Polish Envoy to U.S. Terms Incidents at Kovel Nothing but Personal Street Brawls

The recent incidents in Kovel, Poland, where 40 Jews were reported injured in a clash with street hoodlums were characterized as merely street brawls which if they had any chauvinistic feeling in them was indirect and accidental, in a letter sent today by Titus Filipowicz, Polish ambassador to the United States, to the Federation of Polish Jews in America in response to an inquiry from the latter asking Mr. Filipowicz to inquire of the Polish government what steps it had taken to restore order in Kovel.

The Ambassador’s letter addressed to Benjamin Winter, president of the Federation, gave the following details:

“It appears that on June 28 two Jewish youths overturned on the Turia river a boat occupied by two Christians and that the latter retaliated by tipping over the Jewish boat. This incident would have been closed at that had it not been for the fact that on the next day a railroad official named Styczynski was severely injured on the head during an altercation with a Jewish passenger. Styczynski is still in the hospital.

“On July 1 a street brawl took place in consequence of which several Jews, two brothers Luzer and one Hertz, and two Christians, one Zagorski and a student, Majchrowski, received more or less serious injuries. The police promptly liquidated the disorders and arrested about a dozen participants, practically all of whom were found to have had previous criminal records.

“It would seem from the above that these incidents, regrettable as they are, were merely street brawls, the sporadic character and personal origin of which shows that if there was any chauvinistic feeling about the affair it was indirect and merely accidental.”

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