Krasny, Pinkhas

Krasny, Pinkhas [Красний, Пінхас], b 1881 in Samhorodok, Berdychiv county, Kyiv gubernia, d 1939 in Kyiv. Jewish civic and political leader. Krasny attended a Jewish specialized school in Berdychiv where he became acquainted with the ideas of social democracy; in 1905 he joined the Bund party. Around 1906 Krasny enrolled at Kyiv University to study law. Before the outbreak of the First World War he became a member of the executive of the liberal-leftist Jewish People’s party (Folkspartei) that strove toward the national and cultural autonomy of Jews in the Jewish diaspora. During Ukraine’s struggle for independence (1917–20) Krasny was member of the Central Rada in 1917–18; he worked on the organization of Jewish (Yiddish-language) schools in Ukraine; and he served as the Minister for Jewish Affairs in 1919 in the cabinets of Borys Martos and Isaak Mazepa under the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic. Together with other members of the government of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), he issued numerous proclamations against the pogroms carried out by some military units and civilians. At his initiative the Directory established an emergency state commission to investigate the pogroms and bring the perpetrators to justice.

At the end of 1920, Krasny emigrated to Poland together with other members of the UNR government, and resided in Lviv, Tarnów, and Warsaw. In 1925 he was arrested by the Polish authorities and deported to the Ukrainian SSR. He settled in Kharkiv and in 1928 published a book Tragediia ukrainskogo evrestva (k protsesu Shvartsbarda) (The Tragedy of the Ukrainian Jewry [On the Occasion of the Schwartzbard Trial]), in which he accused the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic and Symon Petliura personally of encouraging the pogroms in Ukraine. Krasny was arrested in 1938 during the Stalinist terror and accused of establishing an ‘anti-Soviet Zionist terrorist organization.’ He was executed in Kyiv in 1939; ‘rehabilitated’ in 1993.

Goldelman, Solomon. Jewish National Autonomy in Ukraine, 1917–1920 (Chicago 1968)
Hai-Nyzhnyk, Pavlo. ‘Vydatnyi patriot i budivnychyi derzhavnoï Ukraïny (Narysy do politychnoho portretu Pinkhosa Krasnoho),’ in Deviatye zaporozhskie evreiskie chteniia (Zaporizhia 2005)
Bereza, Iu. ‘Pinkhas Krasnyi iak diiach ukraïns'koï revoliutsiï,’ in Zhytomyrshchyna: podiï i liudy. Naukovyi zbirnyk ‘Velyka Volyn'.’ Pratsi Zhytomyrs'koho naukovo-kraieznavchoho tovarystva doslidnykiv Volyni, Zhytomyrs'koï oblasnoï orhanizatsiï NSKU, vol. 56 (Berdychiv 2017)

Larysa Bilous

[This article was updated in 2022.]

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