Nine Sentenced to Death for Provoking Kielce Pogrom; Thousands of Jews Fleeing Poland

Nine of the 12 persons charged with provoking the pogrom which took the lives of 45 persons here last Thursday were sentenced to death today at the conclusion of their four day trial. Among the condemned are two members of the government militia. All of the defendants had pleaded guilty in varying degrees.

An anti-Semitic mob in Czestochows attempted yesterday to lynch a man suspected of being a Jew, who they charged with having murdered a young girl, the Warsaw radio reported today, but were dispersed by the militia. A subsequent investigation disclosed that the victim, named Witkiewicz, was not Jewish.

Bishop Kubina of Czestochowa has issued a statement condemning the Kielce pogrom and calling for punishment of those involved. “The Jews have been through the hell of the occupation, and witnessed the torment and death of their kin, while themselves barely escaping death,” the Bishop said. “Nothing can excuse the Kielce crime. It is deserving of the wrath of God and man. The perpetrators debased the honor of man and violated the Christian commandment to love thy neighbor.”

All the rumors concerning ritual murders are false, the Bishop continued, and no Christian in Kielce, or anywhere else in Poland, has been harmed by Jews for ritual purposes. He appealed to all citizens not to believe wild rumors, and to halt attempts to attack Jews.

Meanwhile, Polish Jews were reported to be fleeing en masse into Czechoslovakia, en route to the American zone of Germany and, they hope, eventually Palestine. Thousands are said to be congregating in towns adjoining the Czechoslavak border.

American Ambassador Arthur Bliss Lane is understood to have told Premier Eduard Osubka-Morawski yesterday that the Army is worried about the threatened influx of Polish Jews into Germany and Austria.

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