Mendel Beilis Cleared in Ukraine Anti-Semitic Blood Libel Trial

Nazi Pogroms Erupt in Germany and Austria

Fast Food: A scene from everyday life in 1920’s Russia. Maruska at her booth where she served tea and light lunches.
International Newsreel/Forward Association
Fast Food: A scene from everyday life in 1920’s Russia. Maruska at her booth where she served tea and light lunches.

By Eddy Portnoy

Published November 08, 2013, issue of November 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

1913 •100 years ago

Mendel Beilis Not Guilty

After two hours of deliberation, the jury in Mendel Beilis’s blood-libel trial has declared him not guilty of all crimes. Beilis stood quietly, and his demeanor was calm — just as it was for most of the five-week-long trial — as the verdict was read. The courtroom was packed full, and a near-complete silence reigned, especially when the judge entered the room. The jury, which was made up entirely of peasants, was charged with answering two questions. The first was, “Did the murder of the boy take place in Zaitsev’s factory? They answered yes. The second question was, quite simply, “Is Beilis guilty due to religious fanaticism?” To this they answered no. But even though Beilis was found not guilty, he was not immediately freed. He was actually remanded back to prison, where he was forced to spend another night. The reasoning for this is that the government was attempting to stop a massive anti-Semitic demonstration as a result of the verdict; however, he was set free the next day, and is expected to immigrate to America very soon.

1938 •75 years ago

Massive Pogroms in Germany and Austria

A massive wave of pogroms has broken out across all of Germany and Austria, allegedly as revenge against a young Jew who shot and killed a German diplomat in Paris. Thousands of Nazi hooligans took to the streets to attack defenseless Jews. Store windows were smashed, and goods were stolen. Synagogues in nearly every German city were burned to the ground. The murdered German, Ernst vom Rath was the third secretary of the German Embassy in Paris. The assassin, a young Jewish man, claimed he was taking revenge for the Nazis’ mass arrests and deportations of Polish Jews in Germany. As soon as news of vom Rath’s death was broadcast in Berlin, higher-ups in Nazi circles let it be known that the Jews were going to pay. They held to their word, and recently pogroms began in Berlin and quickly spread throughout the entire country, including Austria.

1963 •50 years ago

No Jews Allowed at Bolshevik Celebrations

Representatives of all the main religious confessions in the Soviet Union were invited to the Kremlin to participate in the official celebrations of the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution — with the exception of the Jews. A report from someone who attended the festivities indicated that among those standing alongside Premier Khrushchev during the celebration, which included representatives of the Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim and Buddhist religions, not only were there no rabbis, but not even one single Russian Jew was invited as a guest to the event.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.