Today in History: The Jewish Avenger

On this day in 1926, Shalom Schwarzbrad assassinated Simone Petliura in Paris.

Simon Petliura was born in 1879 in Ukraine in the Russian Empire, and became a nationalist, journalist and politician. After the February Revolution in 1917 and the overthrow of the Tsar, the Russian Empire began to collapse, and Petliura and other politicians organized Ukraine as an independent republic under German auspices. In 1918, Germany surrendered to the Allies, and the Russian Civil War began between the Royal White Army and the Communist Red Army. There was only one thing in Common between the two aemies: A desire to reconquer Ukraine and defeat the Ukrainian army under Petliura’s leadership. Petliura’s army could not withstand the pressure, and Ukraine was completely occupied during 1919 and became part of the Soviet Union. During the fighting Petliura’s army (and militias under his wing) carried out horrendous massacres of Jews (at least 50,000 dead!), named ‘the Petliura riots’. Petliura himself fled to Paris, but was murdered there by Schwarzbad, who avenged his family who had been killed in pogroms. Schwarzbad was put on trial, but in light of the impressive advocacy work of Attorney Henri Torres and numerous testimonies about the disturbances that perverted the judges’ hearts, he was acquitted and charged only minor damages. However, Petliura is still considered a national hero in Ukraine.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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