Our February document of the month is a letter to Seán Lester (High Commissioner of the League of Nations to the Free City of Danzig) from Neville Laski (President, Board of Deputies of British Jews).
Seán Lester (b. Carrickfergus, County Antrim in 1888) was sent to Geneva in 1929 as Permanent Delegate of the Irish Free State to the League of Nations, succeeding Michael MacWhite who was being transferred to Washington. In 1933, he was seconded from the Irish service to the post of High Commissioner of the League of Nations to the Free City of Danzig where he showed great courage in protesting against Nazi persecution of the Jewish population. UCDA P203/31 is a file of correspondence, reports and notes concerning inter alia the disputes between Peru and Colombia, Bolivia and Paraguay, and China and Japan; the oppression of the Jews in German Upper Silesia; the presidency of the League of Nations Assembly; and international disarmament. Included in the documentation concerning the oppression of the Jews in German Upper Silesia, is a letter from Laski to Lester seeking his assistance in obtaining accurate information concerning the treatment of Jews in German Upper Silesia. Laski includes cuttings of a series of articles from the Manchester Guardian entitled ‘Jews of Upper Silesia’ Parts I–III, 18–19 September 1933.