Newspaper Page Text
Jewish Conditions in Russia The hopes which our incorrigible op timists had reposed in the Duma have been dissipated with the dissolution of the chamber. But if they are disap pointed, they are by no means discour aged. They still continue to hope for the salvation of Russian Jewry from the Duma, and every nerve is being strained to obtain as many seats as possible in the next assembly, and to exercise a pow erful influence at the elections. The Jewish National Group recently held a conference here, which has already been reported, and the “League for Emancipation,” which, owing to splits within its ranks, had long been in a moribund state, awoke to ac tivity in the face of the next electoral campaign. It is reported that the Zion ists are also making great preparations for the campaign, and the two great So cialist parties—the Social Democrats and the Social Revolutionaries —have al ready resolved to participate in the struggle. The Jewish Radical parties, such as the Bund, the Poalei Zion, will also be active. It is, therefore, likely that the Jewish vote will be very much divided, and thereby weakened. How ever regrettable this might be in normal circumstances, it is in the present in stance a matter of comparative indiffer ence, as, in my opinion, the Jews have less to hope from the third Duma than they had from its two predecessors. The new Duma, it is said, will be much more restricted in its powers than the last, and if it should not prove amenable to the bureaucracy, it will be replaced by a military dictatorship. The land is tired of the present rule of anarchy. The campaign of robbery and murder, from which no one is safe, lias become intolerable. Everyone yearns for personal safety, for which he would even sacrifice political freedom. The Union of Russian People, with its thou sand branches, has grown enormously, whereas, the revolutionaries, owing to the ceaseless arrests, confiscations, and deportations, have been proportionately weakened. The government could dis solve the next Duma without the least danger, and substitute a dictatorship. Probably at no time in Russian history has the bureaucratic camarilla been so powerful. The fate of the Jews is there fore not so much bound up with the con stitution of the new Duma as with the favor of the court clique. There can be no doubt that among the men who are at present at the helm, there are some, who, without being Judeopliiles, would be disposed as a piece of statesmanship to grant the Jews certain extensions of rights. Statesmen of the calibre of Stolypin and Kauffmann are by no means in sympathy with anti-Jewish leg THE JEWISH OUTLOOK islation, but are not powerful enough to do anything without the consent of the all-powerful camarilla. Any step they might take in the way of removing Jew ish restrictions could only be done with a feeling of uncertainty and hesitancy, and with the 1 knowledge that account would have to be rendered to the court party or the Union of Russian People— which are practically synonymous. This is shown particularly in the latest cir cular of Stolypin in regard to the right of residence. Neither as a man nor as a statesman can the premier approve of the Jewish Pale of Settlement, which is the cause of an endless stream of complaints and petitions, that give rise to a great deal of trouble without any compensat ing advantages to the Russian people or the state. The suspension of expulsions from places outside the Pale is away out of the difficulty, and the measure has been well received by the Christian pop ulation, who have found the assistance of the Jews of great advantage in com plicated financial transactions. The min ister of instruction has not been able to grant any concessions in the face of the violent opposition of the Union of Rus sian People, an opposition so violent as to give rise to the fear of fresh po groms. The attitude of the Jews towards the coming elections is devoid of all enthus iasm. Unlike a few other factions, for instance the Moscow Social Democrats, they are not boycotting the third Duma,- but they have evidently lost all confi dence in Russian Constitutional institu tions. “Should we again help towards producing a liberal Duma,” argue our brethren, “the assembly would again be dissolved.” The cabinet is silent this time as regards the final instructions with reference to the elections. On that ground, the police officials in many places refused to issue the necessary doc uments demanded by the town councils for the purpose of registering voters. In some' places people were forced to pay additional rates for the privilege of qual ifying as voters. Meanwhile, the last date fixed for closing the registers is gradually approaching, and thousands of people were not yet given an opportun ity to fulfill their duties as citizens. Owing to the murder of three police men at Elisabetgrad, the Jews there are in constant fear of a pogrom. Though the outrage was committed by a Russian, several minor attacks on Jews have al ready taken place, and the Union of Real Russians is credited with the inten tion of organizing a massacre. At Yekshni the peasants surrounded a private house of a Jew and assumed a very threatening attitude. The crowd was, however, induced to disperse by a Catholic priest. The Union of Real Russians is actively engaged in obtaining a free pardon for the rioters who participated in the Jew ish massacres. The Warsaw Territorialists have or ganized at Bremen a free lodging house for three hundred and fifty emigrants in conjunction with a restaurant: Their representative also arranged that the Jews should be treated in a more favor able manner during their voyage. The emigrants received permission to elect a spokesman from amongst themselves, who should, in ease of necessity, pre sent their grievances to the captain. The minister of education Ims issued a circular reminding the rectors of the universities of the law restricting the admission of Jewish students. The fire at Smolyany, in the province of Moliileff, destroyed 150 houses, five synagogues, and a Talmud Torah. A young Jewish woman was also burnt to death. The losses are estimated to amount to three hundred thousand rou bles. A terrible tragedy occurred at Zvii nitz, near the Austrian frontier. Eight Jewish men and women were crossing the boundary line under the leadership of local peasants. The former were sud denly attacked by their guides. Two women, Alta Hoffman and Gitel Hoff man, fell on a stone, and they died instantly. The other emigrants, Juda Schumunim, Paivish Zaranik, Woolf Portnoi, Siszel Furman, Pera Sapoznik, and her daughter, Annie, were seriously wounded. The cries of the women at tracted the guards, who seized the party. The incident demonstrates, once more, the danger of relying on guides and agents, instead of traveling with an of ficial foreign passport. R. REINCK& Importer and Dealer In Cutlery silverware Wholesale and Retail. The original and only exclusive cutlery house In the state. Razor Concaving, Honing, Etc. Grinding, Repairing. Barth Block, 16th and Stout Sts Telephone Main 4421. DENVER, COLO. Northern Coal and Coke Company RETAIL DEPARTMENT 835 Sixteenth Street Dealers In Coal, Coke and Wood. Phone 5000.