Editorial Office of Folks-Sztyme
A Publication of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' [Communist] Party
Translator's note: Folks-Sztyme was an Yiddish-language newspaper published by the Polish United Workers' Party. PUWP had a monopoly on power in Soviet-occupied Poland. Czeslaw Kaczmarek was a Roman Catholic bishop arrested in 1951, tried and sentenced in 1953 for 'spying and sabotage,' and 'rehabilitated' in 1990. His trial marked the intensification of a campaign of terror against those ranking members of the Catholic clergy who were perceived as the most reluctant to submit to dictates of the Soviet-controlled state. In September 1953, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski was arrested. Stefan Staszewski's parents perished in Treblinka. A reproduction of the original document can be found on page 551.
5 Nowogrodzka Street
Warsaw, 10 October 1953
Comrade Stefan Staszewski
Director of the Department of Press and Publications
of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party
The worldwide reactionary campaign against People's Poland which followed the trial and sentencing of Bishop Czeslaw Kaczmarek and the arrest of Archbishop Stefan Wyszynski, involves Jewish reactionaries and some Jewish clergy in the United States and England. We know of a leading rabbi in the United States who has recently made a 'barking radio' [szczekaczka, or RFE/RL, Tr.] pronouncement favoring the farsical Vatican campaign against our state.
Taking into account the fact that Folks-Sztyme reaches North and South America, Western Europe and Israel, and that articles from our paper are regularly reprinted by six communist dailies in Yiddish and by a number of weeklies and monthlies, I am asking your permission to print in our paper an article about the attitudes of the reactionary Catholic clergy to Jews during the Second Polish Republic and in People's Poland. This will neutralize the world's reactionary circles, including the reactionary Jewish clergy.
I enclose some material for such an article. It is a report written by members of the Lublin Jewish Committee about a meeting with the then-bishop of Lublin, Stefan Wyszynski. The meeting took place in 1946, right after the Kielce pogrom.
I would like to add that representatives of the Jewish Committee who conducted the conversation are well known to us: comrade St. Sluszny is presently Deputy Director of the Party Training Center, Central Committee of the PUWP; and comrade M. Szyldkraut, a left-wing member of the P.C., presently works in Paris.
[signed] Editor-in-Chief, Grzegorz Smolar
A Report on the conversation with Bishop Stefan Wyszynski conducted by representatives of the Regional Jewish Committee in Lublin (excerpts)
At the beginning of the conversation the Bishop wishes to know the opinion of the Jewish Committee concerning the Kielce events.
The delegation responds with an analysis of the political situation which made it possible for the events to occur.
Bishop Wyszynski does not agree and maintains that the reasons for what transpired are quite different.
Moreover, according to Bishop Wyszynski, the contribution of Jews to Polish life has been mixed. The Polish nation is grateful to Jews for [the orchestra conductor Grzegorz] Fitelberg and others, but for many other things it cannot be grateful.
The Bishop emphasizes that the Nazi concentration camps were modelled on the Soviet concentration camps in Siberia and elsewhere. They taught Hitler's barbarians their trade.
Nations are going through a period of post-war demoralization, the political systems now in existence should be replaced by other social forces. In Poland, not only Jews are being murdered, but also Poles. So many Poles are now [in 1946] in prisons and concentration camps.
The Bishop condemns all murders as they are contrary to Christian ethics. In the case of Kielce, the Bishop can hardly add any comment or condemnation, because the Church has always stood for the condemnation of evil.
Members of the delegation St. Sluszny and M. Szyldkraut
Round seal of the Lublin Jewish Association