BERSHADSKI, SERGEI ALEKSANDROVICH:
By: Herman Rosenthal
Russian historian and jurist; born at Berdyansk March 30, 1850; died in St. Petersburg 1896. He graduated from the Gymnasium of Kerch in 1868, and from the University of Odessa in 1872; lectured at the University of St. Petersburg on the history of the philosophy of jurisprudence, from 1878 to 1883; and was appointed in 1885 assistant professor. At the Lyceum he delivered lectures also on the history of Russian jurisprudence; and at the Military Law School of St. Petersburg, on general jurisprudence. His famous work on the Lithuanian Jews, "Litovskie Yevrei," published in 1883, is the first attempt in this field of historical investigation.
Bershadski's father was a Greek Orthodox priest, while his great-grandfather on his mother's side, Kovalevski, was a hetman of the Cossacks. The Cossack traditions of his family found expression in his violent prejudice against the Jews. He states, in his autobiographical notes, how in his childhood he learned of the horrors of the times of
Bershadski's chief characteristics as a writer are a keen historical eye and truthfulness. He has the merit of having been the first impartial historiographer of the Jews in Lithuania. His published works are: (1) "Litovskie Yevrei, Istoriya ikh Yuridicheskavo i Obshchestvennavo Polozheniya v Litvye," St. Petersburg, 1883, being a history of the legal and social conditions of the Jews at Lithuania in 1388-1569; (2) "Dokumenty i Regesty k. Istorii Litovskikh Yevreyev," St. Petersburg, 1882, bearing upon the history of the Jews in Lithuania; (3) "A. E. Rebiichkovich, Podskarbi Velikavo Knyazhestva Litovskavo," Kiev, 1888; (4) "Yevrei Korol Polski," St. Petersburg, 1890, concerning a Jew king of Poland. Many articles on Jewish-Polish and Jewish-Lithuanian history in the periodicals were contributed by him in "Yevreiskaya Biblioteka," "Voskhod," "Russki Yevrei," and other periodicals.
- Vengerov, Kritiko-Biograficheski Slovar, vol. iii., s.v., St. Petersburg, 1892;
- A. B., Bershadski Kak Istorik Russkikh Yevreyev, in Voskhod, 1896, iv. 101-121, xi.-xii. 99-116;
- M. Vinnaver, in Voskhod, 1897, v. 49 et seq.