Sergei Mandelstam, who was executed for alleged complicity in the assassination of the Soviet leader Sergei M. Kirov, was a member of the noted Russian Jewish family of Mandelstam, it has been revealed here.
His great-grandfather was Leon Mandelstam, the so-called “learned Jew” attached to the Czarist Ministry of Education. A brother of Leon, Benjamin, was one of the pioneers in the Haskalah movement in Russia. Leon translated the Pentateuch and the Psalms into Russian and compiled a Hebrew-Russian and Russian-Hebrew dictionary.
Professor Max Mandelstam, noted oculist and Zionist leader, was also a member of the family. Margareta Mandelstam, concert violinist, is a niece of Sergei Mandelstam. Elsa Mandelstam, Palestinian architect, is his cousin, while Professor Rosovsky, a Palestinian composer, is his uncle.
Sergei Mandelstam joined the Communist party immediately after the Kerensky government came into power. During the civil war in Russia, he was political commissar of the Sixth Red Army, which fought the English under General Miller. He was thirty-three years old at the time of his execution.