The 1918-1921 Pogroms in Ukraine and the Onset of the Holocaust
Between 1918 and 1921, over 100,000 Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. In hundreds of separate incidents, ordinary people robbed their Jewish neighbors with impunity, burned down their houses, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sexually assaulted them and killed them. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms — ethnic riots — dominated headlines and international affairs in their time. Aid workers warned that 6 million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.
Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems.
Jeffrey Veidlinger is the Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and author of In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust.
Supported by the Silk Foundation.
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Headline image: “Jews marching in protest of pogroms,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.More info