Jews, in Huge Parade, Mourn Dead In Russia.1905


125,000 March in line from the Lower East Side to Union Square
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One of the largest parades this city has even seen took place yesterday, when the committee of the Jewish Defense Societies led a column of 125,000 Jews through the lower part of the city, bearing banners, playing funeral music, and chanting prayers for those killed in the anti-Semitic riots in Russia.

So long was the procession, that when it entered Union Square plaza, the end of the route, the last of the parade was still winding through the narrow east side streets. The entire column was walled in by hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children, many of them weeping.

The efforts of 1,300 policemen were required to keep the mass of people under control. There were 1,000 policemen on foot stationed along the line of march and 300 mounted men and plain clothes policemen moving with the procession. These were commanded by Inspectors Flood, Hogan, and Schmittberger. Commissioner McAdoo himself put in an appearance at Fourth Street and Broadway, having heard of the vast proportions of the crowd.

By the time Broadway was reached it was found necessary to stop all car and vehicular traffic. Business was suspended for about two hours between Fourth Street and Union Square. Throughout the east side there was no business done yesterday, it having been set aside as a day of fasting and prayer.

Ninety-Five Societies In LIne

The parade was held under the auspices of the Jewish Defense Association, which has raised over $1`,000,000 in aid of the sufferers in Russia. Every society of Jews on the east side was in line, bearing banners lettered with sentiments of grief. There were ninety-five societies altogether, and among them a contingent of the Zion Guards, a volunteer military organization: the Manhattan Rifles, and the Kishineff Organization, which is composed of survivors of the Kishineff massacre. There was also a detachment of the Zion Guards from new Haven, Conn. The other societies in line were trades unions, social clubs, professional associations, and musical unions. There were several companies of child singers from the synagogues.

Williamsburg contributed over 20,000 to the column. This Brooklyn contingent came by way of the Williamsburg Bridge after parading in the Jewish quarter of Williamsburg. It encountered some delay at the bridge, owing, it was said, to the lack of a permit. This mistake was remedied by Commissioner McAdoo personally by telephone. it was estimated that there were 30,000 women in the completed column.

Yesterday it was arranged that the procession should be divided into eight sections. They were formed at different points. The points were 98 Forsyth Street, 177 and 311 East Broadway, 49 Henry Street. Henry Street, between Jefferson and Montgomery Streets; 21 Suffolk Street, 125 Rivington Street, Allen and Rivington Streets, and 26 Delancey Street.

Paraders In Mourning Garb

The main column formed at Rutgers Square. It was headed by Grand Marshal Barondess, a band of fifty pieces, and a corps of men carrying black banners, American flags, and what has become known as the Jewish flag, the banner of Zion with the blue, six-pointed star of David in the centre. The main column of the parade started from Rutgers Square at 12:30 o'clock.

Every man was dressed in black, or wore a crepe band around his sleeve or hat as if going to a funeral. The crowd, long before the paraders appeared, showed many outward signs of grief. The Jewish newspapers, which came out with black borders and were illustrated with photographs of the Odessa massacres, were eagerly scanned and sadly commented on. The east side poets, who have been encouraged to renewed effort by the recent death of their "Yiddish Dumas," Shomer, appeared in Seward Park and sang the lays they had composed, many of them distributing or selling copies. The button-man was there with a tray full of buttons bearing the American flag crossed with the flag of Zion, and behind them hung a black flag on which appeared the Hebrew words for "Mourn Our Dead." Above in English was one word that all might understand "Protest."

Tens of Thousands Along the Route

After the parade started, the line of march lay through Rutgers Square, along East Broadway, then to Pike Street Henry, Jefferson, Division, Suffolk, Hester, Norfolk, Broome, Ludlow, Rivington, Eldridge, East Houston, Second Avenue, Fourth Street, then to Broadway, and up that thoroughfare to Union Square.

The sidewalks, stoops, fire-escapes, and roof edges were crowded; the bands between the sections of the column rang out in funeral strains, the note of grief sounded by one being accentuated by similar strains further down the line. Men and women burst into tears, some moved by their losses, others by the dramatic intensity of sound and scene.

Occasionally, at a concerted signal, the bands would stop playing. Then above the murmur of the moving throng would arise, softly at first, then swelling to full tone, the voices of the synagogue boy choirs in a hymn for the peace of the dead. Then the voices would gradually die away to silence.

In front of the synagogues in Norfolk and Rivington Streets the procession halted Bearded rabbis appeared in the little alcoves under the lights and the strangely carved doorways, clasped their hands, prayed for a moment, and then chanted a solemn dirge.

At the street corners where sharp turnings were to be made the police had their greatest difficulties. Here the crowd was uncertain which way to go and massed together until the good-natured, well-trained horses of the mounted squad came bearing down upon them. They made the crowd melt like water, yet no one was hurt.

Traffic Stopped on Broadway

At the corner of Broadway and Fourth Street a halt was called and a conference was held between the Inspectors and Commissioner McAdoo. Then traffic on the east side of the thoroughfare was stopped and the procession turned north. Presently it was found necessary, owing to the breadth of the column, to stop all traffic. When Broadway saw yesterday's parade it shut up shop until it had passed, then kept closed for another hour while the employees went to Union Square.

The greatest throngs seen at one time during the parade were in Union Square, where Joseph Barondess read resolutions denouncing the Russian massacres and calling upon all Jews to rally in protest against such acts. The mounted police plunged among the crowds, hoping to keep them in line; the leaders of the procession protested against the wave of humanity that surged over the seats, lawns, garden houses, and even into the branches of the trees. The difficulty of handling the crowds continued all the afternoon. Only the first section of the parade was in the square when the resolutions were read, but so great was the crowd that it was decided to go through the ceremony arranged and then disperse. The sections, as they came in, just passed around the plaza and disbanded.

Resolutions Read In Union Square

The resolutions follow:

We, the Jewish people of this community, bowed down with grief and stirred by indignation, horrified and outraged by the atrocities committed against our brethren in Russia, and desirous of giving expression to our grief and to our indignation, in this public assembly do declare:

1. While we mourn the loss of men, women, nd children of our race who fell as victims of ignorance and prejudice, we also deplore and sorrow over the existence of the cruelty and inhumanity which has this late day and in a so-called civilized country made possible such crimes as were committed against our people in Russia.

1. That we express our protest against the powers of darkness and hatred, the Russian mob, the Russian rulers, which have brought back the cruelty of the Dark Ages.

3. That we condemn the indifference of the civilized nations toward the terrible outrages which have made a mockery out of their progress and humanity.

4. That we call upon the Government of the United States and upon all the Governments of enlightened lands to enter their protest against the criminal slaughter of innocent persons, against the brutal massacres which violate all laws of humanity and put all progress of nations to shame.

5. That in the present state of chaos and disorder in Russia, when the Russian Government can render no protection to either its own citizens or the citizens of other lands, it is the duty of a power like that of the United States to put a halt to the fiendish atrocities in Russia which threaten the life of an entire nation and menace the security of human law and order everywhere.

6. That to our overwhelming shame, disappointment, and sorrow we realize that eternal vigilance is the price of the Jew's life, and that we urge our people to take up arms against their assailants, and if need be to sell their lives most dearly.

7. That we call Jews everywhere toward the defense of the Jewish people.

At the end of the reading the question was put to the people. Did they favor the resolutions and would they signify their favor by saying "Aye"? A ripple went through the crowd like wind rising to a hurricane which roared "Aye!"

Parades on a smaller scale were held at Brownsville and other outlying sections. It was estimated that 100,000 people turned out in Brooklyn to see the progress of the contingent which went to Manhattan.



Website: The History
Article Name: Jews, in Huge Parade, Mourn Dead In Russia.1905
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


New York Times Dec 5, 1905: pg.6
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