«Bund» of Poland - The case of Henryk Erlich and Victor Alter

We canno1 afford to remain silent and allow the names of two men who devoted the whole of their livcs 10 tbc fight for freedom, justiee and Socialism, to be defiled and besmirched a~er their execution. Thc "·ar against Hitler did not stari in June, 1941; it began on the 1st of Septembcr, 1939. and the pari which Erlich and Alter played in it was clearlyrcvcaledinthe appealstheyissuedin WarsawonSeptember 1st, 1939, and in the deeds of their followcrs in Poland. Erlich and Alter never declared that the attitude towards Faseism and Hitlcrism should • be "only a matter of taste." Soviet Russia is one of the United Nations, and our protest against the cxecution of Erlich and Alter docs not affect our attilude towards the elfons wc havc to make 10 help Russia win this war alongsidc of us. The attitudc ofthe Generai Jewish Workcrs' Union "Bund" (the Jewish Labour Party in Poland. the main Jeaders of which Erlieh and Alter were) was expressed in an officiai statement of the Amcrican Representation of the Bund published in the American Prcss on Mareh 7th. lt was repcated by one of thc London reprcscmatives of the Bund, Mr. Zygielbojm, in his address 10 a memoria! meeting held in London on Mareh 28th in Caxton Hall, when he said: ·· As those who share the struggle for a new world, as sons of a people who make such great sacrifices in this struggle and as rcpresentatives of the Jewish battalion of lhe grcat underground army in Nazi-occupied Poland and Europe, we shall follow thc path of our unforgcnab!c leaders, Erlich and Alter, we shall continue to contribute towards the speeding up of the victory of the United Nations over the Axis powers. We still considcr 1ha1help for thc Soviet Annics who are to-day partncrs in the struggle against Nazism and Faseism should be as great and as cffective as possìble. Howcver, wc shall not forego our right aRd our duty IO express our sorrow and protesi against the execution of Erlich and Alter. This cxecution is a blasphcmy upon the ideals for which millions are dying to-day." We can well imagine how the news about the cxecution of their leaders affected thc tortured Jewish people in Poland, and cspecially thosc of them who, brought up and taught by Erlich and Alter, are çarrying on the anti-Hitler struggle as a pari of the workers' underground move_mcnt in Poland. Out so strong are the hatred of Hitlerism and the behef in Democracy and Socialism among the followers of Erlich and Alter, that wc have not the sligbtest doubt that thcir convictions and views are identica! with those we have expressed By kecping silent we should be accessorics 10 a erime. TQ allow the moralìty of a great movement for a just and free wor!d 10 be slandered, might affect the future world. the purity of the Labour Movement and hopesforitsunity. By revealing the truth and by recording our protesi we are serving the cause of the United Nations fighting in this war and the cause of the lnternational Labour Movemenl. We are convinced thai Erlich and Alter will lfre in the memories of the working masses as pure and true symbols of the strugglc for justice, freedom and Socialism. That is to say. for the truth. Wearcservingtheçauseoftruth. 26 Biblioteca Gino Bianco