Herman Rubinraut to Margaret Sanger, February 3, 1932
World League for Sexual Reform
Poland, Penal Code of 1918
Poland, Penal Code of 1932
Wiadomosci Literackie (Literary News)
Rubinraut writes about the situation in Poland; a new law, the opposition of Catholics, growing public acceptance, and tactics for creating a successful birth control movement there.
Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress (Microfilm)
A good faith effort was made to identify rights holder. Please contact BCI if you have any information on the rights holder.
LC, MSP Reel 19:781-82
Text Item Type Metadata
Febr. 3, 1932.Dear Madam,
I am hastening to send you the text of the new legislation in extenso. I do my best to translate it but as I don’t trust my English I send you as well the Polish original, hoping that you will find a better translator than me.
Alas it is very doubtful ↑uncertain↓ whether the canceling ↑modification↓ of the paragraph relating to punishment for induced abortion will pass through the sejm (national assembly). The government seems to be inclined to make great concessions to the clericals, and the clericals have started a regular war with the new code. Even our B.C. Clinic although protected through the unexistance of a law condemning propaganda of contraceptives,--is in danger. The great argument of the priests and clericals repeated in a interpellation to the Senat by the Senator Thulie (A med. Doctor!) is always the same: They mix up prevention and abortion and WONT give it up. We may explain and write articles and paint pictures--nothing can change the wording of their attacks and our Clinic will be ↑in their papers↓ always called “the murderous Clinic from Leszno street.”
The moment is very difficult if not tragic, and we are on the brim of black mediaevalism. On the other hand a great part of the educated public opinion is with us. For instance in the famous place for tuberculous people called ZAKOPANE, after my propaganda lecture all the doctors declared themselves to be adherents of the B.C. movement. They published a letter to the spiritual father of the B.C. Movement in Poland Dr. Boy Zelenksi, in which they emphasise his activity and the fact of the opening of the first B.C. Clinic in Poland.
I am relating you this fact because I never heard before about such an unanimity of the medical attitude towards the B.C. movement. I think that it is specially important in an big centre of phisiologes.
My next propaganda lecture will be in LODZ (our Polish Manchester, the nest of unemployment.) I shall try to get from the doctors of that workwomen’s hell an enunciation in favour of the B.C. Movement.
We must try to organise the enlightened opinion not only for B.C.’s sake but for all the causes and consequences of the existence of this Idea: Pacifism, lay education, protection of mother and child, new matrimonial Code, reform of prisons etc.
That is why we decided with dr. Boy Zelenksi to found a weekly and ↑try↓ to get for it the best foreign and Polish pens. Dr. Hodan from Berlin has promised us his articles and some of his friends too.
Could we hope to get some lines from you? It would be the most noble Porte-Bonheur for our entreprise. At the present moment the only journal which hospitably gives us the possibility to defend our cause is a big literary Weekly called “Wiadomosci Literackie” (Literary News). It happens chiefly because Dr. Boy-Zelenski our leading writer and the support of the Literary News is the initiator and pioneer of the B.C. movement in Poland.
If we overcome all the difficulties and succeed in founding the Journal which will be called “To day and to morrow” Poland will get a strong ventilator, which it needs badly.
Dear Madam, after I read “My fights for Birth Control” I feel very shy, writing to you. In fact I feel like a match facing a light house. I am afraid it makes shiver my shaky english. I hope in spite of it you will find in those badly written sentences all the admiration and love which I feel for the noble, brave and charming Lady: Margaret Sanger;
Yours very truely
Dr. [Herman Rubinraut] [signed]
P.S. I take the liberty to send you a translation of my article which will appear in [one of the illegible] the Literary News.”
Handwritten margin note by Margaret Sanger at top of first page reads: “What can I say? Its too lovely for comment. MS”
Typed Letter, signed