Poland Launches 2 Probes into Brzesc Riots As Order Returns
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Poland Launches 2 Probes into Brzesc Riots As Order Returns

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Two Government inquiries were launched today into the anti-Semitic outbreak last Thursday at Brzesc (formerly Brest-Litovsk) in which more than 50 Jews were injured.

One commission of investigation was dispatched to the Polesian town by the Interior Ministry while the authorities, in conjunction with the local school authorities, instituted an inquiry into participation of schoolchildren in the riots.

Several Jews were beaten in disorders at Grabow on May 8 and 9. (Reports in New York erroneously said the disorders occurred Saturday.) The disturbances broke out after a Pole had been stabbed during a quarrel with a Jew, Some 300 window panes were broken in the rioting.

Complete order was restored in Brzesc yesterday. A contingent of Warsaw police, numbering 400 strong and equipped for any emergency, patrolled the riot-torn streets of the city.

Funeral rites for Stefan Kedziera, policeman whose fatal stabbing by a Jewish butcher he had sought to arrest led to the rioting, passed off without incident. The burial was held under heavy guard. All non-residents of the city were barred from participating in the services by order of the provincial governor.

The police reinforcements, who replaced local police when the latter failed to stem the disorders that began early Thursday morning and raged until two a.m. Friday, have been ordered to remain temporarily. Despite their presence, the 25,000 Jews of the town remained in a state of tension bordering on panic.

Deputy Emil Sommerstein returned from the town and informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the “worst is over.” Jewish community leaders, he said, on his departure implored him tearfully to remain.

Deputy Sommerstein said the owner of the illegal Jewish slaughter-house denied the stabbing of the Polish policeman. The slaughter-house owner blamed his son for the attack on the policeman. Mr. Sommerstein described the butcher as an “underworld character”.

Nationalist agitators attempted to use the tension at Brzesc to stir up anti-Jewish feeling in neighboring towns, Deputy Sommerstein said but police acted promptly to disperse the agitators and restore order.

A statement attributed to the governor of Brzesc as having been made to Mr. Sommerstein that “preservation of order depends on the Jews themselves, who should not commit acts of provocation” was denied. The governor assured the deputy that order would be preserved at all costs.

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