WILNO, Poland (Nov. 23)
Following a tumultuous week-end, order was restored here today when the University of Wilno “advised” Jewish and Polish liberal students to occupy separate benches in classrooms to avoid future anti-Semitic disturbances. Complete shutdown of the university was threatened unless the advice is accepted.
Offered as a compromise in the face of spectacularly presented demands by Nationalists for institution of “ghetto” benches, the university’s decision brought to an end a four-day hunger strike by 1,000 anti-Semitic students.
The Nationalists, who had barricaded themselves in the university’s dormitories, vacated the buildings today and staged a huge, peaceful “victory” demonstration.
In reporting the developments, the Nationalist press had announced this morning that the university authorities, following intervention by Archbishop Jabrlrzykowski, had “yielded” to the anti-Semitic demands and had ordered institution of “ghetto” benches.
A sympathy demonstration by 2,000 more Nationalist students was held yesterday in Wilno streets, during which the Jewish quarter was invaded, twenty Jews injured and an aged Jew died of shock. Police were stoned from balconies along the line of march. In some streets not one window was left unbroken.
The demonstrators were further aroused by the return of a delegation of students’ mothers from Warsaw where the Minister of Education was quoted as warning them that he would close the university if the strike continued.
The mothers said they had insisted that their sons could not sit with Jews and the Minister had replied that he would not order institution of the desired “ghetto” benches.
The “hunger strike,” was branded a fake by the authorities, who said the students were supplied with food and drink by their comrades from outside the barricaded dormitories.
Jewish shops, in anticipation of continued disorders today, shuttered their windows and closed for the day.
Jewish organizations issued sharp protests against the university’s action. Senator Dr. Isaac Rubinstein wired the Jewish Deputies Club of the Polish Parliament asking intervention to protect the “jeopardized rights of Jewish students.”