Court Told Przytyk Pogrom is “tragedy of Polish Culture”

Counsel for the 14 Jewish defendants in the trial in District Court of 57 persons on charges arising from the disorders on March 9 in Przytyk in which three persons were killed and scores wounded continued their summations today.

Waclaw Szumanski, non-Jewish attorney for Sholem Lesko, who is charged with shooting and killing a Christian during the disorders declared that “the Przytyk affair is the tragedy of Polish culture and humanity. It is an affliction and a shame to Poland.”

He asserted that “there were 250 pogrom trials in Czarist Russia, but not one single instance where the Jewish victims were made to take the bench with the defendants.”

Ridiculing the contention of the public prosecutor that the Jews provoked the excesses, he said the Jews’ action was restricted to self-defense and that it was not the Jews but the peasants who fought the police.

Lesko fired into the air, Szumanski said, and it was impossible for him to have hit the Christian Wiesniak. He will complete his summation tomorrow.

Kazimier Petruscewicz, non-Jewish dean of the Wilno Bar Association, in his summation for Lazar Feldberg and M. Haberberg, Jewish defendants, denounced the attack of the anti-Semitic lawyer, Kowalski, on the Jewish religion and his demand that the Jews leave Poland.

“The Jews will not leave Poland,” he said. “They will remain and the Jewish problem will not be solved in the way of Przytyk and Minsk Mazowiec.” (The latter town was also the scone of recent anti-Jewish disorders.)

Leon Bernsohn, Jewish counsel for the defendant Kerszensweig, declared that if his client had fired a gun, the shooting was justified. The Jews of Przytyk only defended themselves, he said.

“Should the Jews have allowed themselves to be slaughtered because the police were unable to defend them?” he asked.

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