Kto zabil Juszczynskiego? (Who killed Yushchinsky?)
Warsaw: S. Krakowskiego, ca. 1914. First edition. Softcover. Octavo. 8pp, incl. covers. Original covers with Art Nouveau illustration framing black lettering, protected by modern mylar. Scarce anti-Semitic pamphlet related to the 1911 murder of the 13-year-old Ukrainian boy Andrei Yushchinsky. No records of institutional holdings found.
The pretrial investigation of the case accusing Menahem Mendel Beilis (Beilis Affair) of the ritual murder was conducted by the foremost investigator of the Kiev Police Department Nikolay Krasovsky. Beilis, a Jewish brick-factory worker, was accused of the murder based on the testimony of a lamplighter who claimed he had witnessed Beilis kidnapping of Yushchinsky. Under horrific conditions Beilis spent more than two years in prison awaiting his trial which took place from September 25th through October 28, 1913.
The Russian right-wing press and politicians started a campaign throughout Russia against Jewish communities with accusations of the ritual murder. Despite the investigation by the local police which clearly linked the murder to a criminal gang killing Yushchinsky because he most likely had overheard conversations revealing information relating to crimes the gang committed, the investigators in charge were dismissed. Evidence and many other aspects of the trial were manipulated by government officials at the highest level. Archival documents prove that the jury was rigged and monitored, and witnesses were bribed or threatened. The trial sparked international criticism both from Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals, among them Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Korolenko, Alexander Blok and Alexander Kurpin.
Yushchinsky was abducted on a Saturday morning while Beilis was at work. Ironically, the alibi was the result of Beilis' unusual habit of working on the Jewish Sabbath and eventually the lamplighter confessed that he had been confused by the secret police. The prosecution's case was further undermined when it became clear that the body of the boy showed 14 wounds rather than 13, which was deemed to be in accordance with the "Jewish Ritual," a fact the prosecution had spent a great deal of effort to establish. However, after several hours of deliberation, the jury acquitted Beilis.
After his acquittal Beilis left Kiev for Palestine and later settled in the United States. There he published his memoir under the title "The Story of My Sufferings" in Yiddish, 1925, and a year later in English. Beilis story became the basis for Bernard Malamud's novel "The Fixer," which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Text in Polish. Very light wear along edges of pamphlet. Contemporary price stamp on cover, and year penciled to bottom. Pamphlet in overall very good condition. vg. Item #43558