The Massacre Of Jews At Kishinev Essay

The Massacre Of Jews At Kishinev Essay

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The article, “The Massacre of Jews at Kishinev,” describes the violent pogrom that occurred in 1903 Kishinev, Russia. The historical context of this pogrom can be traced back to the beginnings of Jews living in Russia. In the beginning of “Russian Jewry and the State,” it is described that the situation of the Jews “only began to change after the middle of the nineteenth century, when ever more Jews became Russian speakers and official policy underwent a change designed to handle the rising number of Jews” (Efron, Weitzman, and Lehmann 281).

In “Russian Jewry and the State,” the authors discuss Catherine the Great. During the reign of Catherine the Great, in 1764, she excluded inviting Jews from settling in Russia (Efron, Weitzman, and Lehmann 281). But by 1786, in order to promote growth of towns and cities, allowed newly acquired Jews to “be registered as urban residents, with all the privileges that entailed” (Efron, Weitzman, and Lehmann 281). Jewish autonomy remained, while too many Jews lived outside of urban areas to make the decree meaningful. Lastly, “complaints from Christian merchants about Jewish competition and Catherine’s fears of social reform in the wake of the French Revolution led to the passage of a law in 1791 that confined Jews to the newly acquired territories (later to be called the Pale of Settlement)” (Efron, Weitzman, and Lehmann 281).

In the article, “Statues Concerning the Organization of Jews,” the authors discuss “Alexander I, who reigned from 1801 to 1825, resolved to find a ‘humane’ solution to the Jewish problem. In 1802, he ordered the creation of a Committee for the Amelioration of the Jews to consider all aspects of the problem. In their deliberations the committee assumed that the J...


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... preached the extermination of Jews for months…All applications for permission to publish a more impartial paper having been repeatedly refused…” (Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz 389). Finally, the immediate cause of the pogrom was the death of a Christian child whom the Jews were accused of killing for the use of his blood in their religious rites. “…the Jews murdered a young man…using Christian blood for ritualistic purposes” (Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz 389).

The author, as well as the other writers of the newspaper, oppose the Tsarist regime and the government that is in place. It also reflects how the author finds this era of the Kishinev pogrom to be truly “awful” (Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz 389). The impact of the account of this pogrom led to “a public outcry throughout the world and led to establishment of Jewish self-defense units” (Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz 389).

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