L. Hrynevych Special Investigative Commission to Investigate anti-Jewish Pogroms Under the Council of People’s Ministers of the Ukrainian People’s Republic

DOI: 10.20535/2307-5244.46.2018.136727

National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Institute of History of Ukraine

The article covers the activities of the Special Investigative Commission for
investigation of anti-Jewish pogroms under the Council of People’s Ministers of
the Ukrainian Peoples Republic.
In the conditions of the events of 1917–1920, Jews in Ukraine were threatened
with total extermination. This threat was carried by Reds and Whites, led by atamans
bandit rebel groups, demoralized soldiers of the army of the UNR. To investigate
the circumstances of the Jewish pogroms on May 27, 1919, the Council
of People’s Ministers of the Ukrainian People’s Republic approved the Law “On
the Establishment of a Special Investigative Commission for Investigation of anti-
Jewish pogroms”. The task of the investigative commission was defined: a) investigation
of anti-Jewish pogroms on the territory of Ukraine and criminal agitation
against the Jewish population; b) revealing the perpetrators and bringing
them to criminal responsibility. The commission began practical work. This
activity was complicated by the lack of skilled personnel and funds for payment
of work, permanent military actions, the failure of the front line and positions of
the Ukrainian authorities. The concrete result of the commission’s investigation
was the investigation of the circumstances of the anti-Jewish pogrom in Proskuriv
on February 1919. The leader of the Petliurist forces, Ataman Semosenko, was
named as the culprit.
The thesis is based on the fact that the practice of establishing at the governmental
level of the Commission on the detection and punishment of perpetrators
of the anti-Jewish pogroms was unique in the times of the Civil War. It is argued
that although the goal, declared by the Commission for a number of reasons, has
not been achieved, its creation was important in the political sense.

Keywords: Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), Special investigative commission,
pogrom, Jews.


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