News Letters Tell of Jewish Life Abroad

The conversion to the Jewish faith of a one-time pogrom leader and a godson of the infamous Petlura, has stirred much interest throughout Poland.

The name of the convert is Mendel Meier Einfeld. He was born in the village of Piontek, near Lodz. As an infant, he was stolen by a band of gypsies, who sold him to a German woman living in the Vilna district. This German woman was the wife of Petlura, the Ukrainian White Guard pogrom leader, who slew thousands of Jews in the Ukraine and who was later killed in Paris by a Jew, Schwarzbard, to avenge the murder of his relatives by gangs whom Petlura led.

Petlura became the godfather of the child, who was educated as a Christian, and in ignorance of his Jewish origin. When the War broke out, Einfeld, who had by this time become a young man, joined his godfather’s gang, and with them carried on pogroms against the Jews. He is himself responsible for the murder of scores of Jews.

In the midst of this bloody work, declares Einfeld, he began to be pursued in dreams by an old Jew. This old man visited him night after night in his dreams, asking him why he persecuted the Jews so pitilessly when he was himself a son of Jews. His dream visitor is supposed to have revealed to him his origin and the place of his birth.

Many years later, Einfeld managed to get to Poland, and immediately looked up the village from which, according to the old Jew of his dreams, he came. He instituted inquiries, both in the Jewish Community and in the police, old records were looked up, and Einfeld became convinced of the truth of the story told him in his dreams.

He then started preparing himself for the formalities of returning to Judaism. And now not only has Petlura’s godson officially returned to the faith of his fathers, but he has also become a keen Zionist, being determined to go to Palestine and settle there.

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