THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE: POGROMS

is an  installation of rare photographs of pogroms in Ukraine, Belarus, and other areas in the old Pale

of Settlement during the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922.

whytheyleft.org

Those of us who grew up in Jewish homes were often told that our grandparents and great grandparents, who had left Russia in the latter part of the 19th century or the early years of the 20th century, left because in America, "The streets were paved in gold!" On the other hand, historians point to hunger as a main driver of the decision to leave. In addition to the search for a better life, many Jewish families had experienced the violence of pogroms.

The images in The Jewish Experience: Pogroms are photos of pogroms during World War I and the Russian Civil War, the third and most violent pogrom "wave". 

 

These images document the persecution of a helpless Jewish population. Historians estimate that between 100,00 and 300,000  individuals lost their lives in the WWI/Russian Civil War pogroms.  Many survivors of earlier pogroms made their way to America, but only a limited number of the survivors of the WWI/Russian Civil War pogroms were able to enter the United States, due, in part, to the Immigration Act of 1924, which limited Jewish immigration to the United States. According to the US census, roughly two million Jews left the old Pale of Settlement from 1880 -1920 and came to the United States. Today almost seven million Jews are citizens of the United States.

Jewish orphans, Odessa, 1920
Pale of Settlement map

 © Diane Covert  2018

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Ruins of Boguslav, Kiev province, plundered and burned by pogrom perpetrators