Kostomarov, Nikolai Ivanovich°

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KOSTOMAROV, NIKOLAI IVANOVICH ° (1817–1885), historian, writer, and one of the founders of Ukrainian nationalism. Professor of Russian history in Kiev and St. Petersburg, he edited the monthly Osnova (1861–62), in which he discussed the national problems of the Ukraine, including the Jewish problem. Although in favor of granting civic rights to the Jews, he attacked their attitude of separatism toward the Christians and their supposed domination of entire branches of the economy and public services, concluding "rights should be granted to the Jews, but the Christians should be encouraged in their economic struggle so that they will be capable of regaining those positions which the Jews have seized." In his research on Ukrainian history, and in particular on the *Chmielnicki revolt (1648), Kostomarov emphasized the role of the Jews, alleging that they had not only leased the estates of the Polish landowners but also the Orthodox churches, imposed taxes on the baptism of children, etc., thus arousing the anger of the Ukrainian masses. He appeared as an "expert" at the blood libel trial of *Saratov (1853), and in his historical articles he left open the question of the truth of such accusations. Kostomarov's works had a great influence on the development of the Ukrainian nationalist movement and its attitude toward the Jews.


Ukrayinski Pismennyky, 2 (1963), 464–89 (extensive bibliography); L.K. Polukhin, Formuvannya istorychnykh poglyadiv M.I. Kostomarova (1959); ye, 9 (c. 1910), 788–9.

[Yehuda Slutsky]