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Petlura Was Morally Responsible for Pogroms, Grusenberg Declares

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Oscar Grusenberg, famous Jewish jurist, one of the defenders of Mendel Beilis, who witnessed the events in the Ukraine in 1919, when interviewed here by the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency concerning the act of Sholom Schwartzard stated:

“The Jewish population of the Ukraine received Petlura and his troops enthusiastically. I recall that despite the severe, cold weather, a Jewish delegation, met the incoming Ukrainian troops in Kiev. Dr. Sirkin, the Zionist leader, who was a member of the delegation, caught a cold on that day, from which he died.

“It is difficult to say whether Petlura was personally responsible for the pogroms. There is no direct proof that Petlura instigated the pogroms, but he was, without a doubt, morally responsible for the anti-Jewish massacres. Schwartzbard’s act makes a deep impression,” Mr. Grusenberg declared. “Even if one recognizes terror as a frightening measure, Schwartzbard’s act is uncomprehensible as an act of vengeance because Petlura had abandoned his political activity since 1921 and lived in Paris as a simple man. It is strange how anybody can nurse such feelings for five years.

“There is, however, no reason to believe that Schwartzbard acted at the instigation of the Bolsheviks. I am sure that the investigation will establish Schwartzbard’s insanity. If the court finds that the murder was planned, capital punishment will probably be enforced.” he stated.

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