By Edmund Levin
A Jewish manufacturing unit employee is falsely accused of ritually murdering a Christian boy in Russia in 1911, and his trial turns into a global reason célèbre.
On March 20, 1911, thirteen-year-old Andrei Yushchinsky was once chanced on stabbed to dying in a cave at the outskirts of Kiev. 4 months later, Russian police arrested Mendel Beilis, a thirty-seven-year-old father of 5 who labored as a clerk in a brick manufacturing facility close by, and charged him not just with Andrei’s homicide but additionally with the Jewish ritual homicide of a Christian baby. although there has been no facts linking him to the crime, that he had an excellent alibi, and that his major accuser used to be a certified legal who was once herself less than suspicion for the homicide, Beilis was once imprisoned for greater than years earlier than being delivered to trial. As a handful of Russian officers and reporters diligently looked for the genuine killer, the rabid anti-Semites referred to as the Black enormous quantities whipped right into a frenzy women and men through the Russian Empire who firmly believed that this was once simply the newest instance of centuries of Jewish ritual homicide of Christian children—the age-old blood libel.
With the total backing of Tsar Nicholas II’s teetering govt, the prosecution known as an array of “expert witnesses”—pathologists, a theologian, a mental profiler—whose laughably incompetent testimony horrified liberal Russians and taken to Beilis’s aspect an array of overseas supporters who incorporated Thomas Mann, H. G. Wells, Anatole France, Arthur Conan Doyle, the archbishop of Canterbury, and Jane Addams. The jury’s break up verdict allowed either side to assert victory: they agreed with the prosecution’s description of the injuries at the boy’s body—a description that was once worded to suggest a ritual murder—but they made up our minds that Beilis was once now not the assassin. After the autumn of the Romanovs in 1917, a renewed attempt to discover Andrei’s killer used to be now not winning; lately his grave has develop into a pilgrimage web site for these confident that the boy was once murdered via a Jew in order that his blood can be utilized in making Passover matzo. viewers this present day will locate it coated with flowers.
(With 24 pages of black-and-white illustrations.)
From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional resources for A Child of Christian Blood: Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia: The Beilis Blood Libel
A Child of Christian Blood: Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia: The Beilis Blood Libel by Edmund Levin