Jewish Question Acute and Complex in Poland; Pogroms Exaggerated -- Germans and Bolsheviki Both Stir

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Jewish Question Acute and Complex in Poland; Pogroms Exaggerated -- Germans and Bolsheviki Both Stir - JEWISH QUESTION ACUTE -AND COMPLEX IN POLAND j...
JEWISH QUESTION ACUTE -AND COMPLEX IN POLAND j POGROMS EXAGGERATED (Continued from Page 1.) cabulary I succeeded in making myself pretty well understood. Dazed By The Fighting. Trade and industry were at a standstill, the people were still shell-shocked and dazed from the fighting a few days before and no one seemed to have much to do. There were little knots of people standing here and there in the streets talking in low tones. Old men in tall black caps and long black cassocks, with enormous beards and curfs on either side of their faces were gossiping together. Old women with wigs of black darning cotton sat on the steps of their delapi-dated hovels minding scores of babies, and a crowd of picturesque girls, with bright colored 'snawls thrown around their shoulders, and gathered around me, surveying my American clothes with bright, curious eyes. I was talking to one of them, a child of 17, who had an old grandmother and a ' consumptive brother to support, when. suddenly I noticed a commotion a little farther down the street. A Pole was engaged in a violent altercation with an old man. J gathered that it was a dispute about rent. In a few minutes a fair-sized crowd had collected, not taking part in the argument, but listening to both sides. Then something happened. At the head of the street a Lithuanian patrol of eight men, led by an officer, appeared. The men all carried rifles and the officer had in his hand the terrible logaika. a Russian many-thonged whip. I backed precipitately into a doorway with several girls, while the troops, with hoarse cries, charged the crowd, which dispersed in all directions Flossed The Oltl Man. . Without waiting to find out what tin. argument was about, the officer walked up to the old man and deliberately lashed him over the head and shoulders with the logaika. He gave a cry of pain, whereupon his daughter, a pretty, spirited-looking girl, ran out of the house, seized him in her arms and began to protest volubly. The officer grabbed her by the arm. to"re ber away from her father, and, holding her at arm's length, drew his sword, which he held at her breast with a threatening gesture, driving her back into the house, while the soldiers pushed the old man after her. Meanwhile, every Jew had disappeared as if by magic. Doors were bolted and barred, shutters closed with a bang ami the street had the appearance of a deserted village. Peeping through a rack in the door of the house where I had taken refuge, I watched the Lithuanian troops march up the street, firing a random shot' here and there, while the officer cracked his whip menacingly. A few minutes after they had disappeared dpors and windows were furtively opened one by one, heads began to appear in the openings and in 15 minutes the life of the Ghetto was going on as ustal. AVhat might have been a pogrom had turned out to be -only an everyday incident, but to me it was most illuminating. Red Snipers In Jewish Homes. I was in Wilna shortly after the i pogrom in April, and X heard what I believe to be an absolutely truthful account of the whole affair, as far as the actual facts were concerned, from the "Ober Kabbiner," Head Rabbi Dr. Rubinstein, Dr. Szabad and Dr. Rosen-baum, two prominent Jewish citizens, and several others. We met in the rabbi's apartment on the outskirts of the city, behind closed doors, and at considerable risk to ourselves., for all meetings of Jews had been strictly forbidden by the Polish military governor. According to their ' statements, the pogroms began on April 21, shortly after the Polish troops had occupied the town. Some stragglers from the Bolshevik forces who had remained behind after the withdrawal of the Red troops sniped at the Poles from houses that were found to be occupied by Jews. This was the signal for rounding up the en-, tire Jewish population. All of the more influential Jews, including the men with whom T talked, were arrested and were compelled to pay sums varying from 1.500 to 7,000 rubles as ransom. Rabbi Rubinstein was very roughly handled by the soldiers, and one man, over 70, who was one of the best-known merchants in Wilna, was arrested and compelled to go to headquarters, tied to the bridle of a Polish officer's horse, running all the way to keep up with him. Jewish Synagogues Looted. During the following days hundreds of Jews fled to the country, so that it was difficult to ascertain the exact number of casualties, but I was told by the rabbi that he had officiated at the funerals of 53 victims. Hermann Bernstein, the well-known Jewish correspondent, in his article in the New York Herald, which appeared two weeks ago, places the number at 05. Upon the arrival of the Morgenthau commission releases were sought and obtained for the Jews who were still imprisoned, and it was proved that the arrests had been made by the military, without the co-operation of the civil authorities. Shops were broken into and plundered. I saw a number in the Jewish quarter which had been virtually stripped of everything they contained, particularly those that sold food supplies. The silver candlesticks had been taken from the wonderful old synagogue in the heart of the Ghetto, which was built centuries ago, under Russian rule, partly underground, to protect the worshipers from attack, and many of the inhabitants had spent days in the cellars and subcellars that extend several floors deep under many houses, similar to those in San Francisco's Chinatown. Jews Boycotted By Poles. With regard to the pogrom in Lida, I could obtain no exact information.. The men with whom I talked said quite frankly that they had had their accounts only from hysterical refugees, whose reports were probably greatly exaggerated, and that, owing to the fact that no Jews were permitted to leave the city since the pogroms, they had not been able to get the real facts. They were deeply concerned over another aspect of the situation, however. This was the industrial boycott of Jews which was then in effect. They claimed that since the Polish occupation it was virtually impossible for Jews to obtain employment. A certain number were requsiitioned for jxmpulsory labor by the Polish military authorities, being compelled to do the hardest ' possible work, without regard for age or physical condition. The rest, owing to the boycott, were unable to earn a living and many were practically starving. This was the Jewish side of the shield, and it was certainly a dark one. Jews Hoarded Foodstuffs. On the other band, there was considerable justification for the stand taken by the Poles, though there was none for the acts of violence and oppression which undoubtedly took place in Wilna. I was able to obtain the Polish point of view from Captain Merwin, a Polish General Staff officer at headquarters. He told me that when Wilna was taken by the Polish troops the Jews were practically in control of the food situation. During the Bolshevist occupation they had hoarded and concealed food supplies, which appeared the moment the Russians withdrew. Quantities of food appeared from hidden caches and mysterious sources of supply. The Jews had also cornered the scanty supply of raw materials available and had been able to import, through underground channels, a certain amount of manufactured articles, such as ready-made clothing, shoes and piece goods. They were all offered to the natives, most of whom were in rags and pretty nearly starving, at exorbitant prices. The Poles claimed that the Jews were in sympathy with the Bolsheviki, and I believe this to have been true to a certain extent, but I am convinced that the intercourse between the soviet authorities and the Jews was not so much political as commercial in character. Many of the latter had trimmed sails during, the Bolshevik occupation1 and had been able to obtain supplies from Russia and to protect their financial interests. There were some who had actually waxed rich under the Bolsheviki and wlft had thousands of Kcrensky rubles safely tucked away, but the great rank and file of the Jewish population had suffered severely. Kef ngee Jews Fill Poland.: Another problem confronting the Poles assert, with reason, that it will be of the Jewish population since the beginning of the world war, or, 'in fact, since the inauguration of the pogroms in Russia under the old Imperial government. Fcrr many years Poland has been the dumping ground for Jews from Eastern and Southern Russia, trying to escape from the intolerable conditions in those regions, and a large proportion of the Jewish population is not of Polish origin. Numbers of intelligent Poles assert with reason that it will be necessary to force a certain amount of emigration before it will be possible for the new republic to satisfactorily assimilate its Jewish citizens, who have been accorded equal rights with their Polish brothers under the law. With this in mind, they are allowing a certain latitude to the leaders of the Zionist movement in Poland. Germans Doable-Cross Jews. German intrigue is rife among the Jews in Poland and Lithuania. In Kovno there is a large Jewish school where the predominant influence is German, Ciid the influence of the German army ?f occupation is widespread. The n-Hilary authorities have made it a point to cater to the Jewish population, and in all the towns I found pro-German sentiment very strong. I will write about this more fully in another article describing my trip to Lithuania. There is another side of the Jewish question which is probably less familiar In Americans than the Polish situation. It is the manner in which anti-Semite agitation is being made use of by the reactionary element in Germany. , On he night of June 24 a number of wholesale houses in North Berlin were broken into and" plundered by a mob led by several men who made incendiary anti-Jewish speeches. The attacks were entirely on Jewish firms, nearby establishments of German merchants being respected. It was a significant fact that, although there were Government troops in the immediate neighborhood, they did not reach the scene until the damage had been done, and all of the agitators escaped arrest. Two men were killed and several wounded in the street fighting that followed. AH Hun Sins Laid On Jews. On the bulletin board of the University of Berlin there was a large placard which read : "Officers, enlisted men, technicians, volunteers, soldiers frfom all branches of the service who are of pure German blood and who are desirous of enlisting in formations where no Jews, half Jews, or associates of Jews are admitted may be registered in our enlistment bureau." Such advertisements were common in the daily papers all last spring. They were part of an organized campaign on the part of the old military party to revive the spirit of Pan-Germanism. With the end of the war came a revulsion of feeling against the Junker class and with the revolution the spread of internationalism. A scapegoat for the sins and faults and blunders of the Imperial Government must be found, so the reactionaries used the Jew. Anti-Semitic agitation, which had died out with the uniting of all classes and parties during the war, was revived. The Jews were blamed for starting the war, for continuing it and for ending it. It was charged that they had deliberately stirred up hatred against Germany in Entente countries, that the Reuter News Bureau was controlled by Jews, that the British and French press were under Jewish influence. Certain provincial newspapers asserted solemnly that Lord Northcliffe was a Jew from Frankfort and that the editors of the English Daily Express and Daily News were of Jewish extraction. War, profiteering and the food shortage were laid at their door, and finally it was asserted that Jews alone were responsible for the revolution and for the spread of Communistic propaganda in Germany. Jews Leaders In War Moves. That there was some truth in these statements cannot be denied, even to the assertions that the Jews were responsible for the war, though not always in the sense meant by the Pan-Germans. Albert Ballin, president of the Hamburg-American Line, and one of the Kaiser's closest advisers, was always opposed to the war and its continuance, so in a measure was Walter" Rathenau, head of the German General Electric Company. On the other hand, there were many Jewish big business men who were "all-Deutsch" to the core, such as Commer-zien Rat Katzenstein, many times millionaire and a personal friend of the Kaiser, and who today is closer to the former Crown Princess and the Kaiser's sons than many members of the old nobility. Most of the great bankers, such as Havenstein, of the Deutscher Bank ; Bleichroeder, Sachs, Kahn, Mosse and many others who helped finance the war loans, are Jews. The same men are now financing the new army, ' and General Hoffmann, one of the leaders of the reaction, is of Jewish birth. Jews In All German Parties. The Jewish race is represented in the National Assembly by men of all political faiths, and there are many Jews among the Democrats and Majority Socialists - who are supporting the present government. Landsberg, Naumann, Hirsch, Cohen-Reuss and Bernhard Dernburg are Jews, and Bernstorff is of Jewish extraction. Most of the leaders lhl KLICfOUS. HEALTH PUl, CVCNAtC Q 0TTU COatlRTSCi n ot CONTAINS NO CAPSICUM "ONLY CARBONATED JUWMD 1TN f IBVIM JAMAICA '" 5f25r- ut mil nun nrom mnJ with NWJI cam ua OCVEKMUT mmUM. ww If your dealer has A (

Clipped from
  1. The Baltimore Sun,
  2. 23 Sep 1919, Tue,
  3. Page 5

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  • Jewish Question Acute and Complex in Poland; Pogroms Exaggerated -- Germans and Bolsheviki Both Stir

    BobbyFischer – 24 Mar 2018

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