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.


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.


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.
The Jew on Trial will feature an interview with 92-year old Raya Beilis, Mendel Beilis's only surviving daughter; rarely-viewed news coverage of the trial; and footage of a 1917 one-hour play, based on the Beilis case, staged in St.
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.