YIVO Institute for Jewish ResearchMax Weinreich Fellowship Lecture | Workmen’s Circle / Dr. Emanuel Patt Visiting ProfessorshipOn April 22, 1823, in a small Russian border town by the name of Velizh, a three-year-old boy finished his lunch and went to play outside. Fedor never returned home, and several days later, a neighbor found his body at the very edge of town, punctured in numerous places. Now erased from historical memory, the Velizh Affair (1823-1835) was the longest ritual murder case in the modern world, and most likely in all of world history. The case unfolded in a town like any other town in the Russian Empire where people’s lives were intimately connected, where rivalries and confrontations were part of day-to-day existence, and where the blood libel was part of a well-established belief system.