Constantirople (Jun. 9)
M. Bournakine, formerly literary editor of the “Novoye Vremia,” and later, editor
of a paper in Sebastopol, which was specially intended to incite pogroms and anti-Semitic excesses, has caused great astonishment here by visiting the Federation of Hebrew Teachers to ask them to arrange a lecture by him in their club on the subject: “How I was lead to abandon anti-Semitism.” After some hesitation, the Federation agreed to arrange the lecture.
M. Bournakine spoke of his early life. He was the son, he said, of a railway-worker, and was born in Krementchoug, in the Ukrain, in the midst of a Jewish population. It was the Jews who gave him his first education and helped him when he was friendless and starving. In the Russian secondary school, which he afterwards attended, he fell under the influence of anti-Semitic propaganda, and on leaving the University he professed a blind hatred towards all Jews. These sentiments, publicly announced, enabled him to be made one of the editors of the “Novoye Vremia,” on which only ardent anti-Semites could find posts. “Thus,” said M. Bournakine, “at the time of the Beilis Trial, I found myself in the laboratory where the documents were being forged to prove the basis of the accusation against the perpetrators of the supposed ritual murder.”
M. Bournakine condemned his writings in which he had recently alleged that Bolshevism was the work of the Jews. The presence of Jews among the Bolsheviks, he said, is explained by the fact that the Jews have suffered more from Tsarist persecution than any other section of the people in Russia.
M. Bournakine concluded his lecture with an appeal to the Jews to work together with their Russian compatriots, and especially with the intellectuals, to restore its former greatness to their mutual fatherlands.
Several Russian monarchists, present at the lecture, attacked M. Bournakine, alleging that he was not sincere in what he said, and claiming that he had never represented the best type of Russian monarchist. His penitence, they said, was only assumed for the purpose of obtaining Jewish support for his schemes.
Jewish speakers in the discussion which followed, said that M. Bournakine, wold be mistaken if he thought he could draw Jewish circles into his work by a pretended recantation of his anti-Semitic views.