Michael Davitt

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Posted by murrisk on February 06, 2001 at 15:58:17:

Much is known about Michael Davitt:- his accident with loss of an arm, founder of the Mayo Land League in Castlebar (August 16, 1879), to his death and burial in Straide on June 2, 1906. A photo of the burial is at the attached URL address.
Less well known I think, are his activities in Russia. as a correspondent for the Hearst newspapers in America (I believe its the same Michael Davitt). Anti-semitism,as elsewhere, has had a long and violent history in Russia, a country which only saw the end of serfdom in 1861. Jewish High Holy Days were called "kike-hunting season" and pogroms were routine. The infamous Pale of Settlement was established by Catherine the Great at a time when there was an estimated 1 million Jews within the empire. The Pale lay along the western and southern borders of the empire and most Jews were confined there. In the 19th century there was some emancipation for Jews and some were allowed to leave the Pale. On Easter Sunday (also the 7th day of the Passover), April 6, 1903, handbills were distributed in the city of Kishinev, a city of 100,000 people with equal number of Jews and non-Jews, saying the Emperor had granted permission to local Christians to wreak "bloody punishment" upon the Jews. Thereafter, followed two days of murder, rape, looting and destruction of property - an orgy of barbaric bitterness. Michael Davitt interviewed officials and survivors in May 1903 and compiled an appaling tale of horror which he documented in his book " Within the Pale".

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