Non­fic­tion

In the Midst of Civ­i­lized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918 – 1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020
Between 1918 and 1921, over 100,000 Jews were mur­dered in Ukraine and Poland by peas­ants, towns­men, and sol­diers who blamed the Jews for the tur­moil of the Russ­ian Rev­o­lu­tion. In hun­dreds of sep­a­rate inci­dents, ordi­nary peo­ple robbed their Jew­ish neigh­bors with impuni­ty, burned down their hous­es, ripped apart their Torah scrolls, sex­u­al­ly assault­ed them, and killed them. Large­ly for­got­ten today, these pogroms‚ eth­nic riots‚” dom­i­nat­ed head­lines and inter­na­tion­al affairs in their time. Aid work­ers warned that six mil­lion Jews were in dan­ger of com­plete exter­mi­na­tion. Twen­ty years lat­er, these dire pre­dic­tions would come true.

Draw­ing upon long-neglect­ed archival mate­ri­als, includ­ing thou­sands of new­ly dis­cov­ered wit­ness tes­ti­monies, tri­al records, and offi­cial orders, acclaimed his­to­ri­an Jef­frey Vei­dlinger shows for the first time how this wave of geno­ci­dal vio­lence cre­at­ed the con­di­tions for the Holo­caust. Through sto­ries of sur­vivors, per­pe­tra­tors, aid work­ers, and gov­ern­men­tal offi­cials, he explains how so many dif­fer­ent groups of peo­ple came to the same con­clu­sion: that killing Jews was an accept­able response to their var­i­ous problems.

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