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Matzoth Riots Feared in Polish Cities: Jewish Community Offices Besieged by Applicants for Passover

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Alarming reports are arriving here from the provincial towns concerning the extent of the distress among their Jewish populations, as shown by the immense number of applications for Passover aid registered with the various local Jewish communities. In the famous textile centre, Lodz, the so-called “Polish Manchester”, out of the total number of 40,000 Jewish families, 12,000 have registered with the Jewish Community for Passover relief, almost a third of the entire Jewish population being compelled to seek the aid of charity. Among the Jews who are this year receiving a hundred zlotys from the Jewish Community to enable them to provide for Passover, there are many who were previously counted among the wealthy men of the town, and gave themselves 10,000 zlotys each to the Jewish Community to provide Passover relief for the poor.

The Jewish Community offices in Lodz, Warsaw, Vilna, and other Jewish cities look like besieged fortresses, with thousands of people standing in line clamouring for matzoth. There are numerous cases of people fainting in the line, having had no food for days. Strong police forces are keeping guard outside the Jewish Community offices because of the fear of hunger riots.

The number of Jews applying this Passover for charity is the largest ever known in Polish Jewry, more than ten times the number last year, it was stated in a Warsaw message a few days ago-J.T.A. Bulletin of the 21st. inst.,-among the suppliants being hundreds of people who not long ago were themselves big contributors to the various charity organisations. The Warsaw Jewish Community, the message said, has registered 9,600 applications for Passover relief this year, a figure never before approached in the city.

The arrival in Warsaw of a sum of a quarter of a million dollars from American Jews through the agency of the Hias (Hebrew Immigrant Aid and Sheltering Society of New York) for distribution as Passover aid among their relatives living in Poland was reported in a J.T.A. message given in the Bulletin of the 26th. inst. The amount, it was explained, is very much less than in previous years, because of the economic crisis this year in America, although the need in Poland this year is much greater than ever before.

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