The trial of five pogromist leaders has just been concluded here before the Revolutionary Tribunal of the Province of Witebsk. All the accused, Gelomuzdov, Bodinow, Gorbunienbo, Dmitrichenko and Szeworonkov, have been sentenced to death, without resource to appeal, and the sentence has been ordered to be carried out immediately.
All five were leaders of bands organized in 1920 by Boris Savinkoff. They were under the orders of Ataman Wolbov, a notorious pogromist, personally responsible for the murder of hundreds of Jews.
Disclosures in the course of trial showed that Wolbov’s instructions from Savinkoff had been to send out his bands along the Russo-Polish frontier to blow up bridges, destroy railway lines, set fire to Government granaries, kill Communists and Soviet officials, etc.
Wolbov added to the programme, on his own initiative, the murdering of Jews, and between 1920 and the beginning of 1923, his bands carried out a series of pogroms, particularly in the district of Welisz.
One of their latest exploita, reported by the J.T.A. at the time, was an attack in the summer of 1922 on the passenger steamer “Dobri”, proceeding on the Buena from Witebak to Welisz. The steamer was burned, and the non-Jewish passengers were forced to give up everything they had along and were allowed to proceed, and the Jewish passengers were all killed by torture and mutilated.
A few weeks later, they fell upon a Jewish agricultural colony and massacred everyone found there.
The arrest was carried out in March of this year at Polotzk, on the Polish frontier.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.