Pskov, Soviet Russia (Apr. 6)
The trial of the 17 year old Communist worker, Trofimov, who murdered his fellow Jewish worker, Bolsheminikov, confessing afterwards that he committed the act because the victim was a Jew, atracted wide attention in the Russian press and among the public when it opened at six o’clock last night in the Pskov courthouse. The sessions of the court, presided over by Judge Berescovsky, will be held in the evening only in order to permit workers, among whom interest in the trial is especially keen, to attend. The seating capacity of the courtroom is 1,000 and hundreds were turned away at the opening of the trial.
Judges Zaizev and Stepanova, a woman, are sitting with Judge Berescovsky.
Besides Trofimov there are five defendants, Gurin, Kutzin, and Sinenikolsky, each 17 years old, charged with being Trofimov’s aids; Borisov, a member of the Communist factory committee, and Kruze, education inspector. The last two are charged with passivity in the case.
Trofimov calmly admitted that he committed the murder, but he denied that anti-Semitism was his motive, thus withdrawing his previous confes- (Continued on Page 4)
Contradicting his previous confession. Trofimov stated that he killed Bolsheminikov because of a quarrel and not because of his hatred for the Jews. On cross-examination he admitted that he had made a statement upon his arrest that he killed the Jewish worker because he was a “Zhid” (Jew).
In the testimony it was brought out that before the murder Trofimov conversed with other workers of the factory, saying. “I will wash my hands, take a drink and then chop off that Zhid’s head.”
Two days before the murder Bolsheminikov informed the factory committee that a murder was being plotted against him. The factory committee calmly advised the Jewish worker to address a written statement to the court.
The protocol of Trofimov’s testimony discloses the events leading up to the crime. Bolsheminikov’s persecution began with his arrival in the factory dormitory. Some time later Bolsheminikov wrote a Pskov paper saying that Trofimov was a hooligan and a drunkard, whereupon Trofimov threatened revenge against the Jewish worker, according to the defendant’s testimony.
A statement issued by Krastin, a member of the staff of the Attorney General’s office of the Soviet Union, made to the “Comsomolskaya Pravda,” asserted that there were no counter-revolutionary elements in the Trofimov case, it being merely the result of bad feelings. An editorial in the paper takes exception to Krastin’s assertion and emphasizes that Bolsheminikov was a member of the Comsomol, Communist Youth organization, as well as a Raboor. Labor correspondent. Hence, Trofimov’s act was of a counter-revolutionary nature under the Soviet law. The paper demands that a death sentence be pronounced.
The Neighborhood Playhouse. Alice and Irene ### directors, which a year ago presented Ernest Bloch’s sympothy “Israel,” has announced a series of five performances to be given at the Manhattan Opera House with a company of dancers and actors, and the Clereland Orchestra. Nikolai Sokodoff conductor. Bloch’s symphonic “Israel,” will be repeated and a new program with Richard Stramss’ symphonic poem, “Ein Heldenleben,” is the major composition, will be given.