Lwow (Dec. 7)
The terrorization of the Jews which has been continuous in Lwow since November 26th, assumed a new form today in a series of bombing attempts.
Seven tear bombs were thrown into the premises of a cinema owned by a Jew, driving out all the patrons. A tear bomb was also thrown into a store owned by a Jew, Sigmunt Ihrer.
On December 1 bombs were thrown at a Jewish cemetery and at the Gmilus Chassodim building, causing property damage.
lation discloses that at the height of the disturbances, the District Governor of Lwow suggested a round table conference with leaders of the excesses.
A fortnight before the mass attacks, says the interpellation, individual incidents directed against the Jews were current in Lwow, such as the breaking of windows and attacks on Jewish stores. On Szeinacha Street in particular Jews were attacked, especially in the evening hours. The attention of the authorities was brought to the growing disquiet in the district by the Lwow press which pointed out in particular that Jewish worshippers in a synagogue located there were in danger.
Immediately after the death of Jan Grotkowski the Jewish population became aware that provocation on a large scale was afoot, it is asserted.
On Sunday, it is pointed out, a student proclamation was issued labelling the Jews as murderers without waiting for the results of the investigation as to the circumstances surrounding the death of Grotkowski.
A wild orgy of Jew-baiting began at once, continuing from Sunday to Thursday, says the interpellation. Cries of “Beat the Jews” became a war slogan and resounded from place to place and street to street. The disturbances grew and with it the panic of the Jewish population. On Monday, the students at the University of Lwow were beaten up until they bled.
Despite the warning of the Jews that large scale provocations were imminent only three hundred police were available in Lwow on Sunday night, November 27th, the evening after the death of Grotkowski.
On Monday morning, says the interpellation, one hundred additional police were made available and only on Tuesday did 150 additional police arrive. Their policy, however, continued inactive even when they appeared on the scene of disturbances, while in many instances they stayed away.
This attitude on the part of the police, continues the memorandum, stimulated the mob to greater fury and increased their lust to further riots.
Peaceable Jewish pedestrians were beaten up by the police in many cases and on Sunday Jews who dared to defend themselves from attack were arrested.
On Monday, fifty Jews were attacked by a mob several times in size and offered resistance. Instead of arresting the attackers the police arrested the Jews who defended themselves, creating the impression that the police are on hand only to act against the Jews, asserts the Club of Jewish Deputies.
The police department explained that the reserves purposely arrived late on the scene of the first incident in order not to arouse the National Democrats too greatly by a display of vigorous efforts to suppress the disturbances.
On Monday night, the memorandum recounts, a Jewish delegation visited the district Governor of Lwow, related the extent of the pogroms and demanded strong measures. The Jewish delegation related that on Furmanska Street peaceable Jews were beaten by the police and other relevant facts. They cited the case of one Adolf Leiteler who was dragged out of a trolley car and severely beaten up. When he asked the police to protect him they replied by joining in the attack.
Another Jew, Leon Litvak, was attacked but managed to overpower his assailant, cites the interpellation. He then called upon the police for assistance but none responded to his call for help. It was only when the mob surrounded Litvak that the police came on the scene and then, too, it was to join in the attack, while Litvak’s assailant was permitted to escape.
The Litvak incident occurred on the sixth day of the riots, the memorandum points out. The police sided with the hooligans, too, when the Jews were accused of throwing stones from windows. Although this accusation was proved to have no foundation, in fact the police persisted in their accusation, the Jewish Deputies assert.
Other attacks upon Jews riding in trolleys and the participation of the trolley conductors are cited in the complaint.
In one case a Jewish teacher, Segal, travelling in a trolley car was dragged from the car, beaten up and injured on head and chest. A mob followed him to his home, persecuting him all the way, but no policeman came to his aid. Segal was finally saved from his attackers by his neighbor, a Polish captain, who dispersed the mob singlehanded at the point of a gun.
The railway authorities are also implicated by the Club of Jewish Deputies, who charge that the railway authorities refused to give Jewish passengers protection sought by them.
A Jewish delegation approached the district governor of Lwow for a second time in connection with the funeral services of Grotkowski held last Tuesday. They pointed out that consequences were inevitable if the elaborately prepared plans for the monster funeral service and demonstration were permitted to become effective. This warning, too, the District Governor ignored, and permitted the funeral services to take place as planned.
The National Democratic organ, “Kurier Lwowski,” it points out, was not confiscated, although the paper asserted that the funeral for Grotkowski constituted a manifestation of the solidarity of the entire population of Lwow against the Jews.
Small wonder that the disturbances continued on the increase, the Jewish deputies comment.
Referring to the case of Zamorski, the Polish student presumably wounded by a gun shot fired on the Grotkowski funeral procession, who last Saturday confessed that he was injured by the premature explosion of a hand grenade carried by himself, the memorandum states that not only the press but even the authorities brandmarked the Jews as responsible for the crime, although they should have known that Zamorski had never been shot, but had been wounded by an explosion. Despite this the authorities openly declared that none but Jews could have done it. This viewpoint was reiterated by the Police Commandant of Lwow to Dr. Heinrich Rosmarin, vice-president of the Club of Jewish Deputies.
The memorandum recalls that two Jewish youths were arrested for the alleged crime on Zamorski, one of whom was only 18 years old, while the central authorities categorically demanded of Jewish leaders that the Jewish Self Defense be disbanded, pointing to the Zamorski incident as an example of the results of self-defense. Actually, state the Jewish Deputies, the Jews have had no self-defense. To this viewpoint the authorities held despite the fact that two days earlier Jewish Deputies had pointed out that the events were the result of provocation.
No efforts were made by the authorities to punish the rioters, the Deputies charge. It was under such circumstances, nevertheless, that they suggested a round table conference with the leaders of the disturbances. The result of this gesture was an increase in the pogrom atmosphere, the Jewish representatives asserted.
On Wednesday Jewish leaders made representations to the District Governor once again, informing him that the developments vividly recall the pogrom of 1918 and expressing surprise that pogroms should remain unsuppressed under the present strong regime.
The University authorities also share in the blame according to the Deputies, doing little to help quiet the mood.
Some 399 persons who suffered morally and physically at the hands of the anti-Semites registered for first aid treatment, but this number is not complete as many have not registered for aid, the interpellation states.
The firing of the grounds of the Jewish Sport Club, the Hasmonei, was planned in an inn owned by a Jew who overheard the students discussing the plan. He informed the police but the latter did nothing to deter the incendiaries, says the interpellation.
These facts fall far short of presenting a complete picture of what the Jews have lived through in these last few days, asserts the interpellation.
The attitude of the authorities must have created the impression on the part of the Polish population that the Jews are outside the law and that anything can be done with them, since in the open day, under the eyes of the authorities hundreds of crimes were committed with a heavy property loss.
Therefore the Jewish Deputies demand punishment of the victims and assurances that the disturbances will not be permitted to recur, the interpellation concludes.
The National Democratic Deputies also submitted an interpellation to Parliament in which they allege that the police beat National Democrats upon the orders of the Jews. Therefore the National Democrats in turn beat the Jews.