Zionist Organization in Poland
[Hebrew, Ha-histadrut Ha-tsiyonit Be-Polaniya] -
A party founded in 1916 as a branch of the World Zionist Organization
(WZO). Its aim was to establish a legally guaranteed homeland for the
Jewish people in Palestine. In Poland, it proposed ethnic and cultural
autonomy, and defended Jews' ethnic rights and economic interests. It
conducted public awareness activities, strengthening Jewish national
identity, collected funds for colonization and organized emigration to
Palestine. Its members were popularly called "general Zionists".
The Organization had three offices: in the
former Russian partition, Western Galicia and Silesia, and Eastern
Galicia. It had three factions that differed in terms of their social
programs and views of how the aims of Zionism should be achieved: Et
Livnot [Hebrew, Time to Build], a moderate group having the most
influence early on; Al Ha-mishmar [Hebrew, On Guard], with a leftist
social program; and Zionist revisionists (New Zionist Organization),
which was right-wing, radical and militarist.
In the 1930's, as the Jewish population became
more radicalized, the popularity of these last two factions grew. The
Organization had the most supporters in the former Kingdom of Poland and
Galicia among the bourgeoisie, intelligentsia and petty bourgeoisie.
Among the party's most important members were I. Gr�nbaum, M. A.
Hartglas, L. Reich, H. Rosmarin, E. Sommerstein and A. O. Thon. Much of
the Zionist press in Poland was under its influence, including Haynt,
He-chaluts and Nasz Przeglad [Polish, Our Review] in Warsaw; Togblat and
Chwila [Polish, A While] in Lwow; and Nowy Dziennik [Polish, New Daily]
in Krakow. See also Ichud.