KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — Kiev’s City Council renamed a street to honor a Ukrainian politician assassinated by a Jewish man in a revenge killing.
Petlura Street was named to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the birthday of Simon Petlura, who served as head of the Ukrainian National Republic from 1919 until he was killed on May 26, 1926 in Paris.
Samuel Shwartsbard killed Petlura in revenge for massacres allegedly organized by Petlura during Ukraine’s Civil War. Petlura’s bandits had murdered 15 members of Shwartsbard’s family, including his parents.
A French court acquitted Shwartsbard.
Historians have debated whether Petlura simply did not do enough to stop the massacres, thus appealing to his supporters with anti-Semitic tendencies, or whether he actually tried to stop violence against Jews.