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11 Jews Jailed in Przytyk Disorders; Poles Get Short Terms

The District Court today sentenced eleven Jews to jail terms ranging from six months to eight years for their roles in the Przytyk pogrom of March 9 during which two Jews and one Christian were killed and scores of Jews wounded.

Four of 43 Poles charged with the murder of the Jews, Joseph and Chaia Minkowsky, were acquitted, three were given sentence of one year and the remainder six months each. Three of the 14 Jews who stood trial were acquitted.

The longest term was meted out to Sholom Lesko, 19, for the slaying of Stanislaw Wiesniak, Polish peasant. The court rejected his plea that he had shot into the air and couldn’t have killed Wiesniak. It had refused his attorney’s request that the incident in the pogrom be reenacted at the scenes, in order to prove it was impossible for him to have committed the crime he was accused of.

The other sentences:

Eliezer Kirszenzweig, 19, six years; Isaak Frydman, 27, five years; Izaak Banda, 30, Leib Lenga, 27, eight months each; Saul Krengel, 41, Moss Ferszt, 37, Raphael Honig, 20, Leib Zeide, 36, six months each; Abraham Haborberg, 46, and Eliezer Feldberg, 65, ten months each.

The convicted defendants are appealing the verdict.

The defendants took the verdict without showing any emotion, but Lesko’s father fainted.

The Przytyk pogrom was one of the worst in recent Polish history. A Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent who visited the scene of the rioting shortly after it broke out reported the town resembled a besieged city in war time.

The pogrom was the climax of an intensive anti-Jewish boycott enforced by agitators by terroristic methods.

The trial, which opened June 2, was used by anti-Semitic attorneys for the Christian defendants as a forum to air their anti-Jewish views.

The prosecutor as well as the Endek lawyers charged that the Jews had provoked the pogrom by shooting and beating peasants.

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