Elissa Bemporad Lecture: The Pogroms of the Russian Civil War and the Soviet-Jewish Alliance

Date / Time

March 6, 2019 - March 6, 2019

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Elissa Bemporad
Jerry and William Ungar Chair in East European Jewish History and the Holocaust, Associate Professor of History, Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

“The Pogroms of the Russian Civil War and the Soviet-Jewish Alliance”

The Revolution stormed through the cities and towns of the former Pale of Settlement, bringing to its Jews promises, hopes, enthusiasm, and empowerment. But the Revolution also brought fear and violence. It was this violence, which was unleashed throughout Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution and into the Civil War of 1918-1921, that ultimately swayed the Jews to support the Bolshevik cause. The pervasiveness, extraordinary brutality, and unprecedented nature of the anti-Jewish pogroms that followed the Revolution shaped the relationship between Jews and the new Bolshevik power, sparking a Soviet-Jewish alliance. By exploring the tumultuous events in different regions of the Soviet territory, this talk will capture the Jewish response to the revolution, and reassess the role that violence played in the choices Jews made.

Elissa Bemporad is the author of Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk (2013), winner of the National Jewish Book Award, winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History, and finalist for the Jordan Schnitzer Prize in Modern Jewish History. Her new book, entitled “Legacy of Blood: Jews, Pogroms, and Ritual Murder in the Lands of the Soviets,” will be published with Oxford University Press in 2019. Elissa is also the co-editor of Women and Genocide: Survivors, Victims, Perpetrators (Indiana University Press, 2018). She has recently been a recipient of an NEH Fellowship and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Elissa’s projects in progress include research for a biography of Ester Frumkin.

Sponsored by the UIC Institute for the Humanities and the SEE NEXT Working Group

 

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