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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919
(1919)

Poland,   pp. 741-800 PDF (21.7 MB)


Page 794

FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1919, VOLUME II
and before any Polish authorities existed to organize a service of
security. At Lemberg while the outbreaks occurred a little later,
Nov. 21-23, 1918, it was at the end of hostilities between the Polish
and Ukrainian elements of the population.
The Pinsk outrage, April 5, 1919, was 30 days after the capture
of the town from the Bolsheviks by the Poles, but was a purely
military affair. The town commander with judgment unbalanced
by fear of a Bolshevik uprising of which he had been forewarned by
two Jewish soldier informers sought to terrorize the Jewish popula-
tion (about 75% of the whole) by the execution of 35 Jewish citizens
without investigation or trial, by imprisoning and beating others and
by wholesale threats against all Jews. No share in this action can
be attributed to any military official higher up, to any of the Polish
civil officials, or to the few Poles resident in that district of White
Russia.
The Czestochowa riots on May 27, 1919, while based on the sup-
posed shooting of a Polish soldier by a Jew was not connected with a
military operation and occurred after both military and civil gov-
ernment had been established. Only after five deaths was the out-
break arrested. These five deaths are the only fatalities from mob
violence in Congress Poland discovered or reported to us since the
establishment of a stable government in the Republic.
The military operations of the Polish army in the taking of Lida
(April 17, 1919) of Wilno (April 21, 1919) and of Minsk (Aug. 8.
1919) in consideration of the facts of its organization, that it was
still poorly organized, unequipped, under-officered and undisciplined
would not have been so noticeably irregular even though civilian
deaths were considerable and robberies large, except for the fact
that those killed and robbed were practically all Jews. Nor is it
explained by the fact that most of the shops in those cities were
Jewish. The fact that there were some non-Jewish establishments
and that none of them were disturbed shows an intelligent and in-
tentional discrimination on the part of the lawless element in the
army disclosing a racial antipathy made more patent by the desire
to rob and pillage, which was apparently felt not to be wrong or at
least not to be severely punished by superiors. In Wilno there was
active street fighting for three days, and while the army lost 33 the
civilian loss was 65. But the civilians were all Jews and many
others were thereafter deported and subject to hardships which it is
hard to justify by military practice. In support of the conviction
that there had been active sympathy with the Bolsheviks by Jews
and sniping by them during the street fighting we had many state-
gnents of eye witnesses presented to us. There can be no doubt that
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