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Serious Anti-jewish Rioting in Polish Township Near Lodz on Corpus Christi Day: Allegation That Jews

Serious anti-Jewish rioting occurred yesterday, on Corpus Christi Day, in the township of Zloczow, in the district of Sieradz, near the big city of Lodz. The trouble started with rumours that some Jewish residents had poured down a liquid from the windows of their houses while the Corpus Christi procession was passing the official Polish Telegraphic Agency P.A.T., reports. A slight disturbance broke out, the P.A.T. report proceeds, but some of the leaders of the procession succeeded by their tactful attitude in putting a stop to it before it assumed any large dimensions. In the evening, (last night) at about 8 o’clock, several scores of young men arrived in Zloczow from the neighbouring villages, the P.A.T. report goes on, and together with a number of Zloczow inhabitants started smashing windows in Jewish houses. The police dispersed the mob, using tear bombs against them in the course of the fighting. Several hundred windows in the township were smashed and a number of Jews and one Christian were beaten. Complete order has now been restored, the P.A.T. concludes, and an enquiry has been opened.

The Jewish Polish-language daily “Nasz Przeglad” states that while the procession was passing through the streets, members of the antisemitic National Democratic Sports Organisation, Sokol, incited people in the procession by telling them that the Jews had been desecrating the sacred images. Afterwards crowds of peasants poured into the township from the surrounding villages. The panic-stricken Jewish population appealed for protection to the Police Commandant, who took vigorous action, but his force was not big enough to cope with the infuriated mob, and he therefore called for reinforcements from the district town of Sieradz. By the time the police reinforcements arrived, however, all the Jewish shops in Zloczow had been wrecked. About a score of Jews were beaten, about 15 sustaining injuries, and six are seriously injured, three fatally. The District Chief has arrived in Zloczow, the paper adds, and has started a strict investigation to discover the ringleaders.

The Jewish National Council here has received a telegram from the Jewish Community of Sieradz, reading as follows; On Thursday, the 4th. inst., anti-Jewish excesses broke out in Zloczow, resulting in bloodshed. The police protection was in adequate. We appeal to you to intervene immediately with the central Ministry.

Deputy Gruenbaum has followed up the appeal by intervening with the authorities here to provide adequate police protection for the Jewish population of Zloczow, and the authorities have promised to send a stronger police unit to the township.

THE CORPUS CHRISTI DAY EXCESSES IN LEMBERG TWO YEARS AGO.

Two years ago on Corpus Christi day there were serious anti-Jewish excesses in Lemberg, the capital of Eastern Galicia, resulting in the wrecking of two synagogues, the Jewish High School, and the offices of the Polish-language Jewish daily “Chwila” and the Yiddish daily “Morgen”. The P.A.T. report circulated at the time placed the responsibility on a group of about twenty Jewish girl students who, it said, had scoffed at the Corpus Christi procession as it passed. At a special meeting of the Executive of the Lemberg Jewish Community and the Lemberg Rabbinate, a resolution was adopted declaring that young Jews brought up in the spirit of Jewish tradition are incapable of outraging the feelings of the adherents of any other religion, since holding their own religion in respect they must necessarily respect also the religious feelings of the believers of other faiths, and this being so the insinuation that Jewish students had insulted a Catholic religious procession could be nothing more than a malicious libel.

The security office of the District Chief of Lemberg later issued an official communique, declaring that during the Corpus Christi procession no provocation of any kind was made by the Jewish youth. Rabbi Dr. Freund and Rabbi Dr. Levin visited the Catholic Bishop of Lemberg Lawinski and told him that in their capacity as the inspectors of the Jewish religious teaching in the Jewish schools, they were in a position to state categorically, after having made an investigation into the allegations, that the Jewish students were absolutely blameless and that there was no truth whatever in the allegations that young Jews had insulted the Corpus Christi procession. Bishop Lawinski replied that he did not suspect the Jews of having insulted the procession, and on behalf of the Catholic Church he wanted to repudiate the allegation that Jews had outraged Catholic feelings. Archbishops Twardowski, Teodorowicz, and Lisowski, however, gave their sanction to the allegations that Jews had offered an affront to the Corpus Christi procession, by saying: We condemn this first case of insult to the Catholic faith in Poland.

The unrest in Lemberg continued for some time and spread also to Warsaw, where, when the procession of the Octave of Corpus Christi was to go through the capital a few days later, the Jewish Community called upon the Jewish population to shut their shops and keep their windows closed while the procession was going past, in order to make it impossible for agitators to repeat in Warsaw the scenes which had occurred in Lemberg.

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