Easter in Kishniev: Anatomy of a Pogrom

Overview

In February of 1903, in a small town in the southwestern part of the Russian empire, a peasant stumbled upon the corpse of 14-year-old Mikhail Rybachenko, bruised and covered with stab wounds, in a garden. The murder immediately fueled wild rumors that he had been killed by local Jews in need of his Christian blood to prepare their matzah bread. Panic rumors, grounded in sinister superstitions of Jewish sorcery and ritual murder, quickly spread to nearby towns. By April, they had hit Kishinev - a growing ...
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Overview

In February of 1903, in a small town in the southwestern part of the Russian empire, a peasant stumbled upon the corpse of 14-year-old Mikhail Rybachenko, bruised and covered with stab wounds, in a garden. The murder immediately fueled wild rumors that he had been killed by local Jews in need of his Christian blood to prepare their matzah bread. Panic rumors, grounded in sinister superstitions of Jewish sorcery and ritual murder, quickly spread to nearby towns. By April, they had hit Kishinev - a growing metropolis of 100,000 inhabitants rife with the unrest of rapid expansion, ethnic rivalry, revolutionary agitation, and anti-Semitism - with full force. The resulting massacre left dozens dead, and hundreds wounded, maimed, widowed, orphaned, or homeless. This is the story of Kishinev. In this extensively researched book, Edward Judge examines these anti-Jewish riots, detailing their background, cause, and aftermath. He traces the evolution of the riots, analyzing the broader impact of imperial policies, urbanization, nationalism, population growth, and revolutionary activism upon the Jewish situation in Russia. Recounting the activities and attitudes of anti-Semitic agitators and Kishinev officials, the book examines the spiral of violence, the inaction of the authorities in the wake of the pogrom, the storm of indignation that followed the pogrom, and the efforts of tsarist officials to counter subsequent negative publicity. Easter in Kishinev also portrays the investigation of the disorders and the trials of the rioters and carefully considers the question of government responsibility for the outbreak of the pogrom.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

EDWARD H. JUDGE is Professor of History at Le Moyne College and author of Plehve: Repression and Reform in Imperial Russia, 1902-1904, which won the American Historical Association's First Book Award.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Jewish Question in Russia 1
2 Kishinev 16
3 Agitation and Provocation 30
4 Pogrom! 49
5 Repercussions and Reverberations 76
6 The Question of Guilt 107
7 The Causes and Legacy of the Easter Riots 134
Notes 147
Bibliographical Note 167
Bibliography 173
Index 181
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