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Verdict Nears in Przytyk Pogrom Trial

After hearing scores of Jewish and Christian witnesses the District Court concluded today the taking of testimony in the trial of 43 Gentiles and fourteen Jews on charges arising from disorders in Przytyk on March 9 in which three persons were killed and many wounded.

Summations will be rendered tomorrow, the sixteenth day of the trial, and a verdict is expected next week.

Counsel for the non-Jewish defendants sought to have testimony of the Jewish witnesses thrown out on the alleged ground that the Talmud permitted Jews to give false evidence. The motion was denied by the court after the public prosecutor had vigorously opposed it.

M. Kowalski, of the anti-Semitic attorneys, asked permission to call the priest, Trzerciak, to prove that Jews were allowed by their religion to give false testimony, describing the priest as “the great authority on the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch whose opinion even Parliament considered.”

Jewish lawyers bitterly attacked what they called an attempt to make the court a forum for a medieval religious argument and demanded that if Father Trzeciak be called, then they be permitted to call Prof. Zadarowski, who had previously denounced the priest’s “export testimony” as “lying slanders.”

The public prosecutor declared that Polish courts recognize the validity of Jewish testimony, pointing out that Christianity received from Judaism the commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

Several non-Jewish defendants testified, revealing contradictions in previous statements to the police. The remainder of the Christian defendants thereupon refused to take the stand.

Jewish counsel sought again to have the trial moved to Przytyk for reenactment of the disorders, but failed.

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