Solomon Schwartzbard #southafrica
Saul Issroff <saul@...>
A Makhnovist in Africa: Shalom Schwartzbard
by Michael Schmidt
This is abstracted >from the web article.
One of the lesser-known heroes of the Ukrainian Revolution 1917-1921 was
Shalom (Samuel) Schwartzbard, (alternately given as Sholem Shvartsbard).
Schwartzbard assassinated Petliura in Paris in 1926 because of his
In 1919, 14 members of Schwartzbard's family were slaughtered in an
anti-Jewish pogrom allegedly initiated by Symon Petliura, chairman of the
bourgeois Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) between 1918 and 1920 - one of
the Makhnovists' primary enemies.
As many as 60,000 Ukrainian Jews lost their lives in pogroms at this time.
Schwartzbard assassinated Petliura, the UNR leader on 26 May 1926, saying
that he was avenging the pogroms. Schwartzbard was acquitted by a French
jury on the grounds that he had committed a "crime of passion".
The sensational trial and acquittal was covered in the world's major
newspapers and Schwartzbard became famous. But he preferred obscurity and it
was as a travelling salesman for a Yiddish encyclopaedia that he visited
Cape Town in 1938.Hhe wrote "Troymen un Virklikhkayt" (Dreams and Reality)"
, 1920; "In Krig - Mit Zikh Aleyn (At War - With Myself)", 1933; and an
autobiography "In'm Loyd Fun Yorn (In the Course of Years)", 1934.
He died of a heart attack after one month in South Africa and was first
buried wiat the Maitland Jewish Cemetery in the largest public funeral held
in Cape Town to that date.
Schwartzbard had been refused the right to settle in British-occupied
Palestine. In 1967, his remains were disinterred and reburied in the Heroes'
Acre at Natanya, a resting-place for Jewish military heroes. the original
grave-stone is at Maitland Cemetery (CT).