Many Jews Injured, Homes Looted in Riots in Czestochowa, Poland

Many Jews were injured, their homes and shops pillaged or set afire, in serious riots last night and today in the Western Polish city of Czestochowa following the murder of a Polish railway porter, allegedly by a Jewish butcher.

Casualty totals and the extent of property damage were not immediately established, but both were reported great. The disorders broke out at eight o’clock last night after a Nationalist anti-Jewish demonstration and continued until 12:30 this morning.

A telephone report received by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at 2:30 p.m. today said the disorders were spreading to the city’s outskirts where anti-Semites were pillaging Jews’ shops, invading their homes, attacking Jews and carrying off their property.

The Jewish Community of the city in the Kielce province, not far from the German border, telegraphed Premier Skladkowski and the provincial governor:

“The position of the Jewish population of Czestochowa is most dangerous. Large numbers of Jewish shops and houses are being demolished and pillaged, and many Jews attacked and injured. The excesses are taking place in the presence of the police who are not taking adequate measures to stop them. In the name of the Jewish population we request you to take all appropriate measures to restore order and preserve peace.”

The mayor of Czestochowa issued an appeal to the Polish population to keep calm and end the excesses.

With sporadic anti-Jewish attacks continuing during the night, this morning found tension at a high pitch. Large police forces and troops stood by. Jews were awaiting further developments with trepidation, particularly the funeral of the slain porter, Stefan Baran, Monday.

Minor disorders broke out yesterday after the murder of Baran following a personal quarrel for which Joseph Bendrak, Jewish butcher, was arrested. The Iskra News Agency reported Baran accosted Bendrak and demanded money for drink, resulting in a quarrel with the fatal sequel. The butcher’s assistant, Feiwel Kozuch, was also arrested.

After the shooting, the Jewish community requested the district governor to take protective measures. Police patrols were immediately detailed to guard the streets. The governor also summoned the president of the National Democratic Party and demanded that he use his influence with the anti-Semitic party members to keep order and not wreak vengeance on the Jewish people for the act of an individual.

Despite the warning the party held an anti-Jewish demonstration last evening on the city’s principal street which was followed by the excesses. Anti-Semites broke windows of many Jewish houses and of an old synagogue. They set fire to and pillaged shops on principal streets, including Warsawska and Aleja Streets.

Jews were attacked in the streets. Among the seriously injured was Dr. Ignacy Schreiber, a high school teacher. Christian shopowners displayed sacred images in their windows.

The Jewish Deputies’ Club in Warsaw intervened with the central authorities, who gave assurances strict measures would be taken to maintain order.

An illustration of the extent of anti-Jewish feeling was furnished by an invasion of a Government school for Jewish children by Polish schoolboys who forced their way into the building, broke all the windows, demolished furniture and tore up text books, throwing them into the street.

NEXT STORY