RADOM, Poland (Jun. 5)
The trial of 56 persons on charges arising from the anti-Semitic disorders March 9 in Przytyk was interrupted today when a Jewish defendant recognized a witness on the stand as one of the murderers of two Jews.
Lazar Feldberg leaped from the dock in District Court and shouted at M. Ragulski, landlord of the house in which two Jews were killed: “You are one of those who murdered Joseph Minkowski and his wife.”
Feldberg then fainted and the court called a recess.
Fourteen Jews and forty-two Poles are being tried on various charges — including murder, manslaughter and carrying firearms — growing out of the disorders in which two Jews and a Pole were killed and scores of Jews injured. The trial is in its fourth day with more than 350 witnesses yet to be heard.
Earlier, it was testified that before the outbreak the Jews had approached the Governor of Radom and requested protection but the Governor refused, asking, “Have any Jews been killed yet?”
Witnesses said that during the disturbances Jews called for help while peasants shouted, “Beat the Jews:” Two Gentile teachers from the Przytyk public school testified that Jews had been aggressive and had bought 200 toy guns. They said the disturbances resulted from Jewish provocation.
A verbal duel was fought between attorneys yesterday to establish whether the Jews or Poles were responsible for the riots. Nationalist lawyers attempted to show that the disturbances had been provoked by the shooting of Stanislaw Wiesniak, the Christian, while counsel for the Jews contended that the riots had been in progress before Wiesniak was shot.
On cross-examination by an attorney for the Gentiles, a police witness said that Jews had been subjected to repeated attacks from Feb. 1 to March 9. He declared that fifteen reports on the attacks had been sent to higher police authorities, adding that on the day of the disorders 4,000 peasants came into the market place and threw terror into the Jewish population of the town.
The Police Commissioner for the Radom district — in which Przytyk is situated — testified that he was unaware that the Przytyk Jews had arms.
Heated exchanges between opposing counsel occurred when Jewish attorneys attacked the credibility of witnesses for the non-Jewish defendants, pointing to discrepancies in testimony to the court and in depositions to the public prosecutor.
A number of witnesses said they saw Sholem Lesko — charged with the murder of Wiesniak — fire from the window of his parents’ home and that the Gentile then fell in the street.
The court refused application of an attorney for release on bail of Eliezer Feldberg, 65 years old, a Jewish defendant. Feldberg denied shooting, declaring to the court that he could not violate the Mosaic commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” He said he had repeatedly asked the authorities to protect the Jews.