BIBIKOV, DMITRI GAVRILOVICH:
Russian soldier, administrator, and statesman; born 1792; died 1870. In 1837 Bibikov was appointed military governor of Kiev, and governor-general of Volhynia and Podolia. During the fifteen years of his administration of the southwestern provinces, he more than once resorted to harsh measures with regard to the Jews who were directly or indirectly involved in the Polish agitation, for the suppression of which he was responsible. Hence his marked animosity, especially toward the Jews of Berdychev, which city was at that time one of the centers of Polish revolutionary intrigues, and in which a secret branch of the Polish national bank was established. While attacking abuses, Bibikov nevertheless manifested on many occasions a spirit of consideration for the educated Jews. It was due to his remonstrations with the government of Nicholas I. that several severe restrictive laws were relaxed in behalf of the Jews. Such were the measures allowing Jewish residents of the government of Kiev to visit that city for business purposes; that annulling the order of the Jitomir authorities which prohibited the Jewish blacksmiths in Jitomir from following their trade; that permitting the Jews of Starokonstantinov, Zaslav, Ostrog, and Kovno to obtain passports and gild certificates from the local district treasuries instead of procuring them from Novogradvolynsk; that granting to Jewish merchants of the first gild the right to farm inns in crown dominions of the western provinces; and that permitting the Jews to elect from their own number city brokers and notaries public in places where the population consisted of both Jews and Christians.
In 1852 Bibikov was made minister of the interior, which post he filled until 1855. It seems that in this capacity he became more than ever imbued with the prevailing anti-Jewish spirit of Nicholas' régime. In one case, at least, his name is mentioned in connection with a measure prohibiting the Jews from living in certain parts of Jitomir, the restriction being promulgated in compliance with Bibikov's proposition. His brother, Ilia Gavrilovich Bibikov, governor-general of Wilna, was favorably disposed toward the Jews, and was interested particularly in their educational affairs. The Hebrew poet Abraham Baer Lebensohn composed a poem, "kol Ne'urim," commemorating his visit to the Wilna Talmud Torah, which was published in his "Shire Sefat Ḳodesh," ii. 85, Wilna, 1869.
- Complete Russian Code, 2d ed., xviii., No. 17,355, xxi. No. 20,021, xxiv. No. 23,409, xxv. No. 24,677, xxvi. No. 25,559, xxix. No. 28,079;
- V. O. Levanda, Polny Khronologhicheski Sbornik Zakonov i Polozheni Kasayushchikhsya Yevreyev, Nos. 481, 540, 603, 634, 650, 715, St. Petersburg, 1874;
- I. G. Orshanski, Russkoe Zakonodatelstvo o Yevreyakh, p. 193, St. Petersburg, 1877;
- Russkaya Starina, April, 1901, pp. 119-121;
- V. Kashpirev, Pamyatniki Novoi Russkoi Istorii, i. 112-122, St. Petersburg, 1871.