• Art S.

Second Kishinev Pogrom, 1905

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 19, 1905

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#onthisday, 1905, the second of two pogroms took place in the town of Kishinev, capital of Bessarabia in what was then the Russian Empire.

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The first pogrom, and the deadlier, had taken place a year and a half earlier between April 19 and 21, 1903 in which close to 50 Jews were murdered, 600 injured and hundreds of homes and stores destroyed.

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Rape, pillaging and the destruction of holy religious objects characterized the terror-filled days as Russians, inspired by the myth of the blood libel, sought revenge on the innocent Jewish community for the deaths of a murdered boy and a girl who had committed suicide.

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The Yiddish Daily News reported that priests stood at the head of rioting mobs chanting “Kill the Jews.”

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The second pogrom developed out of a protest against the Czar as townspeople turned their anger from their own government to the Jewish community.

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This demonstrated the widespread practice of using Jews as a scapegoat and a victim for the general discontent of the peasantry.

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In this second pogrom, 20 Jews were killed and over 50 injured. Moreover, by autumn of 1905, pogroms aimed at the Jews had spread throughout the Russian Empire, supplying further evidence that emigration was now a life and death matter.

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The first defense had motivated the creation of various Jewish Defense Leagues, which played a role in calming the second pogrom, but the second pogrom lent fuel to the cause of getting Jews out of Russia, many to the West and some to Ottoman-Occupied Palestine.

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It also strengthened the call of Zionists for a Jewish national homeland free of such brutal persecution.

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Of the many artistic works inspired by the first Kishinev pogrom, perhaps none resonated so loudly as Chaim Bialik’s poem “In the City of Slaughter,” composed in 1904. But even Bialik’s eloquent words could not stem the tide against the Jews or stop a second pogrom in Kishinev.

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#onthisday#judaism#jewishhistory#kishinev#pogrom#antisemitism#russia#jewish#history

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Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/kishinev-moldova

Image Source:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-a-small-pogrom-in-russia-changed-the-course-of-history/

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