The Russian-Jewish Leadership and the Pogroms of 1881-1882: The Response from St. Petersburg

Alexander Orbach


The pogroms that raged through Jewish neighborhoods

 in cities and villages, mainly in southem Russia in 1881-1882 were unlike any of the previous assaults experienced by Russian or Fast European Jewry. 'Ihese violent attacks were not carried out against the backgrourrl of a military campaign in W'lich the state was then engaged. Nor were the riots isolated flare-ups touched off by local tensions or points of controversy that then led to confrontations between Jews and their neighbors as had been the case on other occasions. Rather; the pograns of the spring; sumner arrl winter of 1881 and of the ring o1f 882 moved across the countryside in discernible waves. In the first series fran mid-April through the first week of May 1881, over 175 incidents took place in both small ets and large citiinecsluding the cities of Odessa and Kiev. After a two month respite; another wave of pograns ravaged the provinces of Poltava and Chernigov with over thirty incidents being reported. Furthernore, violence against Jews broke out in Warsaw an Christmas ray 1881. Finally; the Balta pogrom of March 1882 closed out the wave of pogroms associated with the years 1881-1882.


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