Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mendel Beilis -- The Field Trip

This is the summary of the 6th day of the Mendel Beilis trial, which occurred on 30 September, 1913 on the Julian calendar, 13 October, 1913 on the Gregorian calendar. 

This day occupies pages 200 through 218 of Volume I of the transcript.        See the transcript translation for the sixth day.  There is a map of the Zaitsev grounds and surroundings at the end.

Today and tomorrow Judge Boldyrev will commit a strategic error that will come back to bite him on day 19. 

Today the Black Hundreds member Golubev will further discredit himself with bragging and falsehoods.  He will also argue with Fenenko’s official site survey, which is illegal.  But Boldyrev lets him babble. 

Why?  Because Golubev and Zamyslovsky are close allies, and Zamyslovsky is a powerful member of the national Duma.  The alliance is demonstrated when Golubev contradicts himself, and in spite of that Zamyslovsky will claim that his evidence is more reliable than Fenenko’s official site survey. 

But wait a minute – aren’t Zamyslovsky and Fenenko part of the same government?  Well, not really.  The prosecution has a task, at this trial, of smearing every official who was in Kiev during the investigation, but did not adopt the ritual murder theory, and Fenenko is one of them.  Zamyslovsky began publishing on ritual murder in May 1911, published a pamphlet on the 1853 Saratov blood libel case directly connecting that to Andrey’s murder in August, 1911, and has been getting under-the-table data feeds from Lyadov, vice-director of the police, to prepare him for this trial.

About April 14, 1911, Golubev was awarded a meeting with Lyadov, to try and prevent any pogroms ahead of a projected visit by the Tsar to Kiev at the end of August and start of September, 1911; it was Lyadov’s department that would have to clean up after a pogrom.  Golubev agreed to quiet things down, showing his influence. 

In return, Golubev pointed Lyadov toward “Mendel,” a Jew who worked at the Zaitsev factory, as sacrificial victim to the Black Hundreds in Andrey’s murder.  Lyadov told Kiev Regional Prosecutor Chaplinsky, protégé of the Minister of Justice.  Both of them reported this to the minister, Shcheglovitov; a copy of Chaplinsky’s letter was found in the Tsarist archives docketed with the remark that the minister had read it to the Tsar on May 18, 1911.  Mendel Beilis was tried for Andrey’s murder because of Golubev, not because of the evidence.

But Boldyrev should never let Golubev speak on this subject, because without material proof that Golubev does not have, an official report cannot be criticized or contradicted.

After reading Fenenko’s site survey, the entire court tours the sites.  The people there cheer for Beilis. 

Shmakov remarks that there is a direct line from the grotto to the factory.  There may be a crow’s flight line, but there were three properties in between, all but one of them with a fence.  All of these fences were repaired in spring 1911 but the report, done 6 weeks after the murder, doesn’t say when or where.  The holes in the fences may not have lined up.  The report discusses ravines and hillocks and clumps of bushes and trees; if Beilis had murdered Andrey on the factory grounds, he would have to drag the body not only up and down the hills but also laterally to find the next hole. 

In fact when you look at the map you will see that, as Karabchevsky replied to Shmakov, the direct line of sight from the grotto to the house where Vera lived was indeed shorter than to Beilis’ house inside the Zaitsev factory fence, especially when to you take into account the holes in the Zakharchenko property fence onto Nagornaya and the beaten dirt path leading from that fence to Vera’s apartment that Malitskaya testifies about later.

Judge:  Fyodor Boldyrev

            Criminal Prosecutor, Oscar Vipper
            Civil Prosecutor Georgy Zamyslovsky
            Private Civil Prosecutor Aleksey Shmakov

            Oscar Gruzenberg
Nikolay Karabchevsky
Dmitry Grigorevich-Barsky
Alexandr Zarudny
Vasily Maklakov

Student, Black Hundreds leader
Fingered Beilis as Andrey’s murderer

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved


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