The ‘Jewish Organising Committee’ in Moscow and the ‘Jewish Central Committee’ in Warsaw, June 1945 — February 1946: Tackling Repatriation

  • Hanna Shlomi
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


On 6 July 1945 an agreement was signed between the governments of the USSR and Poland concerning the repatriation of former Polish citizens residing on Soviet territory. The title of the agreement indicated that it dealt with the right to change Soviet citizenship and with the evacuation of members of the Polish and Jewish nations.1 The above contained a repetition of what had already been stated in the agreement of September 1944, that is, that the Jews of Poland are part of the Jewish nation. And what was not said in the agreement and should have been said in the propaganda of the Jews themselves, and which further study will clarify, was that behind the recognition of Jewish nationality lay the idea that the direct continuation of the departure of Polish Jews from the USSR was to be their emigration from Poland, and that this must be carried out under the sponsorship of the Zionist organisations. This was to be a kind of repatriation to Eretz Israel with a ‘transit’ through Poland. Such a possibility was apparently discussed with Dr A. Sommerstein before the final decision regarding the repatriation was made. The Zionist movement should have understood this from the conditions existing at that time.


Jewish Community Zionist Movement Central Committee Organise Committee Religious Congregation 
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  1. 17.
    B. D. Weinryb, ‘Poland’ in Jews in the Soviet Satellites, Syracuse, NY 1953, pp. 279–82. Also, Dr David Kahana ‘After the Storm’, Jerusalem, 1981. Kahana was the chief rabbi of the Polish army and one of the founders of the Religious Congregation. Today, in Israel.Google Scholar
  2. 40.
    The Anglo-American Committee was established on the recommendation of British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin in December 1945. Among the Committee’s duties was to investigate the absorptive capacity of Eretz Israel in relation to the problem of Jews in Displaced Persons Camps in Europe. The Committee toured DP camps in Europe, and some members came to Poland to listen to survivors describe their aspirations. See ‘Encyclopedia Ivrit’, vol. 6, pp. 563–4; also, vol. 7, p. 761; and Samet Shimon, When I Came the Next Day (Tel Aviv: 1946).Google Scholar

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© School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1991

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  • Hanna Shlomi

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