The Moscow “Emes” today publishes a letter to the editor”, telling of an occurrence reminiscent of the days of Czarism in Russia.
A Petlurist, who went over to the Soviets, was sent out to the township of Snitkov, in the province of Podolia, as President of the local Soviet. On June 22nd, the new head of the township called a local Jew, over sixty years of age, and ordered him to collect the labor taxes from the rest of the inhabitants, on the ground that his house was No. 10 on the street and the tenth citizen should callect the taxes.
The Jew pleaded that he was an old man and could not go about as a tax-gatherer. The President of the Soviet became furious that a Jew dared talk back to him and ordered his arrest. A second Jew, also past sixty who was present at the time, asked why his friend was to be arrested. The President thereupon seized a rifle and pointed it at the Jew.
The latter’s daughter rushed to the window and raised an alarm. A crowd gathered but quickly dispersed as the President began to shoot wildly into the air. The case has been reported to the Public Prosecutor of the district, who is making inquiries.
The President of the Soviet has meanwhile submitted his own version of the affair to the local authorities, stating that a number of Jews came to his office and attempted to shoot him, and that he had acted in self defense. He further alleges that the whole Jewish population of Snitkov consists of counter-revolutionaries.
Practically all Jewish men have been arrested and are already for some weeks in prison. No inquiry has been started yet. Three of the prisoners are men over sixty years old.
The letter is signed by two Jews from Snitkov who were not arrested, M. Lifschitz and Ch. Teppermeinster. The name of the President of the Soviet and the names of the arrested Jews are not given in the letter.
The editor of the “Emes” adds a footnote that the Central Committee of Jewish Communist Organization has taken steps to investigate the report. At the same time, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Public prosecutor for the whole of the province.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.