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November 26, 1976 - Image 52

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Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-11-26

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52 Friday, November 26, 1976

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

New Study Issued on Pogroms, Simon Petlura and Schwartzbard

By ALLEN A. WARSEN

Numerous studies have
been made of the pogroms
committed in the Ukraine
during the years 1918-
1919. The most exhaus-
tive and authoritative is
Elias Tcherikover's "Di
Ukrainer Pogromen in
Yor 1919" (The Ukrainian
Pogroms in the Year
1919). This work and the
Tcherikover Archives of
the Yivo Institute for
Jewish Research in New
York served as the prime
sources for Saul S.
Friedman's "Pogrom-
chik," subtitled "The As-
sassination of Simon Pet-
lura," (Hart Publishing
Co.).
It should be noted
though the massacres re-
corded in "Pogromchik"
occurred during the pres-
idency of Simon Petlura,
the Ukraine has had a
history of pogroms dating
back to 1096 when the
first medieval charge of
ritual murder was
brought against Jews of

the region by monks of
the Pechera monastery.
However, the most de-
vastating slaughter of
Jews prior to the Petlura
and Hitler holocausts
took place in 1648-1649
when more than 200,000
Jews were murdered by
the hordes of Bogdan
Chmielnicki. A hundred
years later, the "Haida-
macks" (Ukrainian
nationalists) killed 70,000
Jews.
This century, the worst
pogroms occurred in the
Ukraine during the Pet-
lura era. According to re-
liable statistics more than
150,000 Jews were killed
or wounded, and more
than a million were left
homeless and starving.
Who was Simon Pet-
lura? Born in 1879, the
son of a Cossack cabman,
Petlura was a Ukrainian
nationalist whose heroes
were Bogdan Chmielnicki
and Vladimir, who intro-
duced Christianity in
Kiev in 988.

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Petlura's ambition was torney who once success-
to become a priest; in- fully defended Leo
stead he became a profes- Tolstoy; and Professor
sional revolutionary. He Elias Tcherikover.
actively participated in
Significant was this ob-
the Russian revolutions servation of Goldstein:
of 1905 and 1917. During ".. . before Petlura there
the latter revolution, he had been 'no' pogroms.
was appointed Secretary After him, there Were
General for Military Af- `none.' But under Petlu-
fairs in the Ukrainian ra's regime there had
provisional government been 'hundreds.' What
which declared the Inde- does that signify?"
pendence of the Ukraine.
Profound
was
Soon afterwards, Petlura
became Commander-in- Tcherikover's remark:
Chief of the Ukrainian "Petlura's appeals (to
armed forces: and in 1919 stop the pogroms) were
he was elected president
of the reorganized gov-
ernment —the Directory.
Defeated by the Red
Army in 1920, he fled to
Warsaw and from there to
Paris where he was as- BY MAURICE SAMUELSON
sassinated on May 25th,
(Copyright, 1976 JTA, Inc.)
1926 by Sholem
LONDON — Most of
Schwartzbard.
Britain's 400,000 Jews
Who was Sholem live in London or in major
Schwartzbard? He was a provincial centers, and if
watchmaker, a native of they wish to remain
Bessarabia whose grand- Jewish have no difficulty
father was murdered in a in doing so. But there are
pogrom.
many smaller towns and
Expecting a pogrom in villages • where Jews
Baltz, the town where he would feel cut-off and lost
grew up, young Sholem, if it were not for the ex-
his father and a few other traordinary work of a
young men organized a former Royal Air Force
defense force to fight the chaplain.
pogromchiks. But they
He is the Rev. Malcolm
were overpowered by the Weisman who, besides
overwhelming numbers being a full-time lawyer,
of Cossack horsemen as- acts as minister to 50
sisted by the local police. Jewish communities in
When the killings were the boondocks of the
over, the surviving mem- British countryside, con-
bers of the defense force, taining about 4,000 per-
including Sholem and his sons. He takes his task
father, on the charge of seriously, visiting many
"provoking" the pogrom, of his parishes eight or 10
were thrown into jail times a year and clocking
where they languished up to 1,000 miles a week.
for three months.
His northernmost
In another pogrom in community is in Aber-
1919, 30 of Sholem's rela- deen, Scotland; his
tives, including his father, southernmost is in the
stepmother, uncle Edel Cornish village of Zelah,
and two brothers-in-law which few English people
were murdered by Pet- have even heard of. It has
lurovitzi (Petlurist sol- five families who cannot
diers). His mother was Idl- yet form a minyan.
led in an earlier pogrom.
The smallest Viable
The Schwartzbard trial community is at Peter-
ni 8e, 1927 and borough, which has had a
Oct.1n
began
la
days. synagogue since the 1950s.
Schwartzbard was ac- Services are held there
cused of premeditated every Friday night but
murder for which the rarely on Sabbath morn-
penalty was death. The ings.
prosecution witnesses,
Weisman, educated at
moreover, accused him- of Oxford, is more than just
being a. Jewish - Com- a minister to these tiny
munist and a Soviet communities. In many
agent who "had been de- cases, it was due to his
signated by Moscow to own efforts and interven-
assassinate Petlura."
tion that isolated families
They insisted that Pet- in rural areas were origi-
lura was an innocent nally brought together to
man, a friend of the Jew, a organize prayers' and
figurehead president, education for their chil-
and the rank Otaman- dren.
in-Chief was a title of
To do this he had to
honor. For the pogroms transcend the `religious
the Petlura supporters divisions which run
blamed the Red Army, through the rest of
Denikin's soldiers and the Anglo-JeWry. His guiding
Jews who served the priciple, he tells potential
Soviets "as commissars, . congregants, is that they
Cheka agents and Red will not be an Orthodox as
opposed to Reform com-
Army soldiers."
The arguments of the munity — or vice versa —
Schwartzbard accusers but simply a Jewish com-
Were rebutted by Hein- munity in the broadest
rich B. Sliesberg, the de- sense.
fender of Beiliss; the en-
As a result, Weisman
gineer Vladimir Tiomkin, can sometimes claim to
a participant in the first enjoy more local author-
World Zionist Congress in ity that the titular heads
1897 in Basel, Switzer- of Anglo-Jewry.
When the Jews of Oxford
land, and the unofficial
spokesman of Ukrainian completed building a new
Jewry during the epoch of synagogue and communal
the Petlura pogroms; center a few years ago,
Morris Goldstein, an at- they deliberately asked

Saul S. Friedman's
comparable to a physi-
cians's medicine adminis- "Pogromchik" reviews
tered after the death of a the major aspects of the
Schwartzbard case, and
patient."
Most important were the presents a proper historic
words of Henri Torres, perspective to a problem
Schwartzbard's attorney: still timely.
"No, it is no longer
The author is Associate
Schwartzbard who is at
issue here. It is the pog- Professor of Near East-
roms. Gentlemen of the ern and Jewish history at
jury, to condemn yester- Youngstown State Uni-
day's pogroms is to pre- versity and is the author
vent the pogroms of to- of the book "No Haven for
the Oppressed: Offir.: .- 1
morrow."
Schwartzbard was ac- U.S. Policy toward E
quitted. But the pogroms pean Jewish Refugees,
1938-1945."
continued.

Travelling Rabbi Serves Outlying
and Obscure British Communities

Weisman, their honorary
The oldest small -com-
minister, rather than Bri- munity is at Exeter,
tain's Chief Rabbi Im- whose synagogue dates
manuel Jakobovits, to of- back to the 1740s. Its bu-
ficiate at the building's in- rial ground is even older.
auguration.
The 20 families can no
Education is the most longer afford to have
expensive item in these their own minister, how-
fledgling communities' ever.
budgets and Weisman's
Weisman's ministry
role is to find the man- grew naturally out of his
power to provide it. For work, in the late 1950s, as
those within range of a a chaplain to the British
big city, he tries to recruit armed forces. On his vis-
students or teachers pre- its to British army camps
pared to travel to the he often came across
community's classroom groups of Jews who had
or private house once or no communal facilities.
twice a week.
When he left full-time
Thanks to the deep- military service he prop-
freeze industry, kosher osed to the then Chief
provisions are no longer Rabbi Israel Brodie, that
the problem they once he should be religious ad-
used to be. Nevertheless, visor to these small neg-
the frozen meat still has lected communities.
to be distributed.
The proposal was ac-
The Aberdeen com- cepted and Weisman, now
munity, for example, has in his mid-30s, has been
its meat sent from Lon- travelling around Britain
don nearly 400 miles ever since, tenderly water-
away on the night train. ing Anglo-Jewry's spar-
Jews in Jersey, in the sest grass-roots.
Channel Islands, have
He is still chaplain to
their meat flown from
Bournemouth, a south the British forces 'which
coast resort with a large include less than 400
Jewish community. Meat Jewish families as well as
for Exeter is sent from Jewish chaplain to Ox-
ford, Cambridge and
Brighton.
During the High Holy other universities. Mar-
Days, Weisman's office re- ried, with two teenage
cruits most of the cantors sons, he also runs a full-
and ministers who of- time legal practice. A
ficiate in the smaller com- busy man indeed.
munities. A further in-
strument for keeping in
Inflation
touch with them is a
twice-yearly magazine, TEL AVIV (ZINS) —
produced in the format of Recently a bulldozer
erased one of the last ves-
Reader's Digest.
Not all the small com- tiges of "Little Tel Aviv,"
munities are new. In a but on the corner of
some of Weisman's par- Frischman St. and Dov
ishes, synagogues and Hoz St., whose owner is a
burial grounds have 73 year old shoemaker,
existed for two centuries. Aaron Zalmen.
Cheltenham's was built In 1933 Zalmen bought
in 1839. Aberdeen's coin- the lot (465 square met-
70
munity goes back to the ers) for which he pa
1890s. It is now being Palestine Pounds. al-
reinforced by Jewish men recently sold his lot,
minister, however.
for 2 million Israeli
Norwich is another Pounds.
old-established Jewish
which,
congregation
owing to the economic MS Group to Meet
climate, can no longer pay
Abilities Unlimited,
a minister's salary.
which
funds multiple
The small communities
are steadily increasing in sclerosis research, will
number as more and more meet 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at the
Jews take up jobs in outly- Southfield Civic Center.
Guest speaker will be
ing districts.
In the past three years, Dr. Ronald Wadle,
Weisman has acted as urologist at Botsford
mid-wife for communities General Hospital, who
in East Grinstead, Hast-N will discuss MS and blad-
ings and Chelmsford. He der dysfunction.
For information, call
keeps in touch, too, with
families too far away to be Stewart Newman, 557-
5289.
attached to a community.

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