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Persecution of the Jews at Tarnow.


It is our painful task to record another instance of the revival of the foul calumny against the Jewish nation, which, a few years ago, led to the horrid scenes at Damascus and Rhodes, and appears still to be fostered by ignorance and superstition, affording a ready pretext for the most cruel persecution at the prompting of malice or prejudice. The following particulars of the occurrences which took place at Tarnow, in Gallicia, during the Feast of the Passover, have been communicated by a member of the Jewish community who were the sufferers from these disgraceful proceedings. The letter is dated Tarnow, April 16, 1844.

“A lad about the age of ten or twelve years, in the service of a magistrate of the name of Wladimir, knight of Dallemba, weary of the short allowance and ill treatment he had been subjected to by his master, absconded eight days before the Passover, and disapeared. Either malice and hatred towards the Jews, or the superstition of the middle ages, or (from a more probably motive) his being deeply indebted to the Jewish merchants here, induced the knight of Dallemba to represent the occurrence to the authorities, with the pressing request immediately to make a diligent search in all Jewish houses, as, according to well-known facts, he had not the slightest doubt that the boy had been decoyed away by the Jews, and secreted in some obscure place, where he was reserved for a pascal offering. Imagine to yourself now the boasted spirit of the nineteenth century prevailing in Gallicia! The request is complied with, and on the night of the same day all the avenues to the Jewish quarter are shut up and surrounded by a powerful military guard. Several magistrates, accompanied by number of policemen, sufficient to resist defence, force an entrance into every house inhabited by Jews; every thing is ransacked, chambers, cellars, garret, even boxes, cupboards, &c. Nothing spared, but all in vain; nowhere is a clue to be found to the blood of the Christian lad. The matter gaining extraordinary publicity with every day, the minds of our Christian brethren and countrymen (whose greatest virtue, by the by, does not consist in Christian charity towards fellow-creatures) are more and more excited, and nothing is spoken of but revenge against the Jewish vampires and anthropophagi, so that with fright and horror we awaited the approaching festival. Terribly roused by the common danger, from our, alas, usual lethargic apathy, we, on our part, saved no pains or trouble to find the lost boy, and at last, by united efforts, succeeded in discovering a clue, and ultimately in finding him in a village not many miles distant. He was brought from thence on the eve of the passover, and delivered up, unmolested and in good condition, to the proper authorities. The identity of the boy found, with the one missed, was fully established, and evidence from his own lips put an end to all doubt of the sole cause of his absconding having been the cruel, slavish treatment he was subjected to by his master, Von Dallemba. The Messrs. Rothschild and Lemel at Vienna, to whom we applied, now take the deepest interest in the case, and in a few days the necessary steps and measures will be taken for a process in the Imperial Court of Chancery.

“To the reflecting spectator, the bustling groups of the Jewish community here during the days of painful excitement, and afterwards, when by the discovery of the lad they had been vindicated, were by no means uninteresting. He might have seen those of our brethren here, who heretofore were animated only by immediate selfish interests, whose brotherly love was only moved when reflecting on their own self; yea, whose self still calculates the fourth or eighth per cent which often overbalances that love; he might have seen them, in common with those whose devotedness, on the other hand, to their faith, and the ceremonies connected therewith, borders on fanaticism, but who now willingly disregarded many a ceremony scrupulously watched over in ordinary times,—both parties might now be seen, setting aside all their respective interests, animated by one common feeling of disdain at the foul calumny, and impressed only with the one thought—of obtaining satisfaction for the past, and security for the future, against the stupid outrages of the mob; they could now really feel for one another; they now rose like one man, each to contribute his share, to refute this disgraceful charge. You may imagine what a struggle it must have cost the thorough Talmudist, a heterodox, or a Chasid, to assemble in great numbers on the seventh day of the Passover, to be ready to sign with his own hand the memorial to His Majesty, which on the holiday had been written by a Christian. At the same time, every Jew, present at the assembly pledged himself not to be quiet and to rest till our cause is vindicated and the truth brught to light.”—Jewish Intelligencer.