Two Jews Arrested in Vilna on Suspicion of Having Killed National Democratic Student Waclawski.
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Two Jews Arrested in Vilna on Suspicion of Having Killed National Democratic Student Waclawski.

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A Jewish student named Wulfin, a member of the Zionist Students’ Organisation Kadimah, and a Jewish worker named Zalkind, have been arrested in Vilna to-day on suspicion of having struck the blows which resulted in the death of the National Democratic student, Stanislaw Waclawski, who was killed nearly a month ago in the fighting which took place when the National Democratic students fell upon their Jewish colleagues and tried to drive them out of the University.

The news of the arrests has had a stunning effect on the Jewish population of Vilna, who fear a repetition of the agitation which broke out when Waclawski’s death was announced, when the National Democratic students at their meetings and the entire National Democratic press were demanding revenge against the Jews, who were presented as murdering Christian students, and the Waclawski memorial meetings held all over the country were made starting points for anti-Jewish outbreaks in many of the towns.

The enquiry into the charges against Wulfin and Zalkind has been placed in the hands of one of the principal Vilna judges, indicating the importance attached to the matter by the authorities.


On Sunday, November 8th., the National Democratic students at Vilna University held a meeting, but the Jewish students did not suspect that it was for any purpose out of the ordinary, a Vilna correspondent in one of the Warsaw Yiddish dailies has written, describing the events leading up to and surrounding the death of Stanislaw Waclawski. The next morning (Monday) attempts were made to drive the Jewish students out of the dissecting rooms. The Jewish students refused to be driven out. The Polish students held a demonstration. The Jews also held a demonstration. On Monday evening several clashes took place and there was fighting on both sides. On Tuesday morning, the disturbances spread from the Anatomical Institute to the Faculty of Humanities. Several Professors were beaten, and there was a regular hunt against the Jewish students. The Jewish students put up a fierce resistance. A good deal of hard fighting took place and there were many injuries on both sides. In one of these fights a Polish student, Stanislaw Waclawski, got a severe injury on the head with a stone. Passions flamed up and matters looked very serious.

Later on in the day the Jewish students held a meeting in their club to consider the situation and to organise a self-defence. While the meeting was in progress a big crowd of National Democratic students came up to the club and started throwing stones and tried to break into the building. The Jewish students managed to dodge the stones, but some of them received blows from rubber cudgels. The Polish students were dispersed by the police into the University courtyard, where they held a quiet demonstration, while the Jewish students were driven by the police into the arms of their assailants. At night the report went round that Waclawski, who had been seriously injured, had died in hospital. Immediately there was a demonstration of over 2,000 Polish students, who scattered through the Jewish district; windows were smashed in Jewish shops and houses, and many Jewish shops were looted. A mob of hooligans and denizens of the underworld followed them taking advantage of the opportunity of plunder.

The disturbances in Poland have resulted in two fatalities, the other being a Jewish student at Cracow University named Henryk Goldman, a second-year medical student, twenty years of age, who died (as reported in the J.T.A. Bulletin of November 28th.) of the injuries he had sustained in the attack made on the Jewish students about a month previously, and the shock caused by the receipt of a number of letters threatening to kill him. It was Goldman on whose account the Cracow outbreak started, which spread to Warsaw and Vilna Universities. During a lecture at the University a National Democratic student named Weimer made some insulting remarks about Jews. Goldman protested, with the result that a group of National Democratic students collected round him and beat him, and the fighting extended to the other Jewish students. Goldman’s parents keep a saloon opposite the University building, and students have frequently smashed the windows of the house. Goldman was badly knocked about in the disturbances, and had to go away for a time to recover. He had suffered from a weak heart, and in addition to the shock of the blows he had received, he was very much upset because of an official reprimand from the University Senate blaming him and his protest for the outbreak at the University. The letters which he received threatening to kill him caused him sleeplessness, and then he got a heart attack and died. The funeral, which took place last Friday, was attended by thousands of people, including the whole of the Jewish student youth in Cracow.

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