During the 1905-1907 revolution, Polish and Jewish revolutionary organizations resorting to terrorist methods operated in Siedlce. After the murder of a police officer by the Polish Socialist Party militants, the Russian military authorities decided to terrorize the town's Jewish population, which they made responsible for the attacks. From 8 to 10 August 1906, a pogrom took place in Siedlce, carried out exclusively by Russian troops at the orders of City Commandant, Col. Tikhanovski. The soldiers were firing at houses, searching homes and shops, beating up the inhabitants and looting goods in the process. After the pogrom, the Russian authorities demanded an inquiry. Several reports were produced, now kept in the Main Archive of Old Records in Warsaw. Some of the authors of the report took at face value the explanations coming from Col. Tikhanovski, to the effect that the military actions were a response to fire from the revolutionaries. Others challenged the story, pointing out that while 26 civilians perished in the pogrom, not one soldier was killed by a revolutionary and nobody was caught arms in hand. In his report for Prime Minister Stolypin, the Governor General of the Kingdom of Poland chose a version of the events that justified the pogrom.
Szymon Rudnicki, Uniwersytet Warszawski, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland.
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