Warsaw (Nov. 7)
In the last few days there have indeed been regrettable excesses in Warsaw carried out by a section of the student youth against citizens of Jewish nationality, the Minister of the Interior, M. Pieracki, declared in the plenary session of the Seym to-day, in reply to Deputy Rothenstreich, the spokesman of the Club of Jewish Deputies, who had read out an interpellation submitted to the Government by the Jewish Club of Deputies complaining of the anti-Jewish University disturbances, and demanding action by the Government to put a stop to them.
Neither the whole of the student youth, nor the whole of the Polish public can be held responsible for such criminal excesses, the Minister went on, because they do not by far agree with these acts, which are only the work of wild and reckless party groups, who feel no responsibility for the old traditions of Polish culture, which entirely repudiate his agitation.
The Government is now, as always, determined to make use of all measures within its power to assure order and to put down these disturbances and to deal out punishment to the guilty, the Minister declared.
The police and the security authorities are hampered in their action against the rioters, he explained, because of the principle of autonomy enjoyed by the Universities, so long as the excesses are confined to University territory; but as soon as the excesses are extended to the streets they are vigorously put down and already dozens of rioters are under arrest. The University authorities, for their part, he said, have taken prompt actions in their own sphere by closing down the University, and ordering a disciplinary enquiry to be held.
The Government is determined, he said, to suppress ruthlessly every attempt that may be made at renewing the excesses, if it should happen that the feeling of honour and justice and the welfare of the country is not sufficient to restrain these youths from continuing their irresponsible agitation.
The Deputies of the Government Party applauded the Minister’s speech, and the Jewish Deputies told the J.T.A. representative in the lobby that they are completely satisfied with the Government declaration.
After the Minister had spoken, Rabbi Deputy Levin rose to express his satisfaction with the declaration. These fistic heroes ought to find some better way of expending their surplus energy, he said.
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC DEPUTY SPEAKS IN DEFENCE OF ANTISEMITIC EXCESSES: WANTS TO KNOW HOW POLISH MINISTER CAN ATTACK POLISH STUDENTS AND PROTECT JEWS: GOVERNMENT PARTY SPOKESMAN REPLIES DISMISSING NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CLAIM TO SPEAK FOR POLISH NATION AS IMPERTINENCE: SAYS MINISTER HAS EXPRESSED REAL FEELING OF ENTIRE POLISH PEOPLE EXCEPT FOR YOUR DEGENERATE PARTY
A speech in defence of the activities of the antisemitic students was then made by one of the National Democratic representatives in the Seym, Deputy Stypulkowski, who, speaking amid continuous interruption from the Government benches, alleged that the Jewish students had themselves provoked the disturbances. Now could a Polish Minister, he wanted to know, attack the Nationalist student youth of the country, in order to protect the students of the Jewish nationality?.
The National Democratic students are incensed, he said, because the Jews do not provide Jewish corpses for their medical students to dissect in their medical studies, so that the Jews are cutting up Christian corpses. The Polish students are also demanding a strict numerus clausus, he declared, to keep out the excessive number of Jewish students who are taking the places which belong to Polish students.
Ex-Minister Miedzinski, who rose immediately to reply to Deputy Stypulkowski in the name of the Government Party, repudiated the claim of the National Democrats to speak in the name of the entire Polish people. That claim is one of unparalleled arrogance, he said. Your deeds always bring discredit upon the Polish State, and the Polish people do not identify themselves in any way with your attitude. We declare. solemnly to the entire world that the Minister of the Interior has to-day expressed the real feeling of the entire Polish people on this question, with the exception of your degenerate party. You stand for things which are done only by the scum of society and your declaration that you speak in the name of the Polish people is simply a piece of impudence.
POLISH SOCIALISTS STAND ASIDE: WERE TO HAVE PRESENTED JOINT INTERPELLATION WITH JEWS AGAINST EXCESSES BUT WITHDREW AT LAST MINUTE: DO NOT WANT TO ATTACK NATIONAL DEMOCRATS WITH WHOM THEM ARE JOINTLY FIGHTING GOVERNMENT IN BRISK TRIAL OF NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC AND SOCIALIST LEADERS ACCUSED OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY
A good deal of surprise was caused in the Seym to-day by the fact that not one of the Polish Socialist Party Deputies took part in the debate, to express condemnation of the anti-Jewish excesses.
The Polish Socialist Party was to have submitted a joint interpellation to the Government together with the Club of Jewish Deputies, protesting against the anti-Jewish disturbances at the Universities, but they withdrew at the last minute, refusing to stand out against the National Democratic Party, because of the big political trial at Brisk, where the leaders of the Polish Socialist Party, including the Jewish Deputy Lieberman; are standing their trial together with the National Democratic Party leaders, on a charge of conspiracy to overthrow the Pilsudski regime.
THE JEWISH INTERPELLATION
Deputy Rothenstreich, in submitting the interpellation of the Club of Jewish Deputies to the Seym, demanded in his speech that the Government should give up its attitude of passiveness towards the disturbances organised by the students and should take drastic action to put a stop to them as ordinary acts of hooliganism.
At the beginning of the new school years, the interpellation says, the National Lemocratic students threatened disturbances against the Jewish student youth at the Universities. The First of the excesses took place in Lemberg, where an attack was made on the Jewish Student Home. Immediately after, the disturbances were shifted to Cracow, where, thanks to the energetic action of the University authorities in closing down the University, further excesses were avoided. Now the excesses have broken out in Warsaw, where they are still in progress.
The National Democratic Youth is driving Jewish students by force out of the lecture halls, beating those who refuse to go, and insulting Jewish girl students. Anti-Jewish cries are raised in the presence of the Dean and the Professors, who have taken no action, and have gone on with their lectures as if nothing had happened. The excesses which began in the Faculty of Law have now extended to the other Faculties and to the specialist colleges. At the Veterinary Institute, for instance, where there are only a handful of Jewish students, the National Democratic students got together a gang of street rowdies and together with them attacked the Jewish students as they were leaving the Institute. It was only thanks to the intervention of the police that serious bloodshed was prevented.
The disturbances which were started in the colleges have begun to spread to the streets. Crowds of National Democratic youth have tried repeatedly to break their way through to the Jewish Student Home in order to demolish it, but the police have stood in their way.
The situation has caused profound disquiet among the Jewish public. The application of the numerus clausus this year has been made more severe in the enrolment of Jewish students, and yet the antisemitic students, not content with this, are bludgeoning the Jewish students and trying by violence to clear all Jews out of the Universities.
The University authorities were warned in time, and if they had taken prompt and energetic action these disturbances would never have occurred.
The Jewish public will never allow its youth to be treated as if they were outside the law. It is the first duty of the authorities to guarantee the safety of its citizens, independent of their religion and nationality, and to guarantee them liberty of education.
We, the undersigned to this interpellation, ask the Minister, therefore, whether these facts are known to him, what he intends to do to put a stop to these anti-Jewish excesses at the Universities, and what action he is going to take to prevent any recurrences.
The disturbances at the various universities are clearly of an organised and of an antisemitic character, the interpellation points out, and goes on to draw the attention of the Government to the unrestricted sale of newspapers in the country which are given over entirely to stirring up anti-Jewish feeling, containing nothing else beyond antisemitic incitement, papers like the Cracow “Hatlo Podwawelskie”, the Graudenz “Miedzy Oczy”, the Rogozny “Dziennik Narodowy”, and the Bydgosz “Shabes Kurier.
The antisemitic agitation now being carried on in Poland is no child’s play, the interpellation concludes, and unless the Government takes immediate and drastic action to put a stop to it, there may be very disastrous consequences.