Myths and Truth about Pogroms in the Russian Empire

The West is busy re-writing history and miring the name of Russia in the process. It’s been like this since the time of Ivan the Formidable, and nothing has changed to this day.

A NAFO tweet from “Terror Alarm” decided to ascribe the Holocaust to the Russians! That’s a new level of impunity in history rewriting, seeing as it was the Red Army that liberated all the German Nazi concentration camps east of the river Elbe, where millions of people, – among them, Jews – were held and killed.

It was only a matter of time before Russia would be again blamed for “pogroms”, so I started translating the article below, addressing this historical half-truth. And in the process, a certain other NAFO twitter channel, Visegrad24, did not fail to deliver an expected accusation, though in such a way, that it debunks itself, and ties in nicely with the fourtt myth, discussed of the article below. I will thus include the screenshot of it after the translation. UPDATE: Later on the same day, after the West-instigated events in Dagestan, a Swedish newspaper DN came out with an atricle that opens with a direct use of the third myth; this will also be addressed after the translation.

Before we proceed to the article, there is one thing to bear in mind. The Russian word “pogrom” means “destruction of property”, “looting”. It does not immediately imply murder, let alone on ethnic grounds, but the clashes that did happen, sadly resulted in a certain number of deaths.

The article was published on Dzen on the 26th of January 2021.

Myths and Truth about Pogroms in the Russian Empire

Pogrom of 1881

The Kiev pogrom of 1881. Drawing of a contemporary

The so-called Jewish pogroms swept through many cities of the Russian Empire in 1905-1906. Some of such cases have occurred before, for example, in 1881, in 1903 (pogroms in Chisinau and Gomel). But as a mass phenomenon, they unfolded during the 1905 revolution. Most of them occurred in the second half of October (old style), but some outbreaks were noted in 1906.

In the historical literature, there are many myths associated with Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire.

Myth one: The pogroms were a mass murder of the defenseless peaceful Jewish population

Jews of the Russian Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century

The liberal historian S.A. Stepanov, who carefully analysed the documents of the tsarist police related to the Jewish pogroms, discovered an amazing thing, but only at the first glance. Jews constituted a minority of those killed in the Jewish pogroms. Of the 1622 people who died in the October 1905 pogroms, there were 711 Jews, that is – 43%. Of the 3544 people wounded during the pogroms, Jews accounted for 1207, that is – 34% (“The Black Hundred in Russia (1905-1914).” St. Petersburg, 1992).

The fact that the so-called pogroms were a bilateral armed clash is clearly evidenced by the memories of the party, canonically seen as the victim.

So, Isaac Babel writes about the Jewish pogrom of October 1905 in Odessa:

“The Jews were beaten on Bolshaya Arnautskaya… Then our people took out a machine gun and began to pour [bullets] on the Sloboda thugs.”

Mikhail Mandelstam:

“The Kishinev (Chisinau) pogrom showed the Jews that they cannot count on the state, and in the Gomel pogrom that came next, we are already encountering a properly organized Jewish self-defence. The pogrom was started by the workers who came out of the railway workshops. Jewish self-defence came running to the scene of the action. With its shots, the crowd of rioters was dispersed.”

A 1904 cartoon by an American magazine depicts Jews fleeing Russia out of fear of pogroms, and Tsar Nicholas II allegedly condoning them

It would be absurd to think that in a country with a free sale of firearms (Russia was just such a country before 1917), Jews, among whom there were many armed revolutionaries, would not be able to quickly organize self-defence against thugs.

Myth two: the pogroms were organized by the “Black Hundred”

The “Black Hundred” could not have been involved in the pogroms of 1881 and 1903, because it simply did not exist at that time. In October of 1905, contrary to popular myth, the “Black Hundred” did not yet exist. The first “Black Hundred” organization, the Union of the Russian People, was established at its first congress only on the 8th of November 1905. And almost all the pogroms occurred in the second half of October of 1905. In the spring of 1906, Jewish pogroms took place in the cities of Russian Poland — Bialystok and Siedlce. But there were no “black Hundred” organizations there.

The Black Hundreds

The Black Hundreds

On the contrary, the “Black Hundred” was a favourite object of terror for revolutionary organizations. The then little-known leader of Bolshevism, Ulyanov-Lenin, in his article “Tasks of the detachments of the Revolutionary Army” (3rd of October 1905, even before the pogroms) called for:

“The struggle against the “Black Hundreds” is an excellent military action that gives both the training to the soldiers of the revolutionary army, the baptism of fire to them, and brings enormous benefits to the revolution. The detachments of the revolutionary army should immediately study who, where and how constitutes the “Black Hundreds”, and then not be limited to sermon only, but also act with armed force, beating the “Black Hundreds”, killing them, blowing up their headquarters, etc., etc.”

And these appeals did not remain unheeded. Bombs were detonated in “Black Hundred” tea houses, and both Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Social Revolutionaries, and Anarchists shot at monarchical processions from around the corners. They trained to “conduct a revolution” on unarmed people.

A procession of the “Black Hundreds”

Myth three: pogroms were organized by the tsarist police

It is absurd to imagine such a state that, for some political purposes, would arrange mass violations of public order. The facts show that the authorities of the Russian Empire from the very start waged a merciless battle against pogroms.

Back in 1881, after the first pogroms in Ukraine, a new article was included in the “Code of Punishments”, which provided for punishment for “the attack of one part of the population on another”. For a crime under this article, depending on the severity, a penalty was imposed up to the death penalty.

The Extraordinary Commission of Inquiry of the Provisional Government, which investigated the “crimes of the old regime” and worked from March to October 1917, did not find any evidence in the documents of the tsarist police that the latter was somehow involved in the organization of pogroms.

Myth four: the Russian people are to blame for the pogroms

All the pogroms took place in the so-called “pale of settlement”, where Jews were allowed to settle in the Russian Empire. The eastern border of the pale of settlement ran along the eastern border of the provinces that became part of Russia from the second half of the XVII century. Pogroms took place in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, the Baltic States, Poland. There were no pogroms in any Russian city proper.

The Russian people are absolutely not involved in the Jewish pogroms.

Source: Vadim Valerianovich Kozhinov. Russia. Century XX (1901-1937). Moscow, 1999.

End of the article.

And now, having read the above, behold the “ingenious” tweet from Videgrad24 that tries to shift blame on the Russians, using the fourth myth. Ingeneral, one can note a certain pattern in how the Western propaganda works as of late: in case of something negative – blame the Russians; in case of some achievement – give the praise to specific nationalites.

Following the Ukrkainian CIPSO and CIA instigated events in Dagestan, a Swedish newspaper DN published on the 30th of September, a veritable propaganda hit piece on Russia under the title «Kremlin has itself created problems in Dagestan», opening it with a direct usage of the third myth, discussed in the above translation. The highlighted text reads: «Pogroms against the Jews have always been a part of the operation mode of the Russian Empire.»

Sewdish DN propaganda

4 thoughts on “Myths and Truth about Pogroms in the Russian Empire

  1. Actually, the Russians were FIRST accused of perpetrating a “Holocaust”. Starting in the 1890s. Czarist Russia was accused of having “gas chambers”, “death camps”, and “planning on extermination six million Jews” around the time of the First World War. there were “eyewitnesses”, “survivors” etc.

    In the immediate post-World War I years, it was the Poles, Romanians and Ukrainians(double propaganda whammy there) who were “planning on killing six million Jews”.

    The exact same stories resurfaced during the 1930s and 1940s, only this time it was National Socialist Germany who were allegedly the perpetrators.

    A good place to start would be a free online pdf called “Six Million Open Gates”.
    No, the Russians did NOT perpetrate a “holocaust”, or even a massacre of the Jews, but neither did the Germans.

  2. I know what you are referring to as I’ve researched the topic, including the various New York Times clippings of the period. The exact numbers are up for discussion, but you are wrong in general – Getman Nazis were after the Jews (as well as Slavs and Communists, regardless of their ethnicity) starting from the «Crystal night» and onwards. Millions of people were systematically killed in the Nazi concentration camps. If you look at the territories of the Soviet Union occupied by the Nazis, you will see that they fully overlapped the territories of the Jewish settlements of the Russian Empire. Given the tens of millions of Soviet citizens who were murdered by the Nazi occupiers, pure statistics dictates that a sizeable portion of those people were Jews by ethnicity. And that is before taking into account what was done on other occupied territories in Central Europe. Also, reading Hitler’s speeches leaves no doubt as to the scapegoats chosen by his regime – Jews and Communists.

    As I wrote, the exact numbers may vary, but here we have to address a much more dangerous fallacy – equating the politicised 6-million Holocaust with the real wholesale extermination of peoples done by the German Nazis, Jews included. And then, by partly rightly exposing the first, in the same go sweeping the real events under the rug too, thus re-writing history.

    Now, think who benefits from this? Those who want to whitewash Nazism as an ideology – be it Ukrainian Nazism or Zionism – and thus open up the door for it to return.

    That shall not pass!

  3. Sorry, but I do not believe that these “Nazi massacres” ever happened. Population censuses tell a very different story. There is no actual evidence of such massacres.
    And, once people understand who the “Nazis” actually were, and what it is they were supposed to be doing, such tales of atrocity are shown up for what they really were and still are.

    As a hint..leading “Nazis”(“Nasi” is a Hebrew word meaning “ruler”) had names like Alfred Rosenberg, Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Eichmann, Adolf Hitler(“Adolf”/”Adolph” is, and always was, a Jewish name). Leading “Nazi propagandist” Leni Riefenstahl was married twice, both times to Jewish men.
    Even today, it is admitted that many leading Nazi officers and officials were in fact Jewish. Today it is admitted that Adolf Hitler(actually Schiklgruber) was of Jewish descent. But, nobody dares make the next obvious deduction, for fear of being branded a racist, anti-semite or holocaust denier.
    Why were all the alleged espousers of “Aryan purity” short, swarthy and hook-nosed? Why did Nazi Germany pay for European Jews’ trips to Palestine, as well as giving them finances when they were there? Why did Nazi Germany provide groups like the Irgun and Stern organisations with money and weapons?
    And then, there are “Neo-Nazi” groups set up, as a way to distract from what Schicklgruber and company really were, and were really trying to achieve.

    Why did Hitler make so many absurd decisions during World War 2? Was he stupid? A lunatic? Or was he always SUPPOSED to lose the War?

    And, as a topper, try and find as many authentic photos of “Adolf Hitler” as you can, ranging from youth through to 1945. look closely at them. Look at the set of the eyes, the nose, the ears, the chin. It’s very clearly not all the same person. I don’t mean actors playing Hitler, I mean the actual “This is a photo of Hitler” from “history” books.

    Then, the REAL question is…who created “Adolf Hitler”, why did they create him, and what is their ultimate aim? Well, we’re seeing that play out right now, both in Palestine and in the land to the north of the Black Sea.

  4. I am approving this only as an example of a confused way of thinking and historical interpretation, that ultimately aims to whitewash Nazism. And your line of thought outlines is precisely how Nazism is reinstated in the minds of the Western population – “it was all good, so do it again, no harm done”. I repeat: “Death to Fascism! It shall not pass!”

    I am sorry to say, but your line of argument is very confused and detached from the facts. It does not matter if Hitler was “guided” to power in Germany or if Germany was supposed to lose the war (this was undecided at that time – remember the American senator who famously wrote that USA should support whoever seems to be winning, and indeed, the West did not open the second front until the very end). Hitler’s coming to power and the atrocities committed by the Nazis and their collaborators are two different things. In this regard, Zelensky’s coming to power is illustrative – he was placed in that position, but that does not make the Ukro-Nazi regime any less brutal. You literally have the history repeating in front of your eye today!!

    You may want to read/watch the following, to disentangle the two lines of thought that you present:
    For the number of victims in the USSR alone, with new numbers: 22nd of June – Day of Remembrance and Sorrow. Remembering the 42 million perished Soviet people in the genocidal Second World War, and also read the book “I am from the fire village” (Wiki in German) about German Nazi atrocities on the territory of the Belorussian SSR.

    For the setting up of Germany as a ram: The Great Unknown War. A must-see documentary about the WWII prelude. By Andrei Medvedev

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