Wilno school massacre
|Joachim Lelewel high school massacre|
Press clip from Kurjer Poznański, 8 May 1925, Poland, with information about the massacre
(now Vilnius, Lithuania)
|Date||May 6, 1925
|School shooting, school bombing, murder|
|Weapons||Revolvers, grenades, bomb|
|Deaths||5+ (including the 2 perpetrators)|
|Perpetrators||Stanisław Ławrynowicz and Janusz Obrąbalski|
The Wilno school massacre was a school massacre that occurred on May 6, 1925 at the Joachim Lelewel High School in Wilno, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania). During the final exams, at about 11 a.m., at least two eighth-grade students attacked the board of examiners with revolvers and hand grenades, killing several students, at least one teacher, and themselves.
Various different accounts of the incident were reported by the newspapers worldwide. The fact that the students were in possession of military grade weapons suggests that they might have been in contact with the illegal Soviet agents deployed to Poland for sabotage and espionage operations.
The article in British daily Times stated that two students, identified as Lavrynovitch (Stanisław Ławrynowicz) and Obrapalski (Janusz Obrąbalski, per Polish sources), were involved in the incident. According to the article, Lavrynovitch, who was a member of an organisation that supported Józef Piłsudski, began shooting at the teachers with a revolver after being told that he had failed exams, whereupon other students tried to disarm him. Lavrynovitch then dropped a hand grenade which killed himself and several other students. Immediately after this Obrapalski, who had also failed the tests, fired several shots at the teachers, wounding a professor and several students, before throwing a hand grenade, which failed to explode. He then committed suicide. Including the perpetrators themselves, five persons were killed, one of them a professor. Six students, as well as the headmaster, were wounded.
According to an article in the Neue Freie Presse three students carried out the attack, who were identified as Stanislaus Lawrynowicz, Janusz Obrembalski and Thaddäus Domanski, who was also named Ormanski in other reports. The newspaper reported that Lawrynowicz fired several shots at principal Bieganski, after most of the students had refused to take part at the exams, while at the same time Obrembalski began shooting at the teachers. Domanski then tried to throw a bomb into the group of teachers, which slipped out of his hands and exploded at his feet, killing himself, as well as the two other attackers, and a fourth student named Zagorski. Principal Bieganski was mortally wounded in the attack and professor Jankowski, as well as seven other students were gravely injured. At least four of the wounded students succumbed to their wounds.
An investigation revealed that the students had established a Communist youth organisation to counter the principal's strict management of the school. The members of this organisation had met one day before the exams in a tavern to discuss their further actions.
- Vera Kharuzhaya, Soviet agent deployed to Poland for sabotage and espionage operations during the interbellum
- Revolverschüsse und Bombenwürfe gegen Lehrer, Neue Freie Presse (May 7, 1925)
- Bomb Kills Three Boy Raiders Who Shoot Up Vilna School, The New York Times (May 7, 1925)
- Maturalna masakra w wileńskim gimnazjum, Histmag.org (May 6, 2012).
- Vilna Schoolboys' Murders, The Times (May 8, 1925)
- Mit Revolver und Bomben im Prüfungssaal, Die Neue Zeitung (May 8, 1925)
- Das Bombenattentat im Wilnaer Gymnasium, Neue Freie Presse - Abendblatt (May 8, 1925)
- Auffindung einer Höllenmaschine im Wilnaer Gymnasium, Reichspost (May 9, 1925)
- Die Höllenmaschine im Gymnasium, Freiburger Zeitung (May 9, 1925)
- Baisus atsitikimas lenkų gimnazijoj, Vilniaus Aidas (May 7, 1925) (p. 4)
- Nelaime gimnazijoj, Vilniaus Aidas, (May 9, 1925) (p. 4)
- Stupéfiant attentat dans un lycée de Vilna, Le Figaro (May 8, 1925)
- Anschlag von Gymnasiasten, Freiburger Zeitung (May 8, 1925)
- Die Wilnaer Gymnasiasten-Revolte, Neues 8 Uhr Blatt (May 7, 1925)
- Ein weiteres Todesopfer des Attentats im Wilnaer Gymnasium, Neue Freie Presse (May 8, 1925)
- Bombenattentat von Schülern in einem polnischen Gymnasium, Prager Tagblatt (May 7, 1925)
- Schreckenstaten im Wilnaer Gymnasium, Reichspost (May 7, 1925)
- Attentat in einer Wilnaer Schule, Wiener Zeitung (May 8, 1925)
- Das Attentat im Wilnaer Gymnasium, Wiener Zeitung (May 9, 1925)
- Ein Racheakt polnischer Gymnasiasten, Coburger Zeitung (May 8, 1925)
- Polish Students, The Argus (Australia) (May 9, 1925)