Lithuanian Jewish Press on Imprisonment of Antisemitic Ex-premier
Menu JTA Search

Lithuanian Jewish Press on Imprisonment of Antisemitic Ex-premier

Download PDF for this date

It is not nice to point the finger of scorn at a fallen enemy, to dance with joy because of the downfall of one who formerly held high place and has sunk so low as to be branded ### with the mark of the felon, the Yiddish daily "Yiddishe Stimme" here writes in an editorial on the conviction of the ex-Premier and ex-Minister of Finance Petrulis, on a charge of misappropriating State funds, for which he has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a heavy fine.

We do not like triumphing over a man who is down, the paper proceeds, but life compels people to draw conclusions from the things that happen. There is a kind of fatal association between strident, vociferous, inflated patriotism, which always prates of the spirit of the people, which constantly strikes a patriotic attitude, and the tendency to misuse the funds of the people and the State for their own purposes. When the "patriot" keeps shouting that it is his noble aim to defend his poor oppressed people from the Jewish parasites, from the alieh elements who are sucking the blood of the people, it is as well to look at his hands, for often these same hands are found sticking to things which do not belong to them.

M. Betrulis, unfortunately, exploited his financial abilities to propagate the modern system of "economic defence" against Jews. The Lithuanian Jews were too big in his eyes. when he was in office, the tax screw was put on to the uttermost. He conducted his protective policy against Jewish economic activity. What has happened to Petrulis is another lesson to those who look upon chauvinists with suspicion. We do not rejoice at the fall of petrulis. We have no feeling of "Schadenfreude", but there is a lesson that must be drawn from his fall, and it is those who aim to continue the methods of the fallen Premier who should draw the lesson most of all.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund