Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is part of the History of the Jews in Bessarabia.
The Kishinev pogrom was an anti-Jewish riot that took place in Kishinev, which was back then part of the Bessarabia province of Imperial Russia (currently Chişinău is the capital of independent Moldova) on April 6-7, 1903.
The riot started after an incident on February 6 when a Christian Russian boy, Michael Ribalenko, was found murdered in the town of Dubossary (now Dubăsari), about 25 miles north of Kishinev. Although it was clear that the boy had been killed by a relative (who was later found), the government chose to call it a ritual murder plot by the Jews.
The mobs were incited by Pavolachi Krushevan , the editor of the Anti-Semitic Newspaper "Bessarabetz", and the vice-governor Ustrugov. They used the ages-old blood libel against the Jews (that the boy had been killed to use his blood in preparation of matzo).
Vyacheslav von Plehve, the Minister of Interior, supposedly gave orders not to stop the rioters. During three days of rioting, the Kishinev Pogrom against the Jews took place. Forty-seven (some put the figure as high as 49) Jews were killed, 92 severely wounded, 500 slightly wounded and over 700 houses looted and destroyed.
This pogrom is considered the first state-inspired action against Jews of the 20th century. Despite a world outcry, only two men were sentenced to seven and five years and twenty-two were sentenced for one or two years. This pogrom was instrumental in convincing tens of thousands of Russian Jews to leave to the West and to Israel.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details