Simon Wiesenthal Center: 1946 State Department Report on Poland Lists Candidate for Sainthood as Key Promoter of Anti-Semitism

May 27, 2018

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is denouncing plans to name a prominent Polish Cleric for Sainthood. “Cardinal August Hlond was a steadfast anti-Semite. In the 1930s he attacked Judaism and urged Poles to boycott Polish Jews’ businesses,” charged Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Founder and Dean and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWc Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action. "A 1946 US State Department Report on Poland (pictured below)—said so explicitly - ‘Indeed, Catholic leaders from Cardinal Hlond on down, preached anti-Semitism and an economic boycott of the Jews', the report said.

"Even after being held by the Gestapo during the last year of the war, Hlond refused to meet with Polish Jewish survivors who were reeling from anti-Jewish pogroms in the aftermath of World War II and the Shoah.

"Jews do not usually speak out about a candidate for Sainthood, but such a move by Pope Francis to elevate a lifelong anti-Semite to Sainthood would be shameful.

“In addition, this would only further embolden the Far Right government in Poland in its headlong efforts to selectively rewrite Polish activities from that tragic era.

"We urge Pope Francis to put a halt to the campaign to bestow Sainthood upon a man who was anything but when it came to three and a half million Polish Jews before the Nazi Holocaust and the 80,000 survivors who desperately tried to reconstitute a Jewish presence in post-War Poland,” Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper concluded.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).