numerus clausus legislation and for the Nuremburg laws. Which way Poland goes depends largely upon international developments.

C. Would a change in government diminish anti-Semitism?

Poland today is governed by a comparatively mild dictatorship. Lack­ing any outstanding personality, the government does not wish to lose further popular support by actively resisting the anti-Semitic move­ment. Indeed it may seize upon this weapon as a means of strengthen­ing its position.

At the same time a change of government to the Left is not likely, nor would it necessarily improve the Jewish situation. In the first place it is unlikely that such a change, represented by a peasant­ socialist coalition, will take place. If a free election were held to­ morrow the government undoubtedly would be defeated; but although the peasant party would probably receive the largest vote, it probably would not receive a majority; and Poland would then have to enter a period of uncertainty attendant upon the formation of a coalition government. The government argues that unrestrained democracy is a luxury dangerous to a country located between Russia and Germany.

Fearing to become another Spain, it does not intend to risk an electoral campaign which may provoke foreign intervention. Instead, it hopes to induce the peasant party to enter the present government. It will be difficult for the government and the peasants to come to terms; but even if they do not, disorder is not likely to take place because of the patriotism of the opposition and the strength of the army.

The fear of foreign intervention at the first sign of political instability in Poland, thus strengthens the hand of the present dictatorship and makes any sweeping political change, either revo­lutionary or legal, unlikely in the predictable future.

Even if a free election were held, the nationalists undoubtedly would seize upon anti-Semitism as their chief battle cry, which would in­ jure the position of the Jew. And it is doubtful whether the new coalition which would be inevitable after such an election would be any less anti­ Semitic than the present government.

Outstanding peasant leaders are opposed to a coalition with the socialists (who are opposing anti­ Semitism), because of differences over economic policy. Peasant leaders privately told me that as a matter of tactics they opposed the anti­ Semitic campaign of the nationalists, but they could not ignore the importance of Polonizing industry and relieving the peasant from exploita­tion by the Jewish traders.

Even if a peasant-socialist coalition, taking a strong stand against anti-Semitism should come into existence, it would probably make little more headway toward solving fundamental economic problems, owing to inexperience and lack of unity than the Popular Front governments in France or Spain and Hitler undoubtedly would seize upon the breakdown of such a government as a pretext of intervention.

As a result of these considerations, my conclusion is that no one can count upon an improvement in the Jewish situation in Poland merely as a result of a change in government. On the other hand, the possibility of a swing to the right, should not be excluded. For the moment this seems unlikely, because of the strong stand taken by the peasants in favor of democracy, and the widespread distrust of Germany.

Moreover, the Primate of Poland has publicly declared against totalitarianism. While in the army the Pilsudski tradition, which was never anti-Semitic, remains strong. The Beck foreign policy certainly has some pro-German features; but it is really inspired by a desire to escape from German retaliation should the latter succeed in dominating Czechoslovakia. Polish opinion does not wish to break its connection with the west, particularly with Britain and America. This fact helps to explain why no openly anti-Semitic legislation has so far been enacted.

D. Solutions of the Jewish problem.

From the economic stand­ point, the solution of the Jewish problem depends largely upon a solution of the Polish over-population problem as a whole. Even assuming that the Jew is to lose his predominance in many existing activities, the problem is to see whether he can be absorbed elsewhere by migration and, most important of all, by increasing the production of wealth in the country.

1. Agrarian reform.

The government is finally making a deter­mined effort to carry out agrarian reform. Some hope that this reform will check the trend of the peasant toward the city where he is beginning to compete against the Jew. Nevertheless the importance of agrarian re­ form to Poland as a whole or to the Jew may be exaggerated. This is because the demand for land is far greater than can be satisfied even by the most extreme reform.

Moreover. under the Polish system of inheri­tance, land is divided up among all the sons upon the death of the father, with the result that farms are constantly dwindling in size. There is agitation for legislation to prevent such parcellation by requiring in­ heritance of the eldest son. Such legislation would oblige an even larger number of peasants to enter the towns. Moreover, the fear is widespread in Poland that the breaking up of large estates, many of which have been efficiently conducted, and the allocation of land to inex­perienced peasants lacking capital, will lead to a decline of agricultural production. Such a result would lead to an increase in the cost of living in the cities, to the detriment particularly of the Jew.

2. Industrialization.

The only economic solution of the over­ population and Jewish problem in Poland lies in industrialization. The development of new industries will make it possible to absorb surplus population and give work both to Poles proper and Jews. Today for example only about 5% of the population of Poland is engaged in commerce in comparison with 15% in Britain or America. The desire of the Poles to increase their own participation in commerce will conflict with Jewish interests only if commerce as a whole is not increased. If commerce re­ mains at its present level the emusion of Jews from economic life will injure not only the Jews but also the Poles. For the latter will not be able to perform the same economic services to the country as the Jew.

But if the country becomes more industrialized and the percentage of people engaged in commerce increases from 5% to 15%, then the Pole can find an occupation without necessarily displacing the Jew. Industrial­ization should provide work for all.

According to some figures industrial production in Poland today is still below what it was in 1914. The slow rate of recovery and progress is due to (1) questionable internal economic policies, such as the absence of a cheap money policy and severe restrictions upon private initiative, and (2) the international situation.

Fundamentally the industrialization of Poland depends upon increasing imports of raw materials and certain types of machinery. But such imports can be paid for only by increased exports or foreign loans. In the present world situation, Poland must struggle even to maintain its existing exports, while it finds it impossible to raise new foreign loans. While the government could do more than at present to promote industrialization, fundamental progress must await an improvement in the international situation.

While industrialization would remove the economic basis of anti-Jewish tension, it would not necessarily solve the Jewish problem. Unprecedented anti-Semitism has arisen in Germany, although it is one of the most highly industrialized countries in the world. The industrializa­tion of Poland will undoubtedly be helped by the Jewish entrepreneur, who will thus perform a fundamental service to the country.

Nevertheless the process may increase the prominence of the Jew; as a Jewish banker said to me, industrialization which enhances the power of the Jew will merely increase anti-Semitism.

When the industrial machine breaks down, the Jew will be blamed if he is too rich and too prominent, even though the mass of the Jews live in extreme poverty. For these reasons, this particular banker believed that emigration, reducing the predominance of Jews in the country, was the only remedy. For the moment, however, anti- Semitism is directed against the small middleman not against the successful Jewish industrialist.

3. Internal Jewish colonization.

In view of the fact that the general industrialization of Poland cannot be expect to take place immediately, the question arises whether it would be possible, with out­ side philanthropic help, for Polish Jewry to improve its economic situ­ation, even though the general economic level of the country remains comparatively unchanged.

One idea is for the development of one or more relatively self­ contained Jewish communities. Although there is no arable land available for such a purpose, it might be possible to drain the Pripet marshes and other similar areas. I could find no group, Jewish or otherwise, who looked with favor upon such a project.

The drainage of the Pripet marshes lnvolves the enormous expenditure of capital, and encounters a number of technical objections. For their part, the Jews do not favor any type of segregation which might increase pressure upon them through- out the country generally. What is perhaps of most fundamental importance, the present nationalistic mood of the country would not tolerate any large-scale plan for improving the condition of Polish Jewry particularly by means of foreign philanthropic capital, during a period when the general Polish population is in great and increasing want. Any such proposal would be regarded by nationalists and others as a scheme of "International Jewry" to defeat the present migration campaign. For these reasons, no government is likely to approve of any internal colonization plan under existing circumstances; and if it did, such a plan would probably increase anti-Semitism.

Other less ambitious plans have been proposed. Thus foreign philanthropic capital might loan money to Jewish individuals or even Jewish communities, for the establishment of new industries. The co­ operative Jewish garment industry at Hightstown, N.J., is an example which Polish Jews might follow. Similarly it is proposed that foreign capital assist Jewish farmers in increasing the size of their holdings and improving their methods of agriculture. Already a number of training centers are preparing Jewish agriculturists and artisans; and one plan provides for the expenditure of $9,000,000 over four years, to be raised largely from foreign sources, upon the extension of these training centers, the development of new industry by means of loans, the improve­ment of Jewish agriculture, as well as emigration. Another plan calls for the expenditure of about $3,000,000 during five years for similar purposes.

All these plans which endeavor to raise the economic status of the Polish Jew as a result of education and financial support are meritor­ious, and should work to the economic improvement of Poland as a whole.

But any far-reaching and ambitious plan of this sort meets the same political objections as the plan for internal colonization already dis­cussed. Until some general measures are taken to advance the interests of the Polish population as a whole, they are likely to be bitterly attacked. In particular the government is not likely to give its consent to the purchase of new agricultural land for Jews, when it is endeavoring to meet the unquenchable demand of the Polish peasant.

A further difficulty with any plan to develop further training centers, is that of finding employment. In many countries there is a skilled labor shortage, of which Polish Jewry should take advantage. There is always the danger of training artisans and agriculturists without adequate regard for future employment. I was told, when visiting one center which pre­pares agriculturists for Palestine, that many graduates had to remain idle for years, owing to lack of opportunity for migration.

These objections should not weigh against immediate experimenta­tion with isolated loans to new Jewish industries in Poland, provided such loans are made quietly and conservatively. With comparatively little capital, a number of such industries could quickly be started. In order to remove one source of criticism, it would be highly desirable if such industries gave employment to Jews and non-Jews alike, provided they scrupulously respected existing labor legislation.

Secondly, the idea seems sound of establishing an economic institute for the purpose of studying opportunities for new industries and new employment, giving advice to Jewish industrialists as to the improvement of methods and quality, and generally of acting as a planning agency, so as to prevent the over-production of certain types of artisans and agriculturists and so as to guide both philanthropic and commercial investment.

But I re­peat, all these plans must remain subordinated, in my opinion, to the general condition of the country. If this condition deteriorates, any plan aimed at helping primarily the Jew will become the target of attack. If the condition improves, these plans can be applied with much greater hope of success. The fate of the Jew depends upon the general fate of the country.

For this reason, I am of the opinion that no large-scale plan for Jewish reconstruction in Poland would be wise until some plan of general industrialization and assisted migration gets under way.

4. Emigration.

Before the world war emigration from Poland was a fundamental factor in economic life. Even as late as 1929 250,000 Poles left the country, including many Jews. As a result of restrictive legislation and the world economic situation, emigration has largely dis­ appeared and the pressure of population at home has correspondingly in­ creased. Within the last two or three years Polish opinion -- and this includes many Jews -- has come to insist that migration is the only solution of the Jewish problem.

They declare that a large part of the 80,000 Jews who annually come of age must find homes elsewhere; and the outside world must help settle them. Indeed some Poles take the view that international Jewry should assume the burden of Jewish migration. Despite this insistance upon migration, the Polish government has assumed no responsibility for financing it or giving it other encouragement, al­though it has unofficially at least explored the possibilities of settle­ment in Madagascar and Latin America.

The local secretary of the Jewish emigration society in Lvov told me that the society received no financial support from the government. Obviously this attitude of disclaiming all responsibility for migration, while insisting upon it, is untenable. lt is also quite obvious that migration offers no solution for the over­ population or Jewish problem of Poland today. It is difficult if not impossible to find migration areas which will absorb, over a period of years, any large proportion of the population increase in Poland.

But with all these limitations, it would be a mistake, in my opinion, for the outside world to remain deaf to Poland's plea. Migration may not be an economic solution; but if an international effort at migration is made and even a limited degree of success indicated a psychological improvement in the Polish atmosphere should take place.

This will relieve anti-Semitic feeling within Poland, and create con­ditions which would facilitate the industrialization of the country and make possible the success of a plan for Jewish reconstruction.

The importance of paying attention to this aspect of the Polish problem has been increased by the fact that the United States has initiated an internationalconference for German refugees, meeting at Evian, July 6. Now Poland has four times as many Jews as Germany, including Austria, but has refrained from resorting to the brutal measures of which Germany is guilty. Although during the past few weeks Germany has resorted to new measures against the Jew, apparently to call the attention of the Evian conference to the need for drastic remedies, Poland has refrained from doing so.

If this conference meets and makes an effort to assist merely German refugees, Poland will inevitably be offended; and the Fascist and anti-Semitic forces within the country will be strengthened. Obviously the immediate task before the organization established at Evian must be the problem of the German refugee. But if the situation in Poland is not to deteriorate, Evian should establish an organization having authority to study the problem of migration as a whole, and holding out hope to Poland that its problem will not be overlooked.

lt should be clearly understood that any plan for migration should apply to Jew and non-Jew alike and should not be limited to refugees. Any plan for removing the Jews alone from Poland would involve obvious dangers, and cause the Jew there to be regarded as a foreigner. What is needed is a plan of migration for over­ populated countries.

One of the most immediate steps which could be taken to promote Polish migration is for the Evian conference, or the United States, to express the hope to the British government that a definite solution of the Palestine problem be reached as soon as possible. Hitherto, a large proportion of the Palestine immigrants have been from Poland. But so long as the fate of Palestnie is undecided, emigration to that country is limited, and plans for migration elsewhere are also held in abeyance.

Little progress in attacking the Polish migration problem can be made, until the Palestine question is settled.

5. The organization of Polish Jewry.

The visitor is impressed by the divisions among the Polish Jews, and the apparent absence of any central Jewish authority. The problem o creating such authority is very old, and one’s attitude toward it depends partly upon whether he is an assimilationist or an autonomist. Nevertheless even the orthodox Jews do not seem to have any vehicle by which their united opinion can be voiced. Two major purposes would be served by a national Jewish authority. First, it could press the rights of Polish Jewry upon the government. For example, the Jews today are excluded even from the administration of communities in which they have a majority.

If the government is to insist upon the Polonization of commerce, Polish Jewry should insist upon a proportionate share in the government. Secondly, some central Jewish organization would be desirable for the purpose of studying Jewish life, with a view to determining the possibility and the de­sirability of assimilation, and improving relations between Poles and Jews and of removing any proved abuses such as unsanitary conditions, improper trade and labor practices and conditions of vice.

Left to themselves the Polish Jews are so divided that they may not find it possible to establish a common community. But if the administration of any new plan for financial reconstruction with the aid of foreign funds is made dependent upon the establishment of such an organization it would probably be created.

6. How the United States can help.

Polish authorities have been offended by some of the statements emanating from the United States relative to the Jewish situation. They contend that these statements are invariably exaggerated and overlook the difficulties in the Polish situation. Many Poles are inclined to write off such statements as due to Jewish propaganda.

It is however quite evident that Poland desires to have the good will of the western countries, and that world opinion has been a factor in restraining the enactment of more active anti-Semitic measures. No American should be asked to give up the right to ex­press his own opinions concerning any condition which violates his sense of humanity. Nevertheless, American protests lose in effective­ ness when they are exaggerated and when they show no realization of the extremely difficult economic and social problems with which Poland is wrestling.

Moreover, I am convinced that a policy merely of denouncing anti-Semitism in Poland will have little permanent effect unless accompanied by a positive policy - one which offers to help Poland in solving its problems. In this connection American philanthropic organization might encourage the investment of capital in Poland, under certain conditions; and they might even find it useful, upon the appropriate occasion, to issue a declaration, set­ ting forth an understanding of the serious over-population problem con­ fronting Poland and a desire to assist in finding a solution by methods which do not injure the Jew.

Any positive gestures of this type, indicating that Americans are interested in Poland as a whole as well as the Polish Jew should strengthen liberal ideas in Poland and defeat the growth of Nazi ideology.

A War Debt Agreement.

Upon his return from Europe this spring ex-President Hoover drew a distinction between the war debts proper and those contracted for post-war relief purposes. He favored cancelling the latter provided the sums involved were employed within the country con­cerned for educational or philanthropic purposes.

Note the Polish debt to the United States, the capital sum of which amounts to about $200,000,000, was contracted for post-war relief purposes. If one applied Mr. Hoover’s suggestion, the United States might make a war debt agreement with Poland, under which the latter government would agree upon an annual sum, say of $5,000,000 or $10,000,000, over a period of 25 or 30 years; but instead of paying this sum to the American Treasury, Poland would pay it into a Polish Migration or Industrialization Fund.

The proceeds would then be used in assisting emigration including retraining and in internal industrial development. It would be a mistake to attempt to earmark its proceeds for the relief of the Polish Jew. Nevertheless the Polish govern­ment should give assurances that the fund would be administered without discrimination and that the American Ambassador in Warsaw might serve as a member of the Polish committee administering this fund.

The United States would wish to make sure that the Polish budget would actually provide a new fund of the amount agreed upon instead of merely re-allocating existing budgetary items for this purpose. This type of agreement would give to Poland the benefit of a definite debt settle­ment with the United States, which would improve its credit status and open to it the capital market of the United States. This consideration should prove important when the international situation makes possible the resumption of foreign lending.

On the other hand, this plan would oblige the Polish government actually to appropriate funds to assist migration, rather than endeavor to impose the entire burden upon foreign organizations.

The more fundamental question is whether the United States from the standpoint of its own interests would be justified in making such a debt agreement. If it made such an agreement with Poland, it should make a similar agreement with other countries in analogous conditions. What will the United States gain from playing Santa Claus to Central Europe?

In the first place, the United States cannot expect to collect these war debts from Poland in cash, and it is therefore giving up something which is now only of nominal value. But by this form of contribution it would assist materially in improving the situation of the Jew, and what is even of more important, strengthen the whole/Central Europe which at present is endeavoring to fight off German economic and political penetration. The debt agreements could thus be used to strengthen liberal forces in Europe, and thereby restore an equilibrium which may make international appease­ment possible.

The use of the inter-allied debt in this way may eventually save the United States increased arms expenditure. In its nationalistic mood, the American Congress may not be able to look that far ahead, but this does not mean that the idea should not be discussed if it appears in principle sound.

Fundamentally the question of anti-Semitism in Poland depends upon world economic recovery, and a political settlement reducing present war tensions. Even short of these general developments a new wave of anti-Semitism, which because of the numbers in Poland, might prove far more serious than in Germany, probably could be stopped if the outside world takes a sympathetic interest in Poland’s economic problem.

This interest could be expressed through the establishment of an international migration committee, with power to study the Polis along with other problems, and the type of war-debt agreement just described. If the outside world thus makes a concerted effort to bring Poland relief, it will be in a strong position to make representations against the mainten­ance of the boycott introduction of new anti-Semitic measures.