Experience: Pogrom

Henia Ciesla
Teddy Freund
Barry Kaplan
Edmund Langerman
Esfir Lupyan

“Pogrom is a Russian word meaning “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.” Historically, the term refers to violent attacks by local non-Jewish populations on Jews in the Russian Empire and in other countries. The first such incident to be labeled a pogrom is believed to be anti-Jewish rioting in Odessa in 1821. As a descriptive term, “pogrom” came into common usage with extensive anti-Jewish riots that swept Ukraine and southern Russia in 1881-1884, following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II. In Germany and eastern Europe during the era of the Holocaust, as in Tsarist Russia, economic, social, and political resentment of Jews reinforced traditional religious antisemitism. This served as a pretext for pogroms.” 
 
“After the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933, Adolf Hitler publicly discouraged "disorder" and acts of violence. In practice, though, street violence against Jews was tolerated and even encouraged at certain periods when Nazi leaders calculated that the violence would “prepare” the German population for harsh antisemitic legal and administrative measures implemented ostensibly “to restore order.” For example, the orchestrated nationwide campaign of street violence known as Kristallnacht of November 9-10, 1938, was the culmination of a longer period of more sporadic street violence against Jews. This street violence had begun with riots in Vienna after the Anschluss of Austria in March. Kristallnacht was followed by a dramatic surge in anti-Jewish legislation during the autumn and winter of 1938-1939. Another period of street violence had covered the first two months of the Nazi regime and culminated in a law dismissing Jews and Communists from the civil service on April 7, 1933. The summer before the announcement of the Nuremberg Race Laws in September 1935 saw frequent violence against Jews in various German cities. Such street violence involved burning down synagogues, destroying Jewish-owned homes and businesses, and physical assaults on individuals. Kristallnacht was by far the largest, most destructive, and most clearly orchestrated of these “pogroms.” “
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Pogroms.” Holocaust Encyclopedia http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005183
Accessed on 6/9/11.
 
 
 
Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Berlin, Germany, November 1938.
— Wide World Photo
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Pogroms.” Photo Archives.
Accessed on 6/10/11.


 
Synagogue destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Dortmund, Germany, November 1938.
— Stadtarchiv Dortmund
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Pogroms.” Photo Archives.
Accessed on 6/10/11.


 
A knitwear store emptied and destroyed during the January 21-23 Iron Guard pogrom. Bucharest, Romania, January 1941.
— United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Pogroms.” Photo Archives.
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_ph.php?ModuleId=10005183&MediaId=852on Accessed on 6/10/11.


 
Ukrainian civilians beat a Jew during a pogrom in Lvov. Poland, June 30-July 3, 1941.
— United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Pogroms.” Photo Archives.
Accessed on 6/10/11.


 
A woman mourns by the coffins of Jews who died in the Kielce pogrom. Poland, July 6, 1946.
— United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Pogroms.” Photo Archives.
Accessed on 6/10/11.

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