Images of Jews in the minds of the Russian Administration and Society of the Front-line Zone during the First World War

Abstract

The article analyzes generalized visions of the Jewish population that existed during 1914–1917 in the surrounding of Russian administration and among the general population of the temporarily occupied territories of Russian empire and of its western provinces. The source base of the study is presented by documents of the gendarme agency from the collections of the Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine (Kyiv). They reveal the political mood of the population, rumors and statements that potentially can destabilize the situation in the region. The sources give the following generalized characteristics of the Jewish population: 1. Jews avoid military service and public works; 2. Jews massively sympathize to the enemy and gladly perceive his victories and defeats of the Russian army; 3. Jews spy in favor of Austria-Hungary; 4. During the war, the Jewish population significantly increased its wealth by raising prices for essential goods; 5. Jews gain excessive wealth in the game of exchange rates; 6. Jews in Galicia directly agitate for the return of the Austrian authorities; 7. Jews represent a community that is unsafe to provide civil rights, because it will automatically strike in the interests of the rest of the population; 8. Jews are often robbed during the war, but they deserve it; 9. The Jewish community is characterized by a special rejection of Nicholas II’s personal and royal family; 10. Jews massively spread anti-Russian rumors. The author concludes that most of the characteristics of the Jewish population reflect the attitude towards it as a “domestic enemy”. The Russian authorities, both in the front-line provinces and territories temporarily occupied during the war, actively contributed to the formation of such a negative image. This fully fitted into the policy of the tsarist government, which can be characterized as state anti-Semitism. Later, such actions were partly due to the pogromous activity of the local population against the Jews in the revolutionary purges of 1917-1921.

Author Biography

Valeriia S. Lavrenko, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University

PhD in History, Associate Professor of the Department of World History at the Oles Honchar Dnipro National University

References

XX vek: Pis’ma vojny [The twentieth century: Letters of war] (2016). Moskva. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie (in Russian).

Agenturnye svedenija o mazepince Polishhuke V., podozrevaemom v shpionazhe, o skryvajushhihsja vo L’vove beglyh voennoplennyh avstrijskoj armii i drugih licah [Agency information about mazepinets Polishchuk V., suspected of espionage, about fugitive prisoners of war of the Austrian army hiding in Lviv and other persons]. In the Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund
365, descr. 2, file 81 (in Russian).

Astashov, A. B. (2012) Chlenovreditel’stvo i simuljacija boleznej v Russkoj armii vo vremja Pervoj mirovoj vojny [Self-mutilation and disease simulation in the Russian Army during the First World War]. Novyj istoricheskij vestnik (34 (4)), 6-19. (in Russian).

Cirkuljary gubernatora Galicii i Bukoviny ob otnoshenii k naseleniju, o zaderzhanii razlichnyh lic, podozrevaemyh v shpionazhe [Circulars of the Governor of Galicia and Bukovina about the attitude towards the population, about the detention of various persons suspected of espionage]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 361, descr. 1, file 82 (in Russian).

Cirkuljary departamenta policii i predpisanie nachal’nika zhandarms’kogo upravlenija voennogo general-gubernatorstva Galicii o rozyske raznyh lits i porjadke navedenija spravok po politicheskoj proverke [Circulars of the police department and the instruction of the head of the gendarmerie administration of the military general-governorship of Galicia about the search for different persons and the order of inquiring about political verification]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 1, file 254 (in Russian).

Cirkuljary departamenta policii i perepiska s zhandarmskimi unter-oficerami o dejatel’nosti partii «Bund» [Circulars of the police department and correspondence with gendarme non-commissioned officers on the activities of the Bund party]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 301, descr. 1, file 3080 (in Russian).

Donesenija i raporty pomoshhnikov nachal'nika kievskogo gubernskogo zhandarmskogo upravlenija, uezdnyh ispravnikov i pristavov policejskih uchastkov g. Kieva o politicheskih nastroenijah g. Kieva i Kievskoj gubernii [Reports of assistants to the chief of the Kiev gubernia
gendarmerie administration, district police officers and police officers of police stations in Kiev about the political moods of the city of Kiev and the Kiev prov ince]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 274, descr. 1, file 548 (in Russian).

Donesenija nachal’niku zhandarmskogo upravlenija voennogo general-gubernatorstva Galicii o prijme unteroficerom Stanislavskogo punkta i ob ot’ezde v komandirovki [Reports to the chief of the gendarmerie department of the military general-governorship of Galicia about the acceptance by the non-commissioned officer of the Stanislavsky point and about the departure for business trips]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 1, file 256 (in Russian).

Dotsenko, V. O. (2014) Polityka tsarskoi vlady stosovno yevreiv ukrainskykh hubernii Rosiiskoi imperii v period Pershoi svitovoi viiny [The policy of royal power in relation to the Jews of the Ukrainian provinces of the Russian Empire during the First World War]. Naukovi pratsi istorychnoho fakultetu Zaporizkoho natsionalnoho universytetu (40), 48-51 (in Ukrainian).

Dotsenko, V. O. (2014) Yevreiskyi pohromnyi rukh v Ukraini v 1917-1920 rr. [Jewish pogrom movement in Ukraine in 1917-1920] Naukovi pratsi istorychnoho fakultetu Zaporizkoho natsionalnoho universytetu, (38), 100-103 (in Ukrainian).

Gol’din, S. (2005) Russkoe komandovanie i evrei vo vremja Pervoj mirovoj vojny: prichiny formirovanija negativnogo stereotipa. Mirovoj krizis 1914-1920 godov i sud’ba vostochnoevropejskogo єvrejstva [Russian command and the Jews during the First World War: the reasons for the formation of a negative stereotype. The world crisis of 1914-1920 and the fate of Eastern European Jewry]. Moskva: ROSSPЕN (in Russian).

Holyk, R. (2014) Slozy y kosti: Persha svitova viina u tekstakh ta uiavlenniakh halytskykh selian [Tears and bones: The First World War in the texts and notions of the Galician peasants]. Narodoznavchi zoshyty (3 (117)) 494-501 (in Ukrainian).

Objazatel’noe postanovlenie i ob’javlenie osobogo komiteta pri upravlenii Podol’skoj zheleznoj dorogi o vvedenii prikaza chrezvychajnoj ohrany i prikazanija nachal’niku otdelenija po lichnomu sostavu [Obligatory decision and announcement of a special committee at the Podolsk Railroad Administration about the introduction of an order of emergency protection and orders to the chief of the personnel department]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 91, descr. 1, file 4 (in Russian).

O sionistskih organizacijah [About Zionist organizations]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 385, descr. 7, file 102 (in Russian).

Perepiska s nachal’nikom zhandarmskogo upravlenija voennogo general-gubernatorstva Galicii i zhandarmskimi unter-oficerami o registracii lic, privlechennyh k ohrannym perepiskam [Correspondence with the head of the gendarmerie department of the military generalgovernorship of Galicia and gendarmerie non-commissioned officers on the registration of persons involved in security correspondence]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 1, file 133 (in
Russian).

Perepiska s zhandarmskim upravleniem Galicii ob areste Fishera M. I., podozrevaemogo v prinadlezhnosti k evrejskoj organizacii [Correspondence with the gendarmerie administration of Galicia about the arrest of Fisher MI, suspected of belonging to a Jewish organization]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 361, descr. 1, file 785 (in Russian).

Perepiska s organami voennogo i grazhdanskogo upravlenija o nastroenijah naselenija i duhovenstva, o dejatel’nosti burzhuazno-nacionalisticheskih organizacij [Correspondence with military and civil authorities on the moods of the population and the clergy, on the activities of bourgeois-nationalist organizations]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 1, file 212 (in Russian).

Perepiska s nachal’nikom zhandarmskogo upravlenija voennogo general-gubernatorstva Galicii o rozyske i ustanovlenii nabljudenija za licami, rasprostranjajushhimi sluhi [Correspondence with the head of the gendarmerie department of the military the general-governorship of Galicia about the search and establishment of supervision over persons spreading rumors]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 274, descr. 1, file 548 (in Russian).

Perepiska s nachal’nikom zhandarmskogo upravlenija voennogo general-gubernatorstva Galicii i zhandarmskimi unter-oficerami o rozyske i proverke raznyh lic [Correspondence with the head of the gendarmerie department of the military general-governorship of Galicia and the gendarme noncommissioned officers about the search and verification of various persons]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 1, file 160 (in Russian).

Perepiska s voennym general-gubernatorom Galicii, jetapnymi komendantami, pomoshhnikami
nachal’nika upravlenija v uezdah o politicheskoj proverke raznyh lic [Correspondence with the military governor-general of Galicia, forwarding commandants, assistants to the head of the department in the counties about political verification of different persons]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 1, file 30 (in Russian).

Perepiska s voennym general-gubernatorom Galicii, jetapnymi komendantami, pomoshnikami nachal’nika Upravlenija v uezdah o politicheskoj proverke raznyh lic [Correspondence with the military governor-general of Galicia, step-by-step commandants, assistants to the head of the Office in the counties on political verification of various persons]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 1, file 31 (in Russian).

Perepiska s nachal’nikom Bessarabskogo gubernskogo zhandarmskogo, nachal’nikom kontrrazvedyvatel’nogo otdelenija shtaba 7-j armii o licah, podozrevaemyh v shpionazhe [Correspondence with the chief of the Bessarabsky provincial gendarmerie, the head of the counter-intelligence department of the staff of the 7th Army about persons suspected of espionage]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 1153, descr. 1, file 171 a (in Russian).

Perepiska s upravleniem L’vovskogo gradonachal’nika, unter-oficerami grazhdanskogo upravlenija voennogo general-gubernatorstva Galicii o rozyske beglyh soldat i unter-oficerov i o licah, podozrevaemyh v shpionazhe [Correspondence with the administration of the Lviv mayor, non-commissioned officers of the civil administration of the military general-governorship of Galicia, about the search for fugitive soldiers and non-commissioned officers and about persons suspected of espionage]. Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 365, descr. 2, file 11 (in Russian).

Pivovarchik, S. (2005) Tragedii Pervoj mirovoj vojny: “evrei-shpiony” (po materialam Nacional’nogo istoricheskogo arhiva Belarusi v Grodno) [The tragedies of the First World War: “Jewish spies” (based on the materials of the National Historical Archive of Belarus in Grodno)] Mirovoj krizis 1914-1920 godov i sud’ba vostochnoevropejskogo єvrejstva, 71-83. Moskva: ROSSPЕN (in Russian).

Semenova, E. Ju. (2014) Vzaimodejstvie gorozhan I bezhencev na territorii tylovogo goroda v gody Pervoj mirovoj vojny (po materіalam Povolzh’ja) [The interaction of citizens and refugees in the territory of the rear city during the First World War (according to the materials of the Volga region)]. Izvestija Samarskogo nauchnogo centra Rossijskoj akademii nauk (Т. 16), (3 (2)), 436-443 (in Russian).

Shuster, F. (2005) “Daj mne hleba, i ja dam tebe devushku”. Bednost‘, kontrabanda, shpionazh i prostitucija vo vremja Pervoj mirovoj vojny v evrejskom kontekste [„Give me bread, and I will give you a girl.“ Poverty, smuggling, espionage and prostitution during the First World War in the Jewish context]. Mirovoj krizis 1914-1920 godov i sud’ba vostochnoevropejskogo єvrejstva, 10-28. Moskva: ROSSPЕN.

Velyka viina 1914-1918 rr. i Ukraina: U dvokh knyhakh. (2015) [The Great War of 1914-1918 and Ukraine: Two books.]. Kn. 2: Movoiu dokumentiv i svidchen. Kyiv. Klio (in Ukrainian).

Zlatina, M. A.(2009) Organizacija pomoshhi evrejskim bezhencam v Rossijskoj imperii v pervye mesjacy Pervoj mirovoj vojny po materialam pressy (ijul' - oktjabr' 1914 goda) [Organization of assistance to Jewish refugees in the Russian Empire in the first months of the First World War basing on press materials (July-October 1914)]. Izvestija Rossijskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogiches kogo universiteta im. A. I. Gercena (118), 30-35 (in Russian).

Zhurnaly soveshhanija pri upravlenii voenno-sanitarnogo inspektora general-gubernatorstva Galicija [Journals of the meeting at the Office of the Sanitary Inspectorin the general-governorship of Galicia]. In the Central State Historical Archive, Kyiv. Fund 715, descr. 1, file 32 (in Russian).
Published
2019-12-26
How to Cite
LAVRENKO, Valeriia S.. Images of Jews in the minds of the Russian Administration and Society of the Front-line Zone during the First World War. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1-2, p. 56–67, dec. 2019. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <http://uha.dp.ua/index.php/UHA/article/view/16>. Date accessed: 22 oct. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.15421/2611808.
Section
World History