Cylchgronau Cymru

Chwiliwch trwy dros 450 o deitlau a 1.2 miliwn o dudalennau

invariably intervened in the firmest possible way to end the riots as quickly as possible and, indeed, the riots ended abruptly and totally within a week. In part this was because of sympathy specifically with the Jewish victims, and in part because of well-founded fears that the attacks and looting would spread to the non-Jewish majority of shopkeepers. The riots were condemned without exception by all opinion-leaders throughout the area, and editorially in newspapers. The Western Mail (28 August 1911) published a cartoon entitled 'Wales Disgraced' in which Dame Wales, holding a copy of the Western Mail headlined 'Riots in Wales/Attacks Upon Jewish Tradesmen', is shaking hands with a Jewish shopkeeper. Dame Wales says 'Well, indeed, now, you have my sincere sympathy. Of all the shocking things that have happened lately, I am most ashamed, look you, of the cowardly attack upon the Jews. The hooligans that did it cannot be Welshmen, no indeed.'97 At Rhymney a special meeting of the local council unanimously condemned the riots. Very notably, the meeting was attended by many local clergymen, including three Welsh Baptist ministers. The motion condemning the riots was moved by a Welsh Baptist minister, the Revd Thomas M. Evans, who pointedly praised both the local Jewish community and the 'Jewish race'. 'Although they were true to their own Jewish faith', local Jews 'were always ready to help a Christian church', he observed.98 At Tredegar, a 'crowded' protest meeting convened by the chairman of the local council also deplored the riots, while the chairman 'expressed his deepest sympathy with the Jewish people who had been victims of this disgraceful outrage'.99 Here, the resolution was moved and seconded by two local clergymen and supported by several others, as well as by the local Miners' Federation leader. The meeting also 'decided to form a Defence League' to deal with any future incidents.100 Resolutions 97 The figure of the Jewish shopkeeper was not drawn as an offensive stereotype. The point made by 'Dame Wales', that the rioters could not have been Welsh, was made repeatedly by local observers during the riots. The riots were condemned in an editorial in Wales magazine (September 1911, pp. 255-7). 98 'Council Discusses Situation', New Tredegar, Bargoed and Caerphilly Journal, 31 August 1911. The Revd Evans's remarks on the Jews were twice interrupted by cries of 'Hear, hear'. 99 'Protest Meeting at Tredegar', Jewish Chronicle, September 1911. 100 Ibid. At Rhymney, the protest meeting formed a 'Vigilance League Committee with the object of suppressing any further disorders', and received 'a large number of names' of those willing to join. 'Council Discusses Situation'.