The Ritual Murder Trial of Mendel Beilis

Author: Robert Weinberg

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253011140

Category: History

Page: 204

View: 2985

On Sunday, March 20, 1911, children playing in a cave near Kiev made a gruesome discovery: the blood-soaked body of a partially clad boy. After right-wing groups asserted that the killing was a ritual murder, the police, with no direct evidence, arrested Menachem Mendel Beilis, a 39-year-old Jewish manager at a factory near the site of the crime. Beilis's trial in 1913 quickly became an international cause célèbre. The jury ultimately acquitted Beilis but held that the crime had the hallmarks of a ritual murder. Robert Weinberg's account of the Beilis Affair explores the reasons why the tsarist government framed Beilis, shedding light on the excesses of antisemitism in late Imperial Russia. Primary documents culled from the trial transcript, newspaper articles, Beilis's memoirs, and archival sources, many appearing in English for the first time, bring readers face to face with this notorious trial.
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Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia : the Beilis Blood Libel

Author: Edmund Levin

Publisher: Schocken

ISBN: 0805242996

Category: History

Page: 377

View: 9395

Looks at the implication of a Jewish man in the 1911 stabbing death of a Kiev boy, and the subsequent trial for the Jewish ritual murder of a Christian child, examining the anti-Semitism of the investigation and the resulting international outcry.
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The Ritual Murder Accusation at the Limit of Jewish History

Author: Hannah Johnson

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472118358

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 5164

The first book investigating the recent historiography of the ritual murder accusation
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Includes: Beilis's Memoir, the Story of My Sufferings; and Pulitzer Plagiarism: What Bernard Malamud's the Fixer Owes to the Memoir of Mendel Beilis

Author: Mendel Beilis,Jay Beilis,Jeremy Simcha Garber,Mark S. Stein

Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub

ISBN: 9781466295902

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 8215

One of the great trials of the twentieth century was the 1913 blood-libel trial of Mendel Beilis in Czarist Russia. Beilis, a Jew, was arrested in 1911 by the Czarist secret police and accused of ritually murdering a Christian boy to use his blood in baking matzah for Passover. Beilis was jailed for over two years, under horrible conditions, while awaiting trial. He heroically resisted all pressure to implicate himself or other Jews. In 1913, after a dramatic trial that riveted the Jewish people and much of the rest of the world, Beilis was acquitted by an all-Christian jury. Blood Libel: The Life and Memory of Mendel Beilis includes the gripping memoir of Mendel Beilis, in its first complete English translation. Also included is an essay claiming that Bernard Malamud plagiarized from Beilis's memoir in writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Fixer.
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New Histories of an Old Accusation

Author: EUGENE M AVRUTIN,JONATHAN DEKEL-CHEN,ROBERT WEINBERG

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253026571

Category: History

Page: 302

View: 6027

This innovative reassessment of ritual murder accusations brings together scholars working in history, folklore, ethnography, and literature. Favoring dynamic explanations of the mechanisms, evolution, popular appeal, and responses to the blood libel, the essays rigorously engage with the larger social and cultural worlds that made these phenomena possible. In doing so, the book helps to explain why blood libel accusations continued to spread in Europe even after modernization seemingly made them obsolete. Drawing on untapped and unconventional historical sources, the collection explores a range of intriguing topics: popular belief and scientific knowledge; the connections between antisemitism, prejudice, and violence; the rule of law versus the power of rumors; the politics of memory; and humanitarian intervention on a global scale.
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Property and the Quest for the Common Good in Imperial Russia

Author: Ekaterina Pravilova

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400850266

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 8525

"Property rights" and "Russia" do not usually belong in the same sentence. Rather, our general image of the nation is of insecurity of private ownership and defenselessness in the face of the state. Many scholars have attributed Russia's long-term development problems to a failure to advance property rights for the modern age and blamed Russian intellectuals for their indifference to the issues of ownership. A Public Empire refutes this widely shared conventional wisdom and analyzes the emergence of Russian property regimes from the time of Catherine the Great through World War I and the revolutions of 1917. Most importantly, A Public Empire shows the emergence of the new practices of owning "public things" in imperial Russia and the attempts of Russian intellectuals to reconcile the security of property with the ideals of the common good. The book analyzes how the belief that certain objects—rivers, forests, minerals, historical monuments, icons, and Russian literary classics—should accede to some kind of public status developed in Russia in the mid-nineteenth century. Professional experts and liberal politicians advocated for a property reform that aimed at exempting public things from private ownership, while the tsars and the imperial government employed the rhetoric of protecting the sanctity of private property and resisted attempts at its limitation. Exploring the Russian ways of thinking about property, A Public Empire looks at problems of state reform and the formation of civil society, which, as the book argues, should be rethought as a process of constructing "the public" through the reform of property rights.
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Dreams of a True Fatherland?

Author: George Gilbert

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317373030

Category: Social Science

Page: 258

View: 4782

The revolutionary movements in late tsarist Russia inspired a reaction by groups on the right. Although these groups were ostensibly defending the status quo, they were in fact, as this book argues, very radical in many ways. This book discusses these radical rightist groups, showing how they developed considerable popular appeal across the whole Russian Empire, securing support from a wide cross-section of society. The book considers the nature and organisation of the groups, their ideologies and polices on particular issues and how they changed over time. The book concludes by examining how and why the groups lost momentum and support in the years immediately before the First World War, and briefly explores how far present day rightist groups in Russia are connected to this earlier movement.
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Antisemitism and Anti-Jewish Violence in Lithuania under the Tsars

Author: Darius Staliunas

Publisher: Central European University Press

ISBN: 9633860725

Category: Religion

Page: 296

View: 8906

This book explores anti-Jewish violence in Russian-ruled Lithuania. It begins by illustrating how widespread anti-Jewish feelings were among the Christian population in 19 th century, focusing on blood libel accusations as well as describing the role of modern antisemitism. Secondly, it tries to identify the structural preconditions as well as specific triggers that turned anti-Jewish feelings into collective violence and analyzes the nature of this violence. Lastly, pogroms in Lithuania are compared to anti-Jewish violence in other regions of the Russian Empire and East Galicia. This research is inspired by the cultural turn in social sciences, an approach that assumes that violence is filled with meaning, which is ?culturally constructed, discursively mediated, symbolically saturated, and ritually regulated.? The author argues that pogroms in Lithuania instead followed a communal pattern of ethnic violence and was very different from deadly pogroms in other parts of the Russian Empire.
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Author: Steven J. Zipperstein

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631492705

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 8903

Separating historical fact from fantasy, an acclaimed historian retells the story of Kishinev, a riot that transformed the course of twentieth-century Jewish history. So shattering were the aftereffects of Kishinev, the rampage that broke out in late-Tsarist Russia in April 1903, that one historian remarked that it was “nothing less than a prototype for the Holocaust itself.” In three days of violence, 49 Jews were killed and 600 raped or wounded, while more than 1,000 Jewish-owned houses and stores were ransacked and destroyed. Recounted in lurid detail by newspapers throughout the Western world, and covered sensationally by America’s Hearst press, the pre-Easter attacks seized the imagination of an international public, quickly becoming the prototype for what would become known as a “pogrom,” and providing the impetus for efforts as varied as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the NAACP. Using new evidence culled from Russia, Israel, and Europe, distinguished historian Steven J. Zipperstein’s wide-ranging book brings historical insight and clarity to a much-misunderstood event that would do so much to transform twentieth-century Jewish life and beyond.
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The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe

Author: E.M. Rose

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190219645

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 5552

In 1144, the mutilated body of William of Norwich, a young apprentice leatherworker, was found abandoned outside the city's walls. The boy bore disturbing signs of torture, and a story spread that it was a ritual murder, performed by Jews in imitation of the Crucifixion as a mockery of Christianity. The outline of William's tale eventually gained currency far beyond Norwich, and the idea that Jews engaged in ritual murder became firmly rooted in the European imagination. E.M. Rose's engaging book delves into the story of William's murder and the notorious trial that followed to uncover the origin of the ritual murder accusation - known as the "blood libel" - in western Europe in the Middle Ages. Focusing on the specific historical context - 12th-century ecclesiastical politics, the position of Jews in England, the Second Crusade, and the cult of saints - and suspensefully unraveling the facts of the case, Rose makes a powerful argument for why the Norwich Jews (and particularly one Jewish banker) were accused of killing the youth, and how the malevolent blood libel accusation managed to take hold. She also considers four "copycat" cases, in which Jews were similarly blamed for the death of young Christians, and traces the adaptations of the story over time. In the centuries after its appearance, the ritual murder accusation provoked instances of torture, death and expulsion of thousands of Jews and the extermination of hundreds of communities. Although no charge of ritual murder has withstood historical scrutiny, the concept of the blood libel is so emotionally charged and deeply rooted in cultural memory that it endures even today. Rose's groundbreaking work, driven by fascinating characters, a gripping narrative, and impressive scholarship, provides clear answers as to why the blood libel emerged when it did and how it was able to gain such widespread acceptance, laying the foundations for enduring antisemitic myths that continue to the present.
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Blood on the Steps

Author: Robert Weinberg

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253363817

Category: Jews

Page: 302

View: 9706

"Robert Weinberg examines the tumultuous events of the 1905 Revolution in Odessa, the fourth-largest city in the Russian Empire at the turn of the twentieth century, and explores why workers in Odessa were the driving force in the near-toppling of autocratic rule. Weinberg offers a compelling analysis of labor's militancy and politicization in 1905 and provides insights into the social dynamics of labor activism in late Imperial Russia. He pays close attention to how the intersection of national developments, local events, and the workers' daily experiences prompted Odessa workers to claim rights of citizenship, challenge authority, and assert greater control over their working lives." "The book also sheds light on the notorious Jewish Question in tsarist Russia and the impact of ethnic conflict on the events of 1905. Jews constituted one-third of Odessa's population, and the bloody October pogrom that left hundreds dead reveals how ethno-religious tensions affected the labor movement and influenced the outcome of the revolution in Odessa. By demonstrating the intricate relationship among labor unrest, politics, and anti-Semitism, The Revolution of 1905 in Odessa enriches our understanding of the multifaceted dimensions of revolution in the Russian Empire."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Surviving the Russian Revolution

Author: Lynne Ann Hartnett

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253013941

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 8650

This engaging biography tells the dramatic story of a Russian noblewoman turned revolutionary terrorist. Born in 1852 in the last years of serfdom, Vera Figner came of age as Imperial Russian society was being rocked by the massive upheaval that culminated in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. At first a champion of populist causes and women's higher education, Figner later became a leader of the terrorist party the People's Will and was an accomplice in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Drawing on extensive archival research and careful reading of Figner's copious memoirs, Lynne Ann Hartnett reveals how Figner survived the Bolshevik revolution and Stalin's Great Purges and died a lionized revolutionary legend as the Nazis bore down on Moscow in 1942.
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Memoirs of a Young Jewish Woman in the Russian Empire

Author: Anna Pavlovna Vygodskai︠a︡

Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press

ISBN: 9780875806716

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 173

View: 9635

Anna Pavlovna Vygodskaia's autobiography, originally published in 1938, is a rare and fascinating historical account of Jewish childhood and young adult life in Tsarist Russia. At a time when the vast majority of Jews resided in small market towns in the Pale of Settlement, Vygodskaia liberated herself from that world and embraced the day-to-day rhythms, educational activities, and new intellectual opportunities in the imperial capital of St. Petersburg. Her story offers a unique glimpse of Jewish daily life that is rarely documented in public sources--of neighborly interactions, children's games and household rituals, love affairs and emotional outbursts, clothing customs, and leisure time. Most first-person narratives of this kind reconstruct an isolated and self-contained Jewish world, but The Story of a Life uniquely describes the unprecedented social opportunities, as well as the many political and personal challenges, that young Jewish women and men experienced in the Russia of the 1870s and 1880s. In addition to their artful translation, Eugene M. Avrutin and Robert H. Greene thoroughly explicate this historical context in their introduction.
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Jews and Magic in Reformation Germany

Author: R. Po-chia Hsia

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300047462

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 5137

From the mid-fifteenth century to the early seventeenth, German Jews were persecuted and tried for the alleged ritual murders of Christian children, whose blood purportedly played a crucial part in Jewish magical rites. In this engrossing book R. Po-Chia Hsia traces the rise and decline of ritual murder trials during that period. Using sources ranging from Christian and Kabbalistic treatises to judicial records and popular pamphlets, Hsia examines the religious sources of the idea of child sacrifice and blood symbolism and reconstructs the political context of ritual murder trials against the Jews. "This volume combines clarity of thinking, elegance of style, and exemplary scholarly attention to detail with intellectual sobriety and human compassion."-Jerome Friedman, Sixteenth Century Journal "Hsia has... succeeded in turning established knowledge to illuminatingly new purposes."-G.R. Elton, New York Review of Books "This meticulously researched and unusually perceptive book is social and intellectual history at its best."-Library Journal "A fresh perspective on an old problem by a major new talent."-Steven Ozment, Harvard University R. Po-chia Hsia, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is also the author of Society and Religion in Munster, 1535-1618
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The Politics of Identity and Oriental Studies in the Late Imperial and Early Soviet Periods

Author: Vera Tolz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199594449

Category: History

Page: 203

View: 4142

Russia's own Orient examines how intellectuals in early twentieth-century Russia offered a new and radical critique of the ways in which Oriental cultures were understood at the time. Out of the ferment of revolution and war, a group of scholars in St. Petersburg articulated fresh ideas about the relationship between power and knowledge, and about Europe and Asia as mere political and cultural constructs. Their ideas anticipated the work of Edward Said and post-colonial scholarship by half a century. The similarities between the two groups were, in fact, genealogical. Said was indebted, via Arab intellectuals of the 1960s who studied in the Soviet Union, to the revisionist ideas of Russian Orientologists of the fin de siècle. But why did this body of Russian scholarship of the early twentieth century turn out to be so innovative? Should we agree with a popular claim of the Russian elites about their country's particular affinity with the 'Orient'? There is no single answer to this question. The early twentieth century was a period when all over Europe a fascination with things 'Oriental' engendered the questioning of many nineteenth-century assumptions and prejudices. In that sense, the revisionism of Russian Orientologists was part of a pan-European trend. And yet, Tolz also argues that a set of political, social, and cultural factors, which were specific to Russia, allowed its imperial scholars to engage in an unusual dialogue with representatives of the empire's non-European minorities. It is together that they were able to articulate a powerful long-lasting critique of modern imperialism and colonialism, and to shape ethnic politics in Russia across the divide of the 1917 revolutions.
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Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation

Author: Faith Hillis

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801469252

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 364

In Children of Rus’, Faith Hillis recovers an all but forgotten chapter in the history of the tsarist empire and its southwestern borderlands. The right bank, or west side, of the Dnieper River—which today is located at the heart of the independent state of Ukraine—was one of the Russian empire’s last territorial acquisitions, annexed only in the late eighteenth century. Yet over the course of the long nineteenth century, this newly acquired region nearly a thousand miles from Moscow and St. Petersburg generated a powerful Russian nationalist movement. Claiming to restore the ancient customs of the East Slavs, the southwest’s Russian nationalists sought to empower the ordinary Orthodox residents of the borderlands and to diminish the influence of their non-Orthodox minorities. Right-bank Ukraine would seem unlikely terrain to nourish a Russian nationalist imagination. It was among the empire’s most diverse corners, with few of its residents speaking Russian as their native language or identifying with the culture of the Great Russian interior. Nevertheless, as Hillis shows, by the late nineteenth century, Russian nationalists had established a strong foothold in the southwest’s culture and educated society; in the first decade of the twentieth, they secured a leading role in local mass politics. By 1910, with help from sympathetic officials in St. Petersburg, right-bank activists expanded their sights beyond the borderlands, hoping to spread their nationalizing agenda across the empire. Exploring why and how the empire’s southwestern borderlands produced its most organized and politically successful Russian nationalist movement, Hillis puts forth a bold new interpretation of state-society relations under tsarism as she reconstructs the role that a peripheral region played in attempting to define the essential characteristics of the Russian people and their state.
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Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia: The Beilis Blood Libel

Author: Edmund Levin

Publisher: Schocken

ISBN: 0805243240

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 7429

A Jewish factory worker is falsely accused of ritually murdering a Christian boy in Russia in 1911, and his trial becomes an international cause célèbre. On March 20, 1911, thirteen-year-old Andrei Yushchinsky was found stabbed to death in a cave on the outskirts of Kiev. Four months later, Russian police arrested Mendel Beilis, a thirty-seven-year-old father of five who worked as a clerk in a brick factory nearby, and charged him not only with Andrei’s murder but also with the Jewish ritual murder of a Christian child. Despite the fact that there was no evidence linking him to the crime, that he had a solid alibi, and that his main accuser was a professional criminal who was herself under suspicion for the murder, Beilis was imprisoned for more than two years before being brought to trial. As a handful of Russian officials and journalists diligently searched for the real killer, the rabid anti-Semites known as the Black Hundreds whipped into a frenzy men and women throughout the Russian Empire who firmly believed that this was only the latest example of centuries of Jewish ritual murder of Christian children—the age-old blood libel. With the full backing of Tsar Nicholas II’s teetering government, the prosecution called an array of “expert witnesses”—pathologists, a theologian, a psychological profiler—whose laughably incompetent testimony horrified liberal Russians and brought to Beilis’s side an array of international supporters who included Thomas Mann, H. G. Wells, Anatole France, Arthur Conan Doyle, the archbishop of Canterbury, and Jane Addams. The jury’s split verdict allowed both sides to claim victory: they agreed with the prosecution’s description of the wounds on the boy’s body—a description that was worded to imply a ritual murder—but they determined that Beilis was not the murderer. After the fall of the Romanovs in 1917, a renewed effort to find Andrei’s killer was not successful; in recent years his grave has become a pilgrimage site for those convinced that the boy was murdered by a Jew so that his blood could be used in making Passover matzo. Visitors today will find it covered with flowers. (With 24 pages of black-and-white illustrations.) From the Hardcover edition.
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A History

Author: John Efron

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315508990

Category: History

Page: 560

View: 447

The Jews: A History, second edition, explores the religious, cultural, social, and economic diversity of the Jewish people and their faith. The latest edition incorporates new research and includes a broader spectrum of people - mothers, children, workers, students, artists, and radicals - whose perspectives greatly expand the story of Jewish life.
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A History, 1859-1914

Author: Natan M. Meir

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253222079

Category: History

Page: 403

View: 6210

Populated by urbane Jewish merchants and professionals as well as new arrivals from the shtetl, imperial Kiev was acclaimed for its opportunities for education, culture, employment, and entrepreneurship but cursed for the often pitiless persecution of its Jews. Kiev, Jewish Metropolis limns the history of Kiev Jewry from the official readmission of Jews to the city in 1859 to the outbreak of World War I. It explores the Jewish community's politics, its leadership struggles, socioeconomic and demographic shifts, religious and cultural sensibilities, and relations with the city's Christian population. Drawing on archival documents, the local press, memoirs, and belles lettres, Natan M. Meir shows Kiev's Jews at work, at leisure, in the synagogue, and engaged in the activities of myriad Jewish organizations and philanthropies.
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