Robert Weinberg: Popular Antisemitism and the Occult in Late Imperial Russia
Professor of History Robert Wienberg discusses the trial of Mendel Bailis and Russia's treatment of its Jewish citizens at the beginning of the 20th century.
Professor of History Robert Weinberg discusses antisemitism in Russia through the lens of the Beilis Trial of 1913, in which a Jewish man was accused of murdering a Ukrainian boy to obtain his blood for religious purposes. Weinberg explores rumors of blood libel and ritual killings that fueled antisemitic sentiment in the years preceding the Bailis Trial. He additionally presents the ways in which the development of a popular culture in Russia shaped citizens' perceptions of national identity and civil duty, elements that caused many to write to the prosecution with their own accounts of ritual murder. The trial, which ultimately ended with a split jury and Bailis's acquittal, received international attention, and brought to light Russia's treatment of its Jewish citizens in the early 20thcentury.
Weinberg is the author of three books, including The Russian Revolution: A History in Documents (2010). He specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Russian history, with much of his research focusing on Jewish populations within the country.