The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

[8,000 Ukrainians in New York City Protest Famine in Ukraine]

Attack on Ukrainian Group Pressed from Washington Square to East 67th St


Protest Marchers and Guards Struck Down With Bottles--Nine Arrests Made


The New York Times, New York, New York,
Sunday, November 19, 1933, Front Page Story


Five persons were injured and nine arrested in street disturbances that lasted for two hours yesterday morning, when 500 Communists attempted to break up a parade of 8,000 Ukrainians from Washington Square to the Central Opera House at Sixth-seventh Street and Third Avenue.

Three hundred policemen, including a score of mounted men, were called out to enable the marchers to reach the opera house and to conduct a meeting there in peace. Held under the auspices of the United Ukrainian Societies of New York and Vicinity, the meeting adopted resolutions asking President Roosevelt to demand guarantees from the Soviet Union that the famine in the Ukraine would be alleviated. The resolutions charged that the food shortage was a result of a deliberate plot by the Moscow government to starve the Ukrainian peasants into submission.


At 10 o'clock yesterday morning the Ukrainians began to gather at the southeast corner of Washington Square, while Communists collected west of the Washington Arch, almost diagonally across the square. The Ukrainians had a permit to parade, but the Communists had not.

The first clash occurred at the southern end of the square. There was a free-for-all fight, during which Patrolman Edgar Denham of the Mercer Street station said he was beaten and kicked by Communists. Patrolman Denham arrested a man who identified himself as Dolia Mishne, 31 years old, of 1,152 Crotona Parkway East, the Bronx, a student and a graduate of Colorado State University, on a charge of felonious assault in striking Denham in the face with a club.

When the Ukrainian parade reached University Place and Ninth Street, according to the police, a group of Communists attacked the marchers. John Boychuk of 783 East Eleventh Street, who was carrying an American flag in the parade, was reported to have been set upon by four men, who beat him with milk bottles and threw pepper in his eyes. According to the police, Boychuk told them that his attackers threw grease upon the flag from the bottles.


The police drove off the attackers and chased them through side streets. Some of the Communists ran to Fifth Avenue, where the police caught up with them on the sidewalk near the Brevoort Hotel. After a melee five men were arrested.

These prisoners identified themselves as Phillip Kaplan, 43 years old, a relief worker for the city, of 551 Fox Street, the Bronx; George Mitchell, 38, a laborer, of 324 East Twenty-sixth Street; Wayne Herman Helin, 19, a laborer, of 2,070 Fifth Avenue; Leon Zartarin, 17, a student at Washington Irving High School, of 501 175th Street, the Bronx, and John Henchuk, 22, a restaurant helper, of 9 East Eighth Street. All were charged with Felonious assault.

Kaplan was charged with striking Detective Thomas Jenkins of the alien squad, who was badly beaten and had cuts over his eye, which required three stitches. The other four arrested near the Brevoort were charged with attacking Boychuk.

The parade continued up University Place to Union Square, up Broadway to Twenty-third Street, and uptown. At Twenty-eighth Street and Lexinton Avenue the policy again dispersed a crowd of Communists who lined both sidewalks, jeering and throwing bottles, sticks and brickbats at the marchers. Similar incidents occurred at Thirty-fifth Street, at Fiftieth Street, and at Sixty-sixth street.

At Sixty-sixth Street and Lexington Avenue Patrolman Frank J. Smith arrested a man who said he was David Crotts, 48, of 2,441 Sixty-fifth Street, Brooklyn, on a charge of disorderly conduct. Patrolman Smith said Crotte called him a "rat" and resisted arrest. The policeman was badly beaten, knocked down and kicked in the back by several men who tried to get his prisoner away from him, but he held on until another policeman rescued him.

Two others were arrested near the opera house on disorderly conduct charges. They said they were Manual Riviera, 34, of 80 East 114th Street, and Edith Rubin, 31, a stenographer, who refused to give her address. The complainant, against these two was Paul Papura, a member of the executive committee of the United Ukrainian Societies, who said he had been beaten.

A policeman, whose name was not learned, fell off his horse in a melee with the rioters, but was not badly hurt.

The police established lines all around the opera house, keeping a crowd of yelling Communists at safe distance while the Ukrainians entered. During the five hours the meeting lasted the Communists drifted away. When the meeting was over, the Ukrainians left the opera house without being molested.

A large collection of iron pipes, chair rungs, milk bottles, pop bottles, and glass jars, some filled with liquids and grease, was taken from prisoners and found in the streets after the rioting.

Arranged in Night Court before Magistrate Goldstein, Rivera was found guilty, but sentence was suspended. The complaints against Crotte and Miss Rubin were dismissed.

Crotto was dismissed because the arresting officer was not present to sign a complaint. The court was informed that the policeman had been injured and was unable to appear. Miss Rubin was freed after the policeman who arrested her admitted that he had not instructed her specifically to move on, but had addressed the crowd in general.

The New York Times, New York, New York,
Sunday, November 19, 1933, Front Page Story

This historical material researched, transcribed and posted from The New York Times on microfilm by the  Information Service (ARTUIS).