Many Jewish passersby were injured and much material damage to Jewish property was caused during an anti-Jewish demonstration which lasted all day Monday here. The demonstration, which was arranged by the National Democratic Youth Organization and students, developed into a savage attack on Jewish communal institutions in the city. The exact number of those injured is not yet known.
The cause for the attack was said to be the spreading of a rumor, which was published in the anti-Semitic National Democratic press in Lemberg, that Jewish girls, who are pupils of the Jewish high school, threw stones at a Catholic procession which passed in front of the high school yesterday. Another version had it that the Jewish girls did not throw stones but stood in the windows and laughed, which was interpreted as mockery.
The demonstration started Monday morning, but the authorities then intervened. It was renewed in the afternoon when it developed into a series of excesses, the police arriving on the scene too late to be of any help. Forty youths who participated in the demonstration were arrested late Monday night. A delegation of students and the dean of the University demanded of the district chief that the prisoners be released, but the chief refused their request warning that severe measures will be taken in the event the excesses are renewed. Up to noon on Tuesday quiet prevailed in the city which has not yet recovered from the outbreak.
A survey of the wreckage showed that two synagogues were completely demolished as were the editorial and printing establishments of the Polish Jewish daily newspaper “Chwila,” the building of the Jewish high school, the home of the Jewish Students Association, and the editorial offices of the Yiddish daily. “Der Morgen.”
When the Polish youths stormed the headquarters of the Zionist Student
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Organization. “Emunah,” the Jewish students offered resistance and a bloody battle ensued. The police intervened on several occasions, attempting to break up the demonstration, but each time the students and youths formed close ranks again, marching on their route of destruction.
The damage caused at the offices of the “Chwila” was estimated in the neighborhood of $20,000. Two linotype machines were totally destroyed in the printing establishment of the newspaper. One typesetter, a Christian, was injured. The editorial offices were covered with splintered glass.
Much greater was the damage done in the Jewish high school building. whose construction took ten years and the funds for which were raised by popular subscription. It housed a boy’s high school, a girl’s high school, a commercial college and laboratories for physics and chemistry.
The charge that the Jewish high school girls threw stones at the procession was declared to be totally unfounded. A report issued by the Lemberg branch of the Polish Telegraphic Agency asserted today that the blame for the demonstration was to be put on the improper behavior of twenty Jewish high school girls during the procession. An investigation has been started by the authorities, according to the Polish Telegraphic Agency.
An unverified report of the Eastern News Agency states that two rabbis visited Catholic church dignitaries expressing their regret at the behavior of the Jewish girls and stating that a delegation representing Jewish parents would likewise call to express regret.
This morning another demonstration of Polish students marched to the office of the district chief asking for the release of the forty arrested last night.
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.