Monday 18 June 2018

Land League founder Davitt exposed Russian pogroms

Mayo man's revelations in American newspapers about two-day slaughter sparked international outcry

Foreign correspondent: Michael Davitt (centre, back) with a Jewish family in Kishinev, 1903 Photo: courtesy Board of Trinity College, Dublin
Foreign correspondent: Michael Davitt (centre, back) with a Jewish family in Kishinev, 1903 Photo: courtesy Board of Trinity College, Dublin

Carla King

When people hear the name Randolph Hearst they mostly think of Orson Welles's magnificent portrayal of the media baron in the film Citizen Kane.

Few would link him to the Father of the Land League, Michael Davitt. And yet the Mayo man was employed by the newspaper tycoon as a foreign correspondent. He covered the defeated Boer President Kruger's arrival in France in 1902 and made three trips to Russia.

His most important assignment was his investigation of the Kishinev pogrom of April 1903, in which 51 Jews of the town that is now Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, were murdered in an attack that lasted for two days. While the Russian government sought to play down what had happened, immigrant Jewish communities in New York's East side learned through letters and telegrams of an attack but in the absence of reliable information, rumours circulated of an extensive massacre.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss