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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Poland,   pp. 741-800 PDF (21.7 MB)

Page 791

It will thus be seen that the percentage of population in the various
sections of what is now Poland, or what may be Poland, adds to the
general complexity of the influences entering into the problem of
antisemitism. Naturally the relations in the eastern districts now
held by Poland are affected not only by the percentage of Jews, but
by the small proportion of Polish inhabitants in these sections. The
attitude of the various elements of the population and the play of
sentiment as to the political future of the country further contribute
to this puzzling complexity. In spite of considerable agitation, no
serious difficulty exists in Posen, and even in Congress Poland, there
is little disturbance of fundamental relations. But in view of the
uncertainty as to whether the regions in the East are to be Polish,
Russian, or independent, it is readily seen that the relation of the
Jew to the eventual political disposition of these territories is still an
irritating element. These same problems are to some extent inherent
in every other country where the Jewish character and habits develop
a racial solidarity, necessarily accompanied by an economic and
social intermingling with the other elements of the population.
5. The Jewish situation is rendered more difficult by the efforts
of certain malicious German influences to further their Eastern proj-
ects by discrediting Poland financially and otherwise. It is not to the
interest of the German State to allow Poland to become a powerful
and prosperous competitor, since Poland is more favorably situated
to act as a center of exchange between Russia and the West. There
are also conservative elements among Russian statesmen who are
equally anxious to prevent foreign financial aid to Poland and are
using criticism of the Polish State as a weapon to forestall the assist-
ance of the Allied and Associated Powers. If Poland is to become a
firmly established State, the needs of the Republic must be con-
sidered from the angle of Polish national aspirations and rights, and
not simply on the basis of the purposes of its temporarily paralyzed
neighbors to the East and West.
In common with all free governments of the world, Poland is
faced with the danger of the political and international propaganda,
to which the war has given rise. The coloring, the suppression,
and the invention of news, the subornation of newspapers by many
different methods, and the poisoning by secret influences of the
instruments affecting public opinion, in short, all the methods of
malevolent propaganda are a menace from which Poland is a notable
sufferer. This applies to propaganda both at home and from abroad.
While the Polish Press as a whole may not be charged with irre-
sponsibility, it has in general gone to the extreme of political pro-
priety, and many of its organs have passed far beyond that limit,
to the great detriment of their country.

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