Beilis Case

Beilis Case

 

legal proceedings organized in Kiev in September and October 1913 by the tsarist government and the Black Hundreds against the Jew M. Beilis, a shop assistant in a brick plant, who was slanderously accused of the ritual murder of a Russian boy, A. Iushinskii. The actual murderers were protected from the court with the aid of I. G. Shcheglovitov, the minister of justice.

The investigation of the Beilis case lasted from 1911 to 1913. At a time when there was a revolutionary upsurge in Russia, the Black Hundreds, having launched an anti-Semitic campaign, tried to use the Beilis case to attack democratic forces and to bring about a coup d’etat. Representatives of the progressive Russian intelligentsia, A. M. Gorky, V. G. Korolenko, A. A. Blok, V. I. Vemadskii, and others, exposed the falseness of the accusations against Beilis. Protest strikes were held in a number of cities. In the event of Beilis’ conviction, the Bolsheviks planned to lead a general strike in St. Petersburg. Public figures abroad (the Frenchman Anatole France and others) spoke out in defense of Beilis. Despite the pressure of the government and the Black Hundreds, the jury acquitted Beilis.

REFERENCES

Delo Beilisa: Stenograficheskii otchet, vols. 1–3. Kiev, 1913.
Tager, A. S. Tsarskaia Rossiia i delo Beilisa, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1934.
Korolenko, V. G. “Delo Beilisa.” Sobr. soch., vol. 9. Moscow, 1955.

P. N. ZYRIANOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The Beilis case was one of the last in the long history of persecutions of the Jews for the supposed crime of murdering Christian children so their blood could be used in the Passover matzos.
At the apex of it all was Tsar Nicholas II himself, who seems to have believed that Bei-lis was innocent but also believed in all the old canards about limitless Jewish iniquity, and, further, that anti-Semitism, a powerful binding force in Old Russia, was a kind of common ground between the ruler and his people that could not be given up, especially at a time of revolutionary ferment--after all, Nicholas himself was overthrown and murdered five years after the Beilis case was finished.
The Beilis case in this sense comes across as one of the final gestures of an old regime, an old way of life that was coming to an end.
Goldhagen reminds us of the extraordinary fact, seen in the Beilis case and many others, that anti-Semitism has for centuries been a kind of "animating idea," the "glue of many societies and cultures for much longer than practically any major belief system or ideology or political form.
Finally an afterword by Jay Beilis, along with several appendices containing additional documents and discussions of the various versions of Mendel's Life and many photographs pertinent to the study of the Beilis case.
34) It's hard not to suspect that these references to the Beilis case and the Protocols were suggested or inspired by Brasol.
Set in 1905, the year of the failed Revolution and six years before the Beilis case, Fiddler was the antithesis of the Jews of Silence in its unabashed romantic nostalgia and sweet sentimentality--all the warts and lesions of Czarist Russian shtetl life skillfully excised.
The Beilis case began on March 12, 1911, when a Russian boy, Andrei Yuschinsky, was murdered by a gang of thugs who thought the boy was going to inform the police about their criminal activity.
Though it has been compared to the Dreyfus affair that went on from 1894 until 1906--only five years before Mendel Beilis was arrested--the Dreyfus affair never faded' but the Beilis case fell into obscurity.
It also addresses the political police's role in the anti-Jewish pogroms of the late imperial period and in the infamous Beilis Case that saw a Jewish worker tried for the ritual murder of a Christian child in Kiev in 1913.
If Juliette Hassine is right, it is only when ironic distance necessarily collapses, as the Beilis case catapults the legendary, quasi-mythical accusation of ritual murder from the more easily dismissed domain of fringe diatribe into a center-stage Petersburg tribunal, that the allusion must be struck from the text.
The result, is a numbing listing of pronouncements and written statements by prominent political, cultural, and religious leaders in response to such events as the Damascus Affair, the Mortara case, the Beilis case, the Dreyfus Affair, and the onset of Nazi persecution in the 1930s.