A Bit on Pogroms in the USSR

I know that the first official pogrom at least referred to as such occurred in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1821. A Greek Orthodox religious figure was murdered by Jews and Muslims in Constantinople. Odessa was full of Greeks at that time. The Greeks staged a demonstration carrying his remains in a coffin through the Odessa streets. The Jews were on the parade route and they shouted insults at the Greeks as they passed by. The Greeks got very angry and there was a “pogrom.”

Except I think only one Jew died! I’m not trying to play down Jewish massacres, but if you study these pogroms, you will find that some of the most famous ones were nothingburgers. A lot of the time only a few Jews or sometimes no Jews died. However, there were a lot of injuries. I think in this pogrom 1 Jew died and ~100 were injured. However, this “pogrom” basically boiled down to Greek and Jewish toughs fighting in the streets. Many Greeks were also injured.

Other pogroms occurred in Odessa ~1860. The Jews moved to Odessa in the second decade of the 19th Century. Before that there were very few Jews in the Russian Empire and there was no antisemitism. Where there are few Jews, there is often little antisemitism. As the number of Jews rises, antisemitism rises in tandem. Anyway, the Jews had managed to take over most of the industries in Odessa, especially the wheat trade. They also became middlemen. If you wanted to buy a house, a horse, or many other things, you had to deal with a Jew. The Jews worked as a tribe and formed monopolies, driving the non-Jews out of business. The non-Jews were not ethnocentric enough to do this.

At any rate, by 1860, the Jews had taken over most of the business sector in Odessa. The non-Jews were being progressively immiserated while the Jews wallowed in splendor. Furthermore, the Jews were very ostentatious about the wealth and they seemed to be waving it in the faces of the non-Jews, taunting them.

This was the background for many anti-Jewish pogroms in Europe. Economics!  No Jew will ever tell you that though. They will say it was due accusations of blood libel, being Christ-killers, or poisoning wells. Granted, some of the pogroms were based on BS like that, but most of them were probably based on economics.

Now you can argue that ethnic groups should just sit still and smile while an outside group comes in, takes over the town’s businesses, and forms monopolies. While this group gets richer while driving the other groups deeper into poverty. Unfortunately, humans just don’t work that way. There’s such a thing as “cruising for a bruising,” looking for a fight, trying to pick a fight, provoking people into attacking you, etc. Now I can’t support any of these terrible pogroms.

You hear endlessly about how terrible Russian pogroms of Jews were. The pogroms were very bad. I’ll grant that. But did you know that almost none of them took place on what is now Russian territory? After the establishment of the Pale, all pogroms occurred in this region. In fact one pogrom that occurred ~1908 was notable for being the first one outside the Pale.

Few pogroms occurred in what is now Russia or Belarus. They were mostly in Ukraine, with quite a few in Moldovia and Poland too. Even after that extra-Pale pogrom, there were few outside of that region. There was one in Belarus and I think several in Western Russia.

The majority of pogroms in the Russian Empire occurred in what is now Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland. There were also quite a few in the South around Kherson and Odessa perpetrated by Russians called Cossacks who lived down there.

The pogroms during the Russian Civil War were almost all perpetrated by the Right: the Ukrainian People’s Army (a precursor to the Nazi collaborator Banderists), the White Army, and the Green Army (an anti-Communist peasants party that took up arms in protest over collectivization of agriculture).

The Red Army committed few pogroms, possibly 5

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2 thoughts on “A Bit on Pogroms in the USSR”

  1. “At any rate, by 1860, the Jews had taken over most of the business sector in Odessa. The non-Jews were being progressively immiserated while the Jews
    wallowed in splendor.”

    Ironic if true, considering that KKK’s (Kunty Kraut Katya) raison d’être for the Partitions/Annexations was supposedly to rescue, Pink Knight style, all those benighted peasants of the proto-Pale from the financial predations of them grabby Jews. Welp, so much for that boomerang rationalization. Now if only there was a lesson to be learned here for today’s Rashka.

    1. All right Ukie, you’re banned. We don’t let Ukrainian Nazis or their sympathizers post here. I’m starting to understand your comment now. I don’t really understand which partitions and annexations you are talking about here.

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