Leshchinsky, Yankev;

Published On


Page Range

pp. 125–134


  • English

Print Length

10 pages

10. Fallen Jewish Vilna

  • Yankev Leshchinsky (author)
  • Robert Brym (author)
  • Eli Jany (author)
Vilna is now a dead city. On its main streets, nearly 40% of the stores are closed or bolted. Many Jewish store and workshop owners cannot renew their licenses because they are tormented by tax collectors who extract arbitrary sums from them. Competition from new businesses owned by non-Jews is stiff because the state is firmly on their side. The Railway Directorate told its officials to buy from non-Jewish storekeepers. The state bank is much more inclined to give credit to non-Jews than Jews. The state refuses to hire Jewish painters and carpenters to do construction work. It is taking over much of the forestry industry and will not hire Jews. Not surprisingly, therefore, Jews are increasingly turning to charitable organisations for help and are trying their utmost to emigrate. Vilna is suffering more than other cities because its main market used to be in Russia, which is now inaccessible, while new markets that opened up after the unification of Poland in 1919 are far from Vilna. Vilna’s Jews hold out no hope for better times.


Yankev Leshchinsky


Eli Jany