Margolin, Arnold

Image - Arnold Margolin with his wife

Margolin, Arnold [Марґолін, Арнольд], b 17 November 1877 in Kyiv, d 29 October 1956 in Washington, DC. Ukrainian-Jewish political leader, scholar, and lawyer; corresponding member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States. He graduated from the law faculty of Kyiv University and studied abroad until 1900. After being called to the bar, he acted as defense counsel in many political trials, including the M. Beilis trial (see Beilis affair), and headed the South Russian Branch of the Union for Equal Rights for Jews in Russia (1905–17) and the Jewish Territorial Organization (1906–18). A firm believer in national self-determination, during the revolutionary period he joined the Ukrainian Party of Socialists-Federalists and played a prominent role in the Ukrainian struggle for independence (1917–20): he sat on the General Court of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) and served as deputy minister of foreign affairs in Volodymyr Chekhivsky’s cabinet, as a member of the UNR delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, and as chief of the UNR diplomatic mission to London. In 1922 he emigrated to the United States, where he practiced law, lectured at various universities, and promoted Ukrainian-Jewish understanding. He defended Ukraine’s right to independence and the reputation of Symon Petliura. He served as a professor at the Ukrainian Technical Institute in New York and contributed to the weekly Narodna volia. Besides numerous articles on law and contemporary history, he wrote a number of books: Ukraina i politika Antanty (Ukraine and the Policy of the Entente, 1922; English trans, 1977), The Jews of Eastern Europe (1926), and From a Political Diary: Russia, the Ukraine, and America, 1905–1945 (1946).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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