Blondes, David

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BLONDES, DAVID

BLONDES, DAVID , victim of a *blood libel in Vilna in 1900. Blondes, a young Jewish barber, was accused by his Polish housemaid of assaulting her and was subsequently imprisoned. Since the charge was made shortly before Passover, rumors began to circulate that the girl had been wounded to obtain blood for ritual purposes. The implications of the accusation deeply stirred Russian Jewry, and the eminent non-Jewish lawyers P.G. Mironov and D.V. Spassovich, led by the noted Jewish lawyer Oscar O. *Grusenberg, were engaged to defend Blondes. The trial jury in Vilna convicted Blondes of injurious intent, but acquitted him of intent to murder; he was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment. The ritual implications of the accusation still remained. Grusenberg appealed to the Russian Senate, and the case was reopened before the same court in 1902. Medical experts from St. Petersburg testified for the defense, showing that the woman's injuries were self-inflicted. The jury subsequently returned a verdict of "not guilty."

bibliography:

Dubnow, Hist Russ, 3 (1920), 37f.; Budushchnost', 3 (1902), 87–90, 105f.; Voskhod, 21 no. 6 (1902), 8f.

[Chasia Turtel]