Jewish Pogroms in Kiev During the Russian Civil War, 1918-1920

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Power changed hands in Kiev fourteen times during the revolution and civil war (1917–1920) yet anti-Jewish violence remained a constant despite the different ideologies of the troops holding power. This book raises important questions of the responsibility of the civil and military authorities for Jewish pogroms in Kiev and Ukraine during the civil war.


“This important study examines how anti-Jewish violence affected the Jewish population of Kiev. Kiev changed hands fourteen times during the civil war and was the scene of considerable anti-Jewish violence…the suffering was intense as is demonstrated in this graphic and often shocking account.”
-Dr. Antony Polonsky,
Professor of Judaic and Social Studies,
Brandeis University

“The real virtue of the book is the rare archival materials that Prof. Khiterer provides, including private correspondence of officials and descriptions of suffering by victims. She also gives background material about the important figures and historical events…[she] maintains that the anti-Jewish feeling was not central, rather, the political motive to show power in the absence of control, as well as the profit motive of individual people, which led to violence.”
-Dr. Brian Horowitz,
Professor Russian/German/Jewish Studies,
Tulane University

“The time of great hope, after the collapse of the monarchy in Russia, turned quickly for Ukrainian Jews into the most devastating pogroms in their history. Instead of national personal autonomy, Jews received ‘national personal massacre, robbery, torture and mockery…This comprehensive study is well represented and details the use by numerous political forces of anti-Semitism during the civil war.”
-Dr. Glen Reynolds,
University of Sunderland

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Plates
Foreword by Antony Polonsky
Preface and Acknowledgements

-Political Instability and Jewish Pogroms in Kiev during the Civil War
-Historiography of the Jewish Pogroms during the Civil War

Chapter I: Ukrainian Independence and Pogroms
-The Kiev Jewish Community
-Declaration of Independence of Ukraine and beginning of the Pogroms
-The Personal-National Autonomy of National Minorities in the Ukrainian Republic
-The Bolsheviks Briefly Seize Kiev and the Return of the Central Rada
-Anti-Semitism of the Ukrainian Troops
-Anti-Semitism in the Central Rada
-The Germans Become the de facto Rulers of Ukraine
-Hetman of Ukraine Pavlo Skoropadskyi
-The Directory
-Petliura’s Book Moskovs’ka Vosha (Moscow Lice)
-Debates about Petliura’s Responsibility for Jewish Pogroms in Ukraine

Chapter II: The Pogrom of the Denikin’s Army in Kiev
-The Volunteer Army Occupation of Kiev and a “Quiet Pogrom”
-Pogrom Agitation of the White Press
-Denikin’s Army Organizes the Largest Pogrom in Kiev
-Perpetrators and Victims of the Pogrom
-Behavior of the Christian Neighbors during the Pogrom
-Shul’gin’s Article “Torture by Fear”
-Il’ia Ehrenburg’s Reply to Shul’gin
Chapter III: Polish Troops and Pogroms
-Polish Occupation of Kiev
-Polish Army and Pogroms in Ukraine
-Pogroms of Polish Troops in Kiev
-Humiliation of Kievan Jews by Polish Troops

-Responsibility of the Different Political Forces for Jewish Pogroms in Kiev
-Consequences of the Jewish Pogroms in Kiev and Ukraine

Appendix I Fourteen Changes of Power in Kiev
Appendix II The Civil War and Pogroms in Kiev in the Works of Artists Boris Yefimov and Zakhar (Issachar Ber) Ryback
Figures and Plates (Following p. 96)

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