Definitions of pogrom
This article provides a list of definitions of the term "pogrom". The term originated as a loanword from the Russian verb громи́ть (Russian pronunciation: [ɡrɐˈmʲitʲ]), meaning "to destroy, to wreak havoc, to demolish violently." The events in Odessa during Holy Week in 1871 were the first to be widely called a "pogrom" in Russian, and the events of 1881-2 introduced the term into common usage throughout the world.
Numerous definitions of the term have been proposed by scholars and dictionary publishers, but use of the term is inconsistent. Research into pogroms frequently requires consideration of the precise meaning of the word. Werner Bergmann writes that "there is as yet no consensus on terminology here among researchers", that "there has as yet been little interlinked research into pogroms" and that pogrom research has not yet focused on "distinguishing pogroms from other, closely related forms of ethnic violence". A number of other scholars, such as John Klier, Henry Abramson, David Engel, Paul R. Brass and Neal Pease, have discussed the consistency of the application of the term and the implications of its usage.
List of definitions
In Russia, Poland, and some other East European countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: an organized massacre aimed at the destruction or annihilation of a body or class of people, esp. one conducted against Jewish people. Now hist.
gen. An organized, officially tolerated, attack on any community or group. Also fig.
The first recorded use in English by the OED of the first meaning is in 1891 as a borrowed word, and it had become fully Anglicised by 1921. The OED records the first use of the second meaning as 1906 and that it had become fully Anglicised by 1975.
A general dictionary definition may be the one used by academics and other authorities when they describe an incident as a pogrom, or they may either select to use a different definition from a named source, or define the word themselves, to give it a specific meaning:
|1806||Russian Academy||(Russian) destruction in the time of hostile invasion|
|1920||Henry Morgenthau, Sr.||...the word is applied to everything from petty outrages to premeditated and carefully organized massacres. No fixed definition is generally understood.|
|1920||Józef Piłsudski||a massacre ordered by the government, or not prevented by it when prevention is possible.|
|1931||Lietuvos aidas||A pogrom is an inhuman, disorderly use of brutal force against other people, citizens of the same state of a different nationality.|
|1932||Louis Fischer||Experience in Czarist Russia, in post-war Poland and Rumania, and more recently in Palestine, has shown that a pogrom is, by definition violence perpetrated with the active assistance, or at least the connivance of, the authorities|
|1933||Oxford English Dictionary||an organized massacre in Russia for the destruction or annihilation of any body or class: in the English newspapers ... chiefly applied to those directed against the Jews|
|1964||Webster's Dictionary||an organized massacre and looting of helpless people, usually with the connivance of officials, specifically, such a massacre of Jews|
|1995||Mendes-Flohr and Reinharz||In the international lexicon pogrom is now a technical term designating the type of attack carried out by the non-Jewish population of Russia - and Eastern Europe in general - against the Jews between 1881 and 1921. Rarely did the police or the army intervene; indeed, they often lent their support to the rioters|
|1996||Brass||When it can be proved that the police and the state authorities more broadly are directly implicated in a "riot" in which one community provides the principal or sole victims|
|1999||Israel Charny||has come to mean specifically the wanton destruction of Russian-Jewish life and property during the years 1881 and 1921, and more generally is available as a word for massacre of any minority group, although it is not often used|
|1999||Henry Abramson||A pogrom is generally thought of as a cross between a popular riot and a military atrocity, where an unarmed civilian, often urban, population is attacked by either an army unit or peasants from surrounding villages, or a combination of the two... Jews have not been the only group to suffer under this phenomenon, but historically Jews have been frequent victims of such violence. In mainstream usage, the word has come to imply an act of antisemitism.|
|2001||Donald L. Horowitz||The pogrom is not so much a complementary species of interethnic violence as it is a subcategory of the ethnic riot. If pogrom is taken to mean a massacre of helpless people, then it obviously connotes something about the situation of the targets and the outcome of violence.|
|2001||Encyclopedia of Nationalism||Mobilized crowd violence (usually officially encouraged) against members of a subordinate cultural group.|
|2003||Guido Bolaffi||Originally used to describe violent and often murderous anti-Jewish persecutions (the most important of which took place in Kishinev) in Russia following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, more recently the term 'pogrom', from the Russian pogrom (total destruction, devastation) has also been used to refer to attacks on other groups.|
|2003||Macmillan Encyclopedia||An attack on Jews and Jewish property, especially in the Russian Empire. Russian pogroms, which were condoned by the government, were particularly common in the years immediately after the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 and again from 1903 to 1906, though mob persecution of Jews continued until the Russian Revolution (1917).|
|2004||Avraham Greenbaum||...a serious anti-Jewish riot, usually lasting for more than a day and often abetted by the authorities actively or passively|
|2004||David Engel||Engel states that although there are no "essential defining characteristics of a pogrom", the majority of the incidents "habitually" described as pogroms "took place in divided societies in which ethnicity or religion (or both) served as significant definers of both social boundaries and social rank, ... involved collective violent applications of force by members of what perpetrators believed to be a higher-ranking ethnic or religious group against members of what they considered a lower-ranking or subaltern group, ... appliers of the decisive force tended to interpret the behaviour of victims according to stereotypes commonly applied to the groups to which they belonged, ... perpetrators expressed some complaint about the victims' group, ...[and] a fundamental lack of confidence on the part of those who purveyed decisive violence in the adequacy of the impersonal rule of law to deliver true justice in the event of a heinous wrong."|
|2005||John K. Roth||In the history of anti-semitism and Jewish-Christian relations, however, pogrom refers to violent attacks on Jewish persons, communities and properties in any part of the world. Provoked by antisemitic charges that Jews, in one way or another, have acted treacherously against the majority population's national, economic or religious interests, pogroms often appear to be spontaneous, but closer scrutiny shows that they are usually condoned, if not organised, by political leaders and governments|
|2005||Werner Bergmann||a unilateral, nongovernmental form of collective violence initiated by the majority population against a largely defenseless ethnic group, and occurring when the majority expect the state to provide them with no assistance in overcoming a (perceived) threat from the minority...|
|2005||Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict||Russian word meaning 'attack' or 'devastation.' Historically, it designates mob attacks accompanied by pillage and murder that were perpetrated against the Jews of Russia—for example, in 1881–1882 and in 1903 at Kishinev. An important component of a pogrom is the usually silent complicity of the police and other authorities."|
|2007||Encyclopedia Judaica||a Russian word designating an attack, accompanied by destruction, looting of property, murder, and rape, perpetrated by one section of the population against another. In modern Russian history pogroms have been perpetrated against other nations (Armenians, Tatars) or groups of inhabitants (intelligentsia). However, as an international term, the word "pogrom" is employed in many languages to describe specifically the attacks accompanied by looting and bloodshed against the Jews in Russia. The word designates more particularly the attacks carried out by the Christian population against the Jews between 1881 and 1921 while the civil and military authorities remained neutral and occasionally provided their secret or open support.|
|2008||Samuel Totten and PaulBartrop||A term usually associated with mob attacks against Jewish communities especially in Tsarist Russia before 1917, though embracing numerous additional anti-Jewish persecutions in other countries up to relatively recent times|
|2011||John Klier||By the twentieth century, the word "pogrom" had become a generic term in English for all forms of collective violence directed against Jews. The term was especially associated with Eastern Europe and the Russian Empire, the scene of the most serious outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence before the Holocaust.|
|2011||Wiley-Blackwell||Pogroms... were antisemitic disturbances that periodically occurred within the tsarist empire. ... The term pogrom has been applied additionally to the campaign of anti-Jewish violence perpetrated by Nazism...."|
|2010||David Gaunt, Jonathan Dekel-Chen, Natan Meir, Israel Bartal||What were the Pogroms? Although pogroms could affect any targeted group, in normal usage the word has come to denote an anti-Jewish riot...." from the late 19th century "pogroms, ... can be described as "genocidal behaviour" in that they involved mass murder of significant Jewish groups that were delimited by residence patterns, occupation, wealth or visibility.|
|2012||Yivo Encyclopedia||In general usage, a pogrom is an outbreak of mass violence directed against a minority religious, ethnic, or social group; it usually implies central instigation and control, or at minimum the passivity of local authorities.|
|2012||Encyclopedia Britannica||a mob attack, either approved or condoned by authorities, against the persons and property of a religious, racial, or national minority. The term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.|
Historian David Engel writes that "there can be no logically or empirically compelling grounds for declaring that some particular episode does or does not merit the label [pogrom]," but he offers that the majority of the incidents "habitually" described as pogroms have some shared characteristics. Characteristics frequently noted by scholars to be shared by events which have been labelled as pogroms, include:
- "Organized Riot": In his review of scholarly work on the topic, Bergmann writes that "there is agreement to the extent that pogroms are defined as a specific form of riot", although when discussion exactly how a pogrom is differentiated from other forms of riot he states "there is no consensus on terminology here among researchers." Comparing riots and pogroms, Paul R Brass writes: "The first carries the appearance of spontaneous, intergroup mass action, the second of deliberately organized—and especially—state-supported killings and the destruction of property of a targeted group. In fact, however, no hard and fast distinction can be made between these supposedly distinct forms of violence, since pogroms masquerade as riots and many, if not most, large-scale riots display features supposedly special to pogroms" The organization may or may not be as a result of government involvement. Russian pogroms were originally widely thought to have been officially sponsored, but according to Aleksei Miller, "participation of the authorities in setting up pogroms (even the one in Kishinev) can now be safely relegated to the realm of myth." Usage of he word has retained overtones of government involvement, although "the low level of organization separates [pogroms] from vigiliantism, terrorism, massacre, and genocide"
- "Persecution of a minority group": All definitions of the term suggest that victims are a "minority group" within a demographic, although this may be referred to as "ethnic", "racial", "cultural", "religious" or "national". Encyclopedia Britannica states that the victims of a pogrom are "persons and property of a specific religious, racial, or national minority". The victims are nationals or citizens of the same group as the attackers and as a minority group, there is an "imbalance of power" against the majority population. Engel writes that pogroms "took place in divided societies in which ethnicity or religion (or both) served as significant definers of both social boundaries and social rank... [and the] perpetrators expressed some complaint about the victims’ group, claiming collective injury or violation of one or more of their own group’s cardinal values or legitimate prerogatives" According to Bergmann's review, "by the collective attribution of a threat, the pogrom differs from forms of violence, such as lynching, which are directed against individual members of a minority, while the imbalance of power in favor of the rioters distinguishes pogroms from other forms of riot".
- "Massacres": Pogroms are commonly, but not always, defined to include massacres or murders. Bergmann writes that "researchers frequently fail to distinguish between pogrom and massacre" and "the differences lie in the fact that massacres are conducted by more highly organized and better armed assailants (often military or police units)... whereas the elements typical to a pogrom [are] a large group of attackers acting on a short-term basis within a local framework, and the destruction and looting of property"
- Ethnic riot: An ethnic riot is a riot focused on the persecution of an ethnic group. Donald L. Horowitz wrote in 2001 that "the pogrom is not so much a complementary species of interethnic violence as it is a subcategory of the ethnic riot". Prior to his passing in 2007, scholar John Klier began preparing an article entitled "Were the Russian Pogroms a 'Deadly Ethnic RIot'?", referring to the term developed by Horowitz. In their 2002 book "Exclusionary Violence: Antisemitic Riots in Modern German History", Christhard Hoffmann and Werner Bergmann use the term "exclusionary ethnic riot" or "exclusionary riot" as a synonym for "pogrom".
- Genocidal massacre: A genocidal massacre is the killing of a local group within an ethnic minority, described by Leo Kuper as "the annihilation of a section of a group — men, women and children, as for example in wiping our of whole villages". George Andreopoulos wrote that "With [the] category [of genocidal massacres] we are now equipped to describe many pogroms, mass executions, and mass murders", referring to the term originally proposed by Leo Kuper in 1982. William Schabas wrote that "Examples [of genocidal massacres] would be pogroms and mass executions. In a discussion of Balkan Genocides, Paul Mojzes wrote that "A more accurate meaning of pogrom is genocidal massacre", although Mojzes' definition of genocidal massacre is different to that of the other scholars mentioned.
Scholarly commentary on usage
John Klier writes that in relation to a list of 13 events "characterized as "pogroms" by historians", "virtually the only common feature of these events was that Jews were among the victims, although they were not always the primary target" The YIVO Encyclopedia states that "The common usage of the term pogrom to describe any attack against Jews throughout history disguises the great variation in the scale, nature, motivation, and intent of such violence at different times" Klier writes that the term is now "a generic term in English for all forms of collective violence directed against Jews"
In the introduction to "Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History", the authors call the term a "somewhat reductionist rubric" in a discussion of the benefits of its usage. In Ideology, Politics, and Diplomacy in East Central Europe, Neal Pease writes that "the Morgenthau report consciously strove to limit usage of the word "pogrom" as an elastic and imprecise term applied indiscriminately to a broad range of actions".
Alekseĭ I. Miller writes that "The diversity of phenomena hiding behind the word pogrom is one of the symptoms of the ideological engagement of historiography" and, referring to Zygmunt Bauman's comment on "anti-semitism" noted that "using the same name to denote phenomena separated by centuries hides as much as reveals... is true of the term “pogrom.”"
Engel wrote that events "habitually tagged pogroms" include many "disparate occurrences" ranging from an event which "caused no Jewish casualties and did minimal damage to property" to events in which thousands of Jews were massacred. Klier writes that events which have been "characterized as "pogroms"" include events such as one in which "Jews were neither the initial nor the principal targets" and another "amidst a complete breakdown of public order [in which the] widespread atrocities carried out by all combatants fell upon many different segments of the population".
Aleksei Miller writes that "We are more prepared to answer the question of what pogroms were not than the question or what a pogrom was," and John Klier writes that "To detemine what pogroms were, it is essential to consider what they were not."
Rogers Brubaker writes that "Violence—and more generally, conflict—regularly occasions social struggles to label, interpret, and explain it", which Donald L. Horowitz calls "conflict over the nature of the conflict". Specifically, Brubaker writes that "To impose a label or prevailing interpretive frame—to cause an event to be seen as a "pogrom" or a "riot" or a "rebellion"—is no mere matter of external interpretation, but a constitutive and often consequential act of social definition".
In his work entitled "On the Study of Riots, Pogroms, and Genocide", University of Washington Professor Paul R Brass writes that once a scholar states whether in their view an event is "better labeled a pogrom than a riot, a massacre of innocents rather than a fair fight between groups, a genocide rather than a “mere” pogrom", scholars then "unavoidably, necessarily, become embroiled within and take a position upon the events we study." Brass writes that "The study of the various forms of mass collective violence has been blighted by methodological deficiencies and ideological premises... Our work then becomes entangled—even through the very theories we articulate—in the diversionary tactics that are essential to the production and reproduction of violence. The diversionary process begins with the issue of labelling, which itself is part of the process of production and reproduction of violence, and the post-hoc search for causes"
In "The Color of Words: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Ethnic Bias in the United States", Philip Herbst writes that the word "pogrom has been used loosely and, according to some, misused in an inflammatory way." John Klier writes that "when applied indiscriminately to events in Eastern Europe, the term can be misleading, the more so when it implies that "pogroms" were regular events in the region and that they always shared common features." In an interview with Bob Costas, Elie Wiesel suggested that he was bothered when the term was "misused and trivialized".
- Abramson 1999.
- Klier 2004, p. 13+35(Footnotes)
- Bergmann 2005, p. 352: "use of the term... is inconsistent in the literature"
- Bergmann 2005, p. 353+364.
- Klier 2011, p. 58
- OED staff 2014, Pogrom.
- Klier 2004.
- wikisource:Mission of The United States to Poland: Henry Morgenthau, Sr. report
- Morgenthau 1922.
- Lietuvos aidas, 14 November 1931, quoted in The Vanished World of Lithuanian Jews, edited by Alvydas Nikžentaitis, Stefan Schreiner, Darius Staliūnas
- Cunard & Ford 1996, p. 151 quotes from an excerpt from Louis Fischer The Nation
- Oxford English Dictionary, 1933
- Webster's Third New International Dictionary
- Mendes-Flohr & Reinharz 1995.
- Brass 1996, p. 26.
- Charny 1999, p. 467.
- Abramson 1999, p. 109.
- Horowitz 2001.
- Encyclopedia of Nationalism, 2001
- Bolaffi 2003, p. 219.
- Macmillan Encyclopedia, 2003
- Greenbaum 2004.
- Engel 2010.
- Roth 2005, p. 346.
- Bergmann 2005, p. 351.
- Faure 2005, Prorom.
- Berenbaum & Skolnik 2007.
- Totten & Bartrop 2008.
- Klier 2011.
- Atkin, Biddiss & Tallett 2011.
- Gaunt et al. 2010.
- Klier 2010.
- Encyclopædia Britannica editors 2013, Pogrom.
- Anti-Jewish Violence. Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History. Edited by Jonathan Dekel-Chen, David Gaunt, Natan M. Meir, and Israel Bartal "No doubt many will contend that history suggests the need for a serious attempt to clarify what a pogrom is or is not. In the event, however, no such clarification is possible, for "pogrom" is not a pre-existing natural category but an abstraction created by human beings in order to divide complex and infinitely varies social phenomena into manageable units of analysis. As a result, in the absence of universal agreement concerning the specific behaviours to which the word refers or of some supreme authority to whom the power of definition has been delegated, there can be no logically or empirically compelling grounds for declaring that some particular episode does or does not merit the label. "
- International handbook of violence research, Volume 1 (Springer, 2005) Chapter: "Pogrom"
- On the Study of Riots, Pogroms, and Genocide, by Paul R. Brass, Prepared for the Sawyer Seminar session on “Processes of Mass Killing,” at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, December 6–7, 2002) "The study of the various forms of mass collective violence has been blighted by methodological deficiencies and ideological premises that are as endemic to the contemporary social sciences as are riots in many of the societies we study... Our work then becomes entangled—even through the very theories we articulate—in the diversionary tactics that are essential to the production and reproduction of violence. The diversionary process begins with the issue of labelling, which itself is part of the process of production and reproduction of violence, and the post-hoc search for causes.
- The Romanov Empire and Nationalism, Alekseĭ I. Miller
- Anti-Jewish Violence. Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History. Edited by Jonathan Dekel-Chen, David Gaunt, Natan M. Meir, and Israel Bartal, Chapter 1 "What's in a pogrom?", pp 23-24 "As it turns out, the large majority of the events or sets of events listed in the previous paragraphs, though manifestly dissimilar in detail, appear to display a surprising number of shared characteristics. To begin with, all took place in divided societies in which ethnicity or religion (or both) served as significant definers of both social boundaries and social rank. Moreover, all involved collective violent applications of force by members of what perpetrators believed to be a higher-ranking ethnic or religious group against members of what they considered a lower-ranking or subaltern group. Indeed, those against whom such force was applied were identified primarily on the basis of their group membership, not because of anything they might have said or done as ethnically or religiously unlabeled individuals; at most it can be said that the appliers of the decisive force tended to interpret the behavior of victims according to stereotypes commonly applied to the groups to which they belonged. Either during or following violence, perpetrators expressed some complaint about the victims’ group, claiming collective injury or violation of one or more of their own group’s cardinal values or legitimate prerogatives as a result of some action allegedly taken on behalf of the lower-ranking group by one or more of its members, or by that group as a whole. And, according to the perpetrators, the injured, higher-ranking group could be made whole only through violent action unmediated by the mechanisms that the state normally provided for resolution of disputes or redress of grievances. In other words, the episodes in question all seem to have embodied a fundamental lack of confidence on the part of those who purveyed decisive violence in the adequacy of the impersonal rule of law to deliver true justice in the event of a heinous wrong. In the perpetrators’ hierarchy of values the transgressions of the lower-ranking group were of such magnitude that the legitimate order of things could be restored only when either they themselves took the law into their own hands or--as in Pinsk in 1919, Ukraine during the Russian Civil War, Kristallnacht, or Iasi in 1941--instruments of the state or claimants to state power bypassed normal political and legal channels in favor of direct action against the offenders. Such a moral balance made perpetrators believe that what they had done was right, even where, as in the majority of the cases at hand, state authorities representing the community whose integrity they sought to defend told them the opposite by trying them for their misdeeds. Please note: I do not claim that these features, taken together, constitute the essential defining characteristics of a 'pogrom.' My claim is merely that it is possible to identify a set of historical incidents that display all of those characteristics."
- Donald L. Horowitz, The Deadly Ethnic Riot, 2001, p20
- Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History, Introduction, p6
- Exclusionary Violence: Antisemitic Riots in Modern German History, Christhard Hoffmann, Werner Bergmann, University of Michigan Press, 2002, Introduction p13
- Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimensions, 1997, "Events of mass murder that are on a smaller scale than mass events may be defined, as Leo Kuper originally proposed, under a category of "genocidal massacre". I would define genocidal massacre as follows: Mass killing as defined above in the generic definition of genocide, but in which the mass murder is on a smaller scale, that is, smaller numbers of human beings are killed. With this category we are now equipped to describe many pogroms, mass executions, and mass murders"
- Genocide in International Law: The Crimes of Crimes, 2000, "Within the quantitative or numerical context, there have been suggestions that the law recognize the existence of acts falling short of full-blown genocide, that might be characterized as 'genocidal massacre'. Leo Kuper originally proposed the concept, that differs from genocide in that 'the mass murder is on a smaller scale, that is, smaller numbers of human beings are killed'. Examples would be pogroms and mass executions."
- Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the Twentieth Century, 2011, Rowman & Littlefield, p. 5. "The word pogrom, meaning "riot", is of Russian origin and is usually encountered in the experiences of violent anti-Semitic outbursts in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russia. Pogrom became a more nuanced term than riot, though they share common elements. A more accurate meaning of pogrom is genocidal massacre, that is, a semi-spontaneous mob attack, an outburst by a more dominant ethnic or religious group over a minority that is usually scapegoated for an alleged undermining of values that weakens the entire society (such as defence of the country in time of war, spying, cooperating with the enemy, hoarding of goods or selling at exorbitant prices, and attacking or murdering innocent members of the majority group)."
- Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History, p5
- Ideology, Politics, and Diplomacy in East Central Europe, Chapter by Neal Pease, "This Troublesome Question", p60, "Blatant and brutal attacks against Jews emphatically did occur, but opinions differed then, and continue to differ now, about the applicability of the term "pogrom" to these incidents... [footnote] For example, Ezra Mendelsohn, The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars, describes these actions as pogroms, while Norman Davies says flatly that they were no such thing, God's Playground: A History of Poland, and Europe: A History. Jerzy Tomaszewski, ed. Najnowsze dziejow Zydow w Polsce, labels the Lwow riots of November 1918 a pogrom, but not the Pinsk affair. The disagreement does not so much concern the facts of what happened, but how to characterize them. For its part, the Morgenthau report consciously strove to limit usage of the word "pogrom" as an elastic and imprecise term applied indiscriminately to a broad range of actions, from individual muggings to concerted mob attacks, instead employing the more general, less emotive "excesses"."
- Engel wrotes of events "habitually tagged pogroms": "...such disparate occurrences as the killing of two Jews in Balta in March 1882, forty-five in Kishinev in April 1903, and upwards of fifteen hundred in Proskuriv in February 1919 [...] the riot in Warsaw on Christmas Day 1881, when street mobs took revenge on Jews for allegedly disrupting midnight mass in the Church of the Holy Cross, damaging much property but killing no one; the deadly confrontation between striking factory workers and local Jews in Łód in May 1892, in which the strikers killed three Jews while 140 Polish workers were shot by strike-breaking police; the riot of Russian and Ukrainian miners in the company town of Iuzovka in the Donets Basin three months later, in whose course 180 Jewish-owned shops and the local synagogue were burned, but no Jews lost their lives; the June 1898 plunder of the tavern of one Naftali Löw in the west Galician hamlet of Frysztak by a crowd of peasants coming to market, who caused no Jewish casualties and did minimal damage to property but who lost twelve of their own number when the Austrian police shot into the crowd in an effort to break it up; the punitive expedition conducted by Russian military personnel against the Jewish quarterin Siedlce in September 1906 following the assassination of the local police chief, which claimed some thirty Jewish lives; the April 1919 execution by Polish soldiers in Pinsk of thirty-five Jews groundlessly suspected of abetting the Bolsheviks in the Polish–Soviet war; the so-called White Terror in Hungary of 1919–1920, which left perhaps as many as 3,000 Jews dead; the massacres of perhaps 60,000 Ukrainian Jews during the same years by armies competing for control of the territory; the repeated but nonfatal beatings of Jewish students in universities throughout Greater Romania between 1923 and 1928; the officially instigated Kristallnacht attacks upon synagogues and Jewish-owned property throughout Germany and Austria on 9 November 1938 in the wake of the shooting of a Nazi official by a Jewish teenager, in whose course ninety-one Jews were killed; the coordinated onslaught against the Jews of Iasi by Romanian police, soldiers, and civilians on 29 June 1941, where the single-day death toll may have reached five thousand or more; or the slaughter of forty-six Jews in Kielce on 4 July 1946 in response to a blood libel."
- John Klier writes that "To detemine what pogroms were, it is essential to consider what they were not. The following events have all been characterized as "pogroms" by historians: the Kiev "pogrom" of 1113, the Cossack uprising under Bohdan Khmelnytsky in 1648; the Koliivshchnyna of 1768; riotous attacks on Jews in Odessa in 1821, 1859 and 1871, and in Akkerman, Bessarabia province, in 1865; the waves of violence in 1881-2; the Kishinev and Gomel riots of 1903; the anti-Jewish violence during the revolutionary years 1905-6; the "military pogroms" in 1914-16; the attacks on Jews by military units and irregulars during the Russian Civil War of 1919-21; and attacks on Jews amidst the national struggles between Poles and Ukrainians in 1920. Virtually the only common feature of these events was that Jews were among the victims, although they were not always the primary target. To begin with the earliest events, Alexander Pereswetoff-Morath has advanced a strong argument against considering the Kiev riots of 1113 an anti-Jewish pogrom. During the Cossack Uprising of 1648 and the Koliivschyna of the following century, which loom so prominently in the Jewish collective memory, Jews were neither the initial nor the principal targets. Rather, they fell victim because of their economic links to the main target, the Polish feudal system, which created an antagonism exacerbated in 1768 by religious antipathy between Catholics and Greek Orthodox Christians. The loyalist violence of 1905-6 occurred within the context of a much broader social and political movement, and featured attacks against other "revolutionary" elements, such as students and teachers, in addition to the Jews. Amidst the chaos of revolution, moreover, the presence of organized Jewish self-defense sponsored by revolutionary parties, complicated the picture, since some self-defense activities were intentionally provocative. The "military pogroms" of 1914-16" have the dubious distinction of being the first events in which agents of the Russian state - in this case military commanders in the field who were unaccountable to the civilian government - designated the Jews as a target and directed violence against them. In 1919-21, the suffering of East European Jews occurred amidst a complete breakdown of public order. The widespread atrocities carried out by all combatants fell upon many different segments of the population."
- Rogers Brubaker, Ethnicity without groups, Harvard University Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-674-01539-5, p16-17, "Interpretive framing, of course, is often contested. Violence—and more generally, conflict—regularly occasions social struggles to label, interpret, and explain it. Such "metaconfiicts" or "conflict[s] over the nature of the conflict," as Donald Horowitz has called them (1991a: 2), do not simply shadow conflicts from the outside, but are integral parts of them. To impose a label or prevailing interpretive frame—to cause an event to be seen as a "pogrom" or a "riot" or a "rebellion"—is no mere matter of external interpretation, but a constitutive and often consequential act of social definition (Brass 1996b), Interpretive struggles over the naming and framing of violence therefore merit study in their own right (Brass 1996a, 1997; Abelmann and Lie 1995). How conflict and violence are seen, interpreted, and represented depends significantly on prevailing interpretive frames."
- On the Study of Riots, Pogroms, and Genocide, by Paul R. Brass, Prepared for the Sawyer Seminar session on “Processes of Mass Killing,” at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, December 6–7, 2002) "Of course, once immersed in the observation of forms of collective violence, we social scientists must decide for ourselves whether we are witnessing something better labeled a pogrom than a riot, a massacre of innocents rather than a fair fight between groups, a genocide rather than a “mere” pogrom. We then, unavoidably, necessarily, become embroiled within and take a position upon the events we study."
- The Color of Words: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Ethnic Bias in the United States, Philip Herbst, p182
- Telling the Tale: A Tribute to Elie Wiesel on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday : Essays, Reflections, and Poems, p158
|Look up pogrom in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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