Peasant Rebellions and antisemitism

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Sun Feb 5 18:59:08 MST 1995

On Sun, 5 Feb 1995, garth wolkoff wrote:
> T
> The victims of violence should have the authority to name the violence.  I
> could not imagine the targets of nationalist violence rationalizing their
> own dead in the name of popular uprising. Why should they? It strikes me
> something of the faux-nationalism of Prop. 187 in California: When times
> is tight, blame the outsider. I have not done Shahak's research and can
> only imagine that the Jews in the Ukrane prospered the way Jewish
> cultures did all over Europe in the 19th century.

First, Chmielniysky was 17th century. Second, the Jews did not prosper in
the Ukraine or elsewhere in Europe, especially Eastern Europe, in the 19th
century. There were rich (more or less assimilated) Jews. Most Jews were
working class and very poor, the moreso because they were denied civil
rights. For a not-too-sentimentalized portrait of E. European Jewish life
in the late 19th c, see Sholom Aleichem. Prosper, schmosper. Why do you
think we came here? Because we were doing so well over there?

 But does persecuting
> the conventiant symbol of wealth - which Jews have always been - amount
> to any more than an enthnic catharsis? I'm curious about the plight of
> the Ukranian oppressed *after* the pogroms. I'd bet nothing changed.
Of course not. Is it necessary to say that the Jews were not the cause of
Ukrainian oppression?

--Justin Schwartz


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