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09 July 2021

Jewish pogroms in the South of Ukraine in the First Russian Revolution

Sumy Historical and Archival Journal
Jewish pogroms in the South of Ukraine in the First Russian Revolution

The article discusses the problems of anti-Jewish pogroms in the First Russian Revolution. On the basis of causality, the author tries to explore the specifics of formation of stereotypical attitudes towards the Jewish community in the south of Ukraine. The focus is on the support of local government anti-Jewish sentiment in society. Active anti-Jewish propaganda during the revolution has formed of people’s minds the image of a Jewish revolutionary, whose role in the revolutionary events significantly exceeded. The author argues that regardless propaganda; there were facts of support of the Jews, provision of material assistance, objective judicial investigation and compensation for damages caused to the Jews as a result of mass riots. In addition, the author observes that the Jewish community in the south of Ukraine sought an understanding with the authorities, trying not to go beyond the legal framework. The Jews rallied around their regional leaders. The article presents sociological data of the Russian sociologist and publicist S. Yuzhakova, who studied issues of Jewish crafts in the south of Ukraine and memories by Kherson’s Jew Solomon Chudnovsky , who tried to understand the causes of hatred for Jews in Russia, even in the nineteenth century. The author notes that the Jews were dissatisfied with their own social position in the Russian empire, in particular the lack of educational and political rights. The lack of these rights was one of the reasons for the political activity of the Jewish population in the south of Ukraine at the beginning of the XX century. The author stresses that the monarchist regime in Russia, instead of constructive dialogue with the Jewish community, tried to solve this issue through a covert forcible confrontation — Jewish pogroms. The theme of Jewish pogroms in Russian society was so relevant that it was reflected in the cultural life of Russia and the world. The author draws attention to the excitement in the Jewish community of New York from the play “The Jews”, which was shown in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Actors have demonstrated horrors of Jewish pogroms in against the backdrop of persistent disputes between the Zionists and the Socialists. The author emphasizes that the attitude towards the Jewish people in the South of Ukraine was formed in the vector of official state policy of the Russian Empire, in addition, propaganda based on violence and hostility became part of the historical memory of the Russian Empire. Sometimes tsarist propaganda was united people against internal and external enemies, put forward absurd abstracts, for example of the Jewish origin of the Japanese. It is important to note that during the years of the First Russian Revolution, a Jewish community in southern Ukraine, in particular in Simferopol, tried to perpetuate the memory of the victims of Jewish pogroms.

Source: Tokalenko P. (2017) Jewish pogroms in the South of Ukraine in the First Russian Revolution. Sumy Historical and Archival Journal. № XXІX: 41-47

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