660c.4016/89: Telegram

The Minister in Poland ( Gibson ) to the Acting Secretary of State 21

69. On my return from Vilna I find Department’s unnumbered [26,] June 10, 6 p.m. Without waiting for general report which is now being prepared I hastened to answer this so to allay the apprehension of individuals in the United States over the reports printed in the New York Times as to anti-Jewish excesses in Vilna.

The representative of the Jewish community made no mention of any [number of] Jews who had been driven away without giving any trace of their whereabouts. A large number of people were arrested at the time of the occupation of the town and sent to Lida and Bialystok so that for some days their whereabouts may have been unknown. These people however have been turned [returned] to Vilna and so far as I was able to learn there are none accounted [unaccounted] for.

Jaffe, concerning whom I am reporting in a separate telegram, suffered no mistreatment according to his own statement. He was arrested, kept with a big number of other people at the railroad station and sent to Lida being in custody altogether for six days. He does not claim to have been mistreated during this time. Concerning other people mentioned by name in the Department telegram I have no special information but shall endeavor secure it.

[Rabbis] Rubenstein and Schabe were not beaten or otherwise mishandled although they were both arrested the [first] day, being [Page 764] released as soon as their identity could be brought to the attention of the military authorities. I talked with both of them alone and at length.

As a whole the report in the Times appears to be exaggerated.

Gibson
  1. Forwarded by the Commission to Negotiate Peace as No. 2603.