In May 1926, Scholem Schwarzbard, a Ukrainian Jewish watchmaker and sometime Yiddish journalist and poet living in Paris, shot and killed the president of the exile Ukrainian National Republic, Symon Petliura. Interrogated for seventeen months before being put on trial, Schwarzbard was exonerated by a Paris jury following dramatic testimony that riveted the attention of observers around the world. The two events, along with others that unfolded in the interval between them, would change much for Jews in the coming decades. Archival materials hitherto unexplored shed new light on these changes.
David Engel is an American historian and professor of Holocaust and Judaic studies at NYU and a Fellow at the Diaspora Research Institute at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of "The Assassination of Symon Petliura and the Trial of Sholem Schwarzbard 1926–1927: A Selection of Documents" (2016), which uses archival materials and articles to help readers understand why these events unfolded as they did and what they meant to the different groups that had a vital stake in them.
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