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[Page 187]

A Bloody May First

by Leyzer Kirshteyn, New York

Translated by Miriam Leberstein

In 1926, the Jewish and Polish workers jointly organized a May First demonstration. The political situation in the Warsaw central government was then very tense because of the frequent strikes and the demonstrators were therefore forbidden to march on Warszawska Street, where the city hall was located.

The demonstrators, resentful and angry over the ban, did not obey and marched toward Warszawska Street. The first ranks of marchers began to demonstrate near the city hall. The police, who were obliged to enforce the ban, shot into the demonstrators' ranks and a Polish worker, Lapukh, was killed and others injured.

The police did not limit themselves to this shooting attack and brutally attacked the demonstrators, mostly the flag–bearers. They tore the flag from me after a bitter struggle, but in the commotion I escaped. A false rumor spread through town that the police had chopped off my hand. A state of emergency was declared and the local military garrison took over the town.

The tragic ending of the demonstration had other results. The local reactionaries took notice and anti–Semitism grew significantly. Many of the demonstrators had to leave town and set off abroad, across borders and seas. Those who fled never lost contact with their town and their comrades and always sent moral and material aid to continue the struggle.

In connection with that tragic day we should note the unusually noble conduct of Lyuba Turkltaub, who ignoring the danger provided first aid to the wounded demonstrators.

[Page 188]

now188a.jpg
Women workers of the plywood factory

 

now188b.jpg
Shloyme Tsuker, representative of Poalei Tsion in the leadership
of the bakers' union, with his wife and children

 

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