Chapter 63622328

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Chapter NumberXI
Chapter TitlePANDEMONIUM
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63622328
Full Date1889-12-26
Page Number0
Corrections0
Word Count1000
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)
Trove TitleBy Order of the Czar. The Tragic Story of Anna Klosstock, The Queen of the Ghetto
article text

CHAPTER XI.

PANDEMONIUM.

Beaten back and retreating, the Jews left their forlorn sister as needs must to the mercy of the Governor. Unsatiated with the blood bf Losinski,

in a passion of brutal ragre he condemned Anna to the lash, and to instant punishment.

In the midst of the red excitement of the moment, men's passions alive with fear, terror and ven- geance, with the sound of musketry following the retiring Jews, and with the murmur of a gang of prisoners whom the hussars were dragging towards the Governor, Petronovitch's inhuman order was given, and Anna was .stripped to receive fifty

strokes of the knout.

There were Russian women on the scene, the wives of some of the officials ; they are supposed to attend such terrible functions as the knout on special occasions, for the purpose of assisting to emphasise a public deterrent example offered on such occasions for the benefit of the people. They had borne the sight of the rabbi's death with the nerve of official dignity. But a palpable murmur of horror and protest was heard among them as they realised what was about to happen to Anna. The Count Stravensky, venturing on the spur of the moment to make an appeal to the governor on behalf of the woman, received a prompt and signifi- cant snub : ' Are we to maintain the authority of the Government or not ? Is open defiance, and in presence of the officers of the law itself, making riot under the very banner of his Imperial Majesty, nothing, Sir Count ? Begone, sir, to your home !'

As the count, biting his lips, moved away, Anna Klosstock, stripped to the waist, was laid upon the reeking frame to receive her punishment.

From such of the crowd as were left, Jew and Gentilé, a cry of horror went up to heaven ; but the sun shone brightly, and the measured beat of the executioneer upon the peeling flesh fell stroke by stroke fifty times.

The Quivering: body was then carried, with a

strong escort of soldiers, to the hospital, and the riots of Czarovna began in downright earnest. ' Better we take their goods than the strangers from Elizabethgrad, ' said some of the Christian townsfolk. Others remembered wrongs or imagi- nary wrongs which they had suffered at the hands of their neighbours. The mujiks thought of the money they owed the Jews. Others were fired with a sort of patriotic zeal, preferring to believe that the Emperor wished them to take over their property. 4 They are delivered into our hands by the Government,' said the agents of the other risings against the Hebrews.

Outside the ghetto the Jews' houses were sacked without much defence ; they were mixed up with the wooden and mud houses of their Christian neighbours. The beer-houses and taverns were occupied with ignorant throngs, who, having drunk themselves into a frenzy, presently sallied out into the ghetto-mad, wild, irresponsible savages.

The Jews fortified themselves in their houses, and fought for their lives-fought with knives and staves, and here and there with firearms ; but as a rule they had little or no knowledge of guns and pistols; and, while they had the instinot of self preservation to push them on, their assailants were fired with drink and greed and stimulated with a natural barbarity. The more their cruel passions ,were fed, the more they desired ; and Pandemonium

.was let loose.

A woman with her babe, because she stood before her son, a youth who had fought against the en

trance Ot tne moo into uer ruum, nan me uuuu

dragged from her arms and its brains dashed out before her face, herself being subjected to the last insults that men-fiends can offer to helpless women.

At the lodging of Losinski, on the other hand, the woman of the house received the leader of the attack with a coal-hammer, and laid him dead at her feet, at which the mob passed < n and left her.

The keeper of the synagogue, whither many timid Jews had sought sanctuary, fought the mob single-handed upon the stairway, until he fell

covered with wounds.

Klosstock's house was ransacked without even a show of protest. ' Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof ; thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee ; thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them ; thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all the day long ; and there shall be no might in thy" hand.'

It did not enter into the divine invention of mis- chief to curse, his rebellious people with the knout and the dungeon, the husband torn from the wife, the daughter stripped and flogged in the market- place, the babe dashed' to pieces in sight of the mother, brutal might everywhere triumphant; virtue, modesty, and right trodden in the gutter, spat upon, massacred. But such has it been of late with the Jews in Russia; such, it is feared, will be again.

Is it, then, a mattoe for wonder that so many of the Nihilistic authors of anti-Russian books have been Jews ? Is it surprising that the Jews have aided the propaganda against the Russian Govern- ment ? Under such disabilities, is there anything astonishing in the fact that there is a good deal of wretchedness, knavery, dirt, squalor, and deceit

among the commoner class of Jews in Russia ? What kind of a miracle would it be that, in spite of persecution, s'ripes, murder, enforced penury, and hunger, with debarred constitutional, social, or any other rights, except now.and then to see the light of heaven, should raise a '-people to the level of the masses of free countries, such as England and

America ?