Ukrainians in Montreal Object to Television Program on Petlura
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Ukrainians in Montreal Object to Television Program on Petlura

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About 800 Ukrainians today picketed the offices of the government-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation here, protesting against a television program on the French-language network, dealing with the trial of Sholom Schwartzbard, a Jew who shot the Ukrainian leader Simon Petlura in France, in 1926.

Petlura was president of the short-lived Ukrainian Republic, which he set up in fighting the new Bolshevik regime in Russia, in 1917. During his rule, Ukrainian Jews suffered atrocliious pogroms in which many thousands were annihilated. Schwartzbard was tried on a murder charge in Paris in 1926, and acquitted when the court accepted the facts of the Petlura-directed pogroms as the motive for Petlura’s death.

The television series, being broadcast every Tuesday night by CBC, was denounced by the Ukrainian pickets as “inaccurate” and as an “insult” to the 500, 000 Ukrainians living in Canada. Placards carried by the pickets demanded the immediate firing of the CBC men responsible for the broadcasts. A seven-man delegation of the pickets met, during the demonstration, with J.J. Trudeau, CBC director of information, who promised to relay their grievance to CBC president Alphonse Ouimet, at Ottawa.

The pickets wound up their demonstration by parading to the Cenotaph here which, they said, “commemorates our national hero, Petlura, as well as the Ukrainian soldiers of two world wars,” There was no decision today as to whether the series will continue as scheduled on Tuesday night of this week. According to the Ukrainian leaders, the film forming the basis of the TV program was made in France but was banned in that country.

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