Looting and Rioting
On July 26, 1914, a new law was enforced in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it obliged civilians to supply the army with the necessary resources with reimbursement provided. Horses, vehicles and food were the first to undergo requisition. As the the conflict was escalating, people were forced to give to the needs of the army their metal vessels, artwork, antiques, and religious items. Requisitioned goods were often reimbursed with a several-month delay and at a price well below market levels without considering inflation rate, which led to discontent among the population. In Galicia the military shot removed copper roofs from private and public buildings, requisitioned church bells. The latter caused outrage in conservative and religious circles.
In the last days of August 1914, the Austrian authorities and the wealthiest residents moved out of the city, leaving it at the mercy of the Russian army and looters. Thieves broke into locked and abandoned homes, burned and looted houses. Occupation authorities imposed their wartime conduct and punished the detained burglars by death. Security police was introduced in the city to ensure law and order. Police guard was established in the city to maintain law and order in the city and police commissioner Stanisław Tauer was appointed the Chief of Police Commissioner. He had retired before the war, but knew the city well and was held in high repute.
On September 27, 1914, a riot occurred in the city center, often referred to as pogrom. But historians show no clear assessment of these events. As soon as shots were heard in downtown Lviv in the morning, Cossacks (Russian army soldiers), known for their anti-Semitism, immediately rushed to the Jewish neighborhood to shoot out windows of houses. Accompanied by the crowd, they broke into apartments, ransacked, robbed and beat residents regardless of sex or age. The unrest spread to different neighborhoods of the city. The next day the investigation was confronted with several conflicting versions about the cause of the riots, while 20 to 50 people were confirmed dead and over 100 others injured.