Thursday, February 12, 2009


1. It is Our Culture:

• It is inherent in our religion: God is King of the Kingdom of Heaven, not President, Prime Minister or Premier. How can an Orthodox Christian people be otherwise?
• The Russian Culture is built for strong leaders and rulers. Unlike Western republics with weak beurrocratic leadership, we the Russian people are at our best under strong leadership.
• Since the beginning of time, we have had one central leader, be he Prince, Tsar or Emperor. It is what our culture has evolved for. Unlike the many Republics of the New World, we have a two thousand year history of monarchy.
• Monarchy has preserved us in the face of many peoples who wished us death. Now that we are without a monarch, we find ourselves at the mercy of foreigners. Only with a strong Monarch can we once again rise to command the politics of Europe.

2. Monarchy Equals Stability
• Only a Monarch, above political parties can unite our diverse ethnic peoples, into one nation, as a father figure. Politicians, including all presidents and prime ministers, gain their power from dividing the people into small groups of electorates. For that reason, a politician’s first loyalty is not to the nation as a whole, but to his electorate and financiers.
• Monarchs build on their predecessor’s work. A monarch looks to the long term. He builds upon the foundation set by his predecessor and has a lifetime to achieve his goals, often the direct continuation of his predecessor. Presidents serving short terms look only to the short term and are under pressure to make their mark, usually in opposition to their predecessor.
• Monarchs are a link to the past. As technology and the world changes faster and faster, the monarchy provides a link to the past and the stability needed for Our culture to survive Western attempts to destroy it and US.

3. Monarchies are More Democratic
• Constitutional Monarchy Guaranties the Freedom of the People and the upholding of the Constitution. Politicians, no matter their creed, all want more and more power and greater control of people’s lives. The Monarch, above petty politics, is the guarenteer of the Constitution and also Its Prime Protector.
• Monarchs are above corruption. Politicians and presidents are elected. Elections require much money. Those donating the money then own the politicians. Because of their corruption, special interests take control. Monarch is for life, he is the Father of the Rodina, and thus he is above bribes.
• Monarchs Prevent Dictatorships. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mussolini could not have come to power if their countries had retained their monarchs. Demagogues and dictators are powerless in the face of strong monarchs. Monarchs are interested in the strong survival of their nations as a whole, genocide is counter productive.
• Only Monarchs can control the huge transnational corporations that care little for their workers and regularly bribe government officials, spreading corruption.

4. Monarchies are Ordained by God
* Just as the Father looks over Creation and Christ is the one True King of Kings and Lord of Israel, a Monarch is ordained by God as His Servant. God, Christ, is not elected as King of Kings, why should the leaders be?


taken said...

But how do you suggest to choose the first(next) monarch of Russia. Will you look for some distant descendant of the Romanovs, who is probably now living in the West?

Matthew Saroff said...

Also, note that every King will not be Peter the Great.

In fact, a lot more of them will be incompetent and corrupt like Nicholas II, and eventually, this will lead to another outburst of Bolshevism.

Matthew Saroff said...

Also, you are wrong on Mussolini.

Much of his rise to power was aided and abetted by King Victor Emmanuel III.

As to biblical precedent, if you read Samuel, it's clear that he sees a king as an affront to God, and anoints Saul only under duress, and following Saul, you have all sorts of mischief under the Kings, David and Bathsheba, Solomon and anything female, Jezebel, the Hasmonean kings, etc.

Stanislav said...

First, how was Nicholas corrupt? Did he steal from the people? Did he take their property? No, instead he openned schools (for Orthodox, Jews and Muslims till 75% of the population was literate by 1917), gave farmers their own specific plots of land (instead of the village councel redistributing land), gave the peasants zero percent interest loans. He helped set up industry and lay infrastructure.

The reason for Bolshevism was first and foremost the Great War, two bad seasons of harvests and billions of US dollars and British pounds poured into their coffers by the Anglo-Marxists in NYC, DC and London.

As for the Biblical issue, might I remind you why the Kings of Israel were asked for? Because Saul's sons, the judges, were corrupt and vengeful with little love for God.

Furthermore, do not confuse absolute monarchy with a constitutional monarchy, the monarch in the role of executive for life.

Lastly, you are right on the issue of Mussalini, it was my mistake, it should have been Moa. However, Emmanual did little to aid Mussalini into power, after all, Mussalini was an extreme socialist of the Leninist-Trotskyte Fascist bend. As a matter of fact, the King fired Mussalini and took a destroyer into custady with the allies, at first real opportunity.

Stanislav said...

Taken, first there are plenty of direct relations of the Saint Martyr Tsar Nicholas II. Both of his brothers escaped as well as many other members.

As for how to choose, we have a mechanism called the Zemsky Sabor (the Congress of the Land) which is how Michael Romanov first made it to the Throne in 1613 at the end of the Smyta.

Matthew Saroff said...

The Judges were not Saul's sons, and the demand for Kings was because the Jewish people wanted to be like everyone else.

As to corruption, you need only look at the cronyism in his court, even without discussing Rasputin here).

It's one of the reasons that the military performed so poorly, well connected incompetents led them.

You also have brutal despotism, such as Bloody Sunday in 1905, his active supports of the murderous pogroms of 1906-6.

After having dealt with 8 years of rule by an idiot product of an inbred ruling dynasty in the USA, trust me, you do not want that.

Let me be clear: If you are looking at something like the British monarchy, where they have no power, and function as primarily a tourist attraction, it sure beats Lenin's tomb, but real power to a hereditary monarch is far more likely to look like the bottom of the barrel of the House of Saud than the cream of the crop of the house of Romanov.

BTW, in terms of Fascists and Kings scratching each other's back, we should ad Antonescu and Michael I in Romania.

Stanislav said...

It's one of the reasons that the military performed so poorly, well connected incompetents led them.

You also have brutal despotism, such as Bloody Sunday in 1905, his active supports of the murderous pogroms of 1906-6.

Actually, the military performed quite well on every front but the German one. The reason it performed badly on the German front was the initial fued between General Samsonov's, commander of the 1st Army, and General Runkoff, commander of the 2nd Army.

But if you go further into the study, you will quickly see, that the real reason that the army performed poorly against the Germans was that it was not ready for combat, as it's supplies were not fully gathered before it moved out. It moved out after mobilzing for 2 months (the Germans figured on 6 months) but it needed 3 months. It moved out because the French and British were screaming bloody murder that Paris was about to fall.

Even then, it's initial battles destroyed the German offensive and later in the war, it collapsed against the Germans only after mass mutinies led by NYC/London sponsored Bolsheviks.

Furthermore, the Austro-Hungarian armies were routinely crushed and Russia controlled half of Asia Minor after destroying two Turkish armies...forcing one to retreat up a mountain where most of it froze.

Bloody Sunday in 1905 was not ordered by the government. Nicholas' mistake was not publically sacking and prosecuting his cousin for leading the Cossak charge.

The main Wiki backup for the statement that the Russian government paid for the pogroms comes from an organization called, hardly a credible historical source.

As for anti-Judism, that may have been a surprise to my paterinal great great grand father who recieved a pomestia (a Tsar given piece of land-from farm to estate for government service) for his bravery in battle in the service of the Tsar...oh and he was Jewish. Furthermore, his son served and was wounded against the Japanese, in 1905...and yes, they were Jewish land owners with a TSARIST given farm all the way until the atheist Jewish/Lativian and Polish Bolsheviks stole it from them.

As well as my paternal grand father who also as a Jew studied in a Tsarist school, along side the Orthodox Christians.

The post revolutionar pogroms were primarly driven by anarchists and the black hundreds, who while never (the black hundreds) actively persecuted by the State were not directly funded by the state or approved of. Can't speak for all ministers. They were also refined to Ukraine, the worst occuring when Tsarist rule ended and the Reds, western Ukrainian nationalists, Poles and Anarchists started fighting over the land.

As for the pre-revolutionary pogroms, they were never sanctioned by the St. Petersburg government and themselves are very complex situation. The below study of the Odessa pogrom, the biggest, demonstrates:

Robert Weinberg, "The Pogrom of 1905 in Odessa: A Case Study" in Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History, John D. Klier and Shlomo Lambroza, eds. (Cambridge,1992): 248-89

The wave of anti-Jewish pogroms that swept the Pale of Settlement after Tsar Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto in 1905 reflected the ethnic and political tensions and hostilities that characterized popular unrest and marred the social landscape of late Imperial Russia in that revolutionary year. In the weeks following the granting of fundamental civil rights and political liberties, pogroms directed mainly at Jews but also affecting students, intellectuals, and other national minorities broke out in hundreds of cities, towns, and villages, resulting in deaths and injuries to thousands of people.

In the port city of Odessa alone, the police reported that at least 400 Jews and 100 non-Jews were killed and approximately 300 people, mostly Jews, were injured, with slightly over 1,600 Jewish houses, apartments, and stores incurring damage. These official figures undoubtedly underestimate the true extent of the damage, as other informed sources indicate substantially higher numbers of persons killed and injured. For example, Dmitri Neidhardt, City Governor of Odessa during the pogrom and brother-in-law of the future Prime Minister Peter Stolypin, estimated the number of casualties at 2,500, and the Jewish newspaper Voskhod reported that over 800 were killed and another several thousand were wounded. Moreover, various hospitals and clinics reported treating at least 600 persons for injuries sustained during the pogrom. Indeed, no other city in the Russian Empire in 1905 experienced a pogrom comparable in its destruction and violence to the one unleashed against the Jews of Odessa.

Despite the havoc wreaked by these pogroms, historians have only just begun to explore the origins, circumstances, and consequences of the October pogroms in an effort to evaluate their impact and connection with the general course of revolutionary events in 1905. Even though the general contours of pogroms in Russia are known, detailed case studies are nonetheless required if historians are to offer a more comprehensive and conclusive assessment of antisemitism and the pogromist phenomenon in late Imperial Russia. This chapter focuses on Odessa for several reasons. First, Odessa was the fourth largest city in the Russian Empire by century's end, boasting a Jewish population of approximately 138,000 in a city with 403,000 inhabitants. Second, the scope and breadth of the violence directed against Odessa Jewry merit special study. Third, since ethnicity often acted as a divisive force in labor movements in many parts of Western Europe and Russia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the ethnic heterogeneity of the Odessa work force provides an opportunity to study how ethnic and religious antagonisms affected worker solidarity and the capacity for collective action in 1905. Finally, examination of the Odessa pogrom addresses the broader issues of the Revolution of 1905, particularly the character of worker unrest and protest and the dynamics of revolutionary politics. The fact that the pogroms followed quickly on the heels of major concessions offered by the autocracy strongly suggests that they were connected to the political crisis engulfing Russia in 1905 and should therefore be examined in the context of the social, economic, and political strains threatening the stability of state and society in late Imperial Russia.

Pogrom analysis raises two especially perplexing issues, namely how to identify pogromists and their motives and how to pinpoint the specific reasons for the outbreak and timing of pogroms. While members of various social and occupational groups often engaged in acts of anti-Jewish violence and behaved out of varying motives, is it possible to determine which residents of Odessa were particularly prone to pogromist behavior in 1905 and why they figured prominently in attacks on Jews and their property? Given the long heritage of antisemitism in Odessa that included periodic outbreaks of violent attacks against Jews, why did anti-Jewish violence surface only in the aftermath of the October Manifesto and not earlier in the year during other instances of social and political unrest? The October pogrom in Odessa also underscores the importance of studying popular and official attitudes toward Jews and assessing the extent to which the pogrom was a spontaneous display of popular antisemitism or the result of a carefully planned and premeditated strategy engineered by government officials.

The October 1905 pogrom in Odessa resulted from the conjuncture of several long-term and short-term social, economic, and political factors that produced conditions in the autumn of 1905 particularly ripe for an explosion of anti-Jewish violence. Among the long-term factors were economic competition between certain categories of Gentile and Jewish workers - unskilled day laborers in particular- long-standing ethnic and religious antagonisms, the prominence of Jews in the commercial affairs of Odessa, and the mistreatment of Jews as it was manifested by the central government and local authorities in discriminatory legislation and policies. More immediate factors include the general course of political events and developments in 1905, specifically the polarization of the political spectrum into pro- and anti-government forces, the role of civilian and military officials in promoting an atmosphere conducive to a pogrom, and the visible position of Jews in the opposition movement against the autocracy. An examination of circumstances leading up to the pogrom and an analysis of the chain of events that triggered the attack on the Jews of the city underscore how the pogrom grew out of general developments in Odessa in 1905 and was an integral element in the trajectory of the revolution. The pogrom cannot be understood apart from the complex nature of social, economic, ethnic, and political life in Odessa.

Founded in the waning years of the reign of Catherine the Great, Odessa was a relatively new city that did not inhibit but rather encouraged all residents - Russians and non-Russians, foreigners and Jews --to participate actively in its economic development. Odessa was an enlightened city that tolerated diversity and innovation, welcoming persons of all nationalities who could contribute to the growth of the city. Greeks, Italians, and Jews helped set the tempo of commercial and financial life in Odessa and assumed active roles in the city's cultural and political affairs during much of the nineteenth century. Jews were especially welcome in Odessa and were exempt from many of the onerous burdens and restrictions that coreligionists in other areas of the Pale of Settlement endured.

But this tolerance did not mean that Jews in Odessa were accepted as social equals or that antisemitism did not exist in the city. Notwithstanding Odessa's well-deserved reputation as a bastion of liberal and enlightened attitudes toward its Jewish residents, the Jews of Odessa were no strangers to anti-Jewish animosity, which generally remained submerged but did assume ugly and violent forms several times before 1905. Serious pogroms in which Jews were killed and wounded and Jewish houses and businesses suffered substantial damage had occurred in 1821, 1859, 1871, 1881, and 1900. Anti-Jewish sentiment was common among Odessa's Russian population, as gangs of Jewish and Russian youths often engaged in bloody brawls. Every year at Eastertime rumors of an impending pogrom circulated through the city's Jewish community. Pogrom-mongering intensified after the turn of the century as militantly patriotic and pro-tsarist organizations emerged and engaged in Jewbaiting and other antisemitic activities.

These pogroms stemmed in part from deep-rooted anti-Jewish feelings and reflected a Judeophobia prevalent among many non-Jewish residents of the city. Such was the case in the 1821 pogrom when Greeks attacked Jews, accusing them of aiding the Turks in killing the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople. After mid-century, however, religious fanaticism and hatred sometimes mixed with social and economic factors to heighten anti-Jewish sentiments. The increasing prominence of Jews in the commercial life of the city and structural changes in the economy played no small role in fueling antisemitism and leading to its expression in pogroms.

Until the Crimean War, Greeks controlled the export of grain from Odessa, while Jews dominated the roles of middleman and expediter. With the disruption of trade routes caused by the war, many of the leading Greek commercial firms either went bankrupt or decided to pursue other, more lucrative ventures. Jewish merchants and traders, who were accustomed to operating at smaller profit margins, filled the vacuum caused by the departure of Greek merchants and assumed prominent positions in the export business in Odessa, which was overwhelmingly dependent on the grain trade. Like other ethnic and religious communities in the city, Jewish merchants gave preference in employment practices to their coreligionists. Consequently, Greeks were supplanted by Jewish workers and fell into straitened economic circumstances. These developments, along with rumors of a Jewish ritual murder in 1859 and desecration of the Greek Orthodox Church and cemetery in 1871, fanned the flames of antisemitism, driving many Greeks, sailors and dockworkers in particular, to participate in pogroms in these years.

Greeks were not the only residents of Odessa who perceived Jews as an economic threat. Russian resentment and hostility toward Jews came to the fore in the pogrom of 1871 as Russians joined Greeks in attacks on Jews. Thereafter, Russians filled the ranks of pogromist mobs in 1881, 1900, and 1905. The replacement of Greeks by Russians as pogromists reflects the decline of Greek influence in Odessa and underscores the tension and hostility that also existed between Russians and Jews in the city.

According to some Russian inhabitants, exploitation by and competition with Jews figured prominently as the causes of the 1871 pogrom. Some insisted that "the Jews exploit us," while others, especially the unemployed, blamed increased Jewish settlement in Odessa for reduced employment opportunities and lower wages. One Russian cabdriver, referring to the Jews' practice of lending money to Jewish immigrants to enable them to rent or buy a horse and cab, complained: "Several years ago there was one Jewish cabdriver for every 100 Russian cabdrivers, but since then rich Jews have given money to the poor Jews so that there are now a countless multitude of Jewish cabdrivers."

The growing visibility of Jews enhanced the predisposition of Russians to blame Jews for their difficulties. Like elsewhere in Russia and Western Europe, many non-Jews in Odessa perceived Jews as possessing an inordinate amount of wealth, power, and influence and pointed to the steady growth of the city's Jewish population during the nineteenth century - from approximately 14,000 (14 percent) in 1858 to nearly 140,000 (35 percent) in 1897 - as an indication of the Jewish ''threat.'' The increasingly prominent role played by Jews in the commercial and industrial life of the city after mid-century also contributed to resentment against Odessa's Jewish community. In the 1880s, for example, firms owned by Jews controlled 70 percent of the export trade in grain, and Jewish brokerage houses handled over half the city's entire export trade. Jewish domination of the grain trade continued to expand during the next several decades; by 1910 Jewish firms handled nearly 90 percent of the export trade in grain products. In addition to their activities as merchants, middlemen, and exporters, Jews in Odessa by century's end also occupied prominent positions in the manufacturing, banking, and retail sectors. In 1910 Jews owned slightly over half the large stores, trading firms, and small shops. Thirteen of the eighteen banks operating in Odessa had Jewish board members and directors, while at the turn of the century Jews comprised approximately half the members of the city's three merchant guilds, up from 38 percent in the mid-1880s. Jews virtually monopolized the production of starch, refined sugar, tin goods, chemicals, and wallpaper and competed with Russian and foreign entrepreneurs in the making of flour, cigarettes, beer, wine, leather, cork, and iron products. Even though Jews in 1887 owned 35 percent of all factories, these firms produced 57 percent of the total factory output (in roubles) for that year.

Despite the outstanding success of some Jews in economic pursuits, the common perception that the growing Jewish presence threatened to result in total Jewish domination had little basis in reality. The proportion of Jews in the city's population, which had risen from about a quarter to a third during the last quarter of the century, leveled out after 1897, with the percentage of Jews somewhat dropping by the eve of 1905. According to data assembled by the city governor, the number of Jews living in Odessa in 1904 was approximately 140,000, or just over 28 percent of the city's total population. The reasons for this decline are difficult to ascertain but may be due to imprecise census-taking by local officials, since other studies state that the percentage of Jews in Odessa still remained above 30 percent in 1904. Regardless of slight variations in estimates of the size of the Odessa Jewish community at the turn of the century, non-Jews continued to hold their own in the economic sphere and were in no danger of being eliminated by Jewish entrepreneurs and industrialists. According to the 1897 census, thousands of Russians and Ukrainians were engaged in commercial activities of some sort, especially the marketing of agricultural products, and comprised approximately a third of the total number of individuals listed as earning livings from trade. Moreover, on the eve of 1905 approximately half the licenses granting permission to engage in commercial and industrial pursuits were given to non-Jews, and in 1900 non-Jews owned slightly under half the large stores and trading firms and 44 percent of small shops. Forty percent of manufacturing enterprises in 1887 were owned by foreigners, with Russians owning another 25 percent. On the eve of the First World War foreigners and Russians, many of whom employed primarily Russian workers, owned the majority of enterprises under factory inspection in Odessa. Lastly, Jews in 1910 owned only 17 percent of real estate parcels in the city, down from 20 percent a decade earlier, while Gentiles controlled about half of all large commercial enterprises. The bulk of the wealth in Odessa still remained in the hands of non-Jews.

Furthermore, wealthy Jews could not enter the leisured propertied class or translate their wealth into political influence and power. Contrary to popular perceptions prevalent among non-Jews in both Odessa and throughout Russia, Odessa was not controlled by its Jewish residents. Only a handful of Odessa's Jews lived from investments in land, stocks, and bonds, and even fewer - 71 in a staff of 3,449 - worked for the imperial government, the judiciary, or the municipal administration. This was due in part to the 1892 municipal reform which made it more difficult for Jews to occupy government posts and disenfranchised Russian Jewry, who no longer enjoyed the right to elect representatives to city councils. A special office for municipal affairs was assigned the responsibility of appointing six Jewish members to the sixty-man Odessa city council.

In contrast to the wealthy and influential stratum of Jews, which never constituted more than a fraction of the total Jewish population of Odessa, the vast majority of Jews eked out meager livings as shopkeepers, second-hand dealers, salesclerks, petty traders, domestic servants, day laborers, workshop employees, and factory hands. Poverty was a way of life for most Jews in Odessa, as it undoubtedly was for most non-Jewish residents. Isidor Brodovskii, in his study of Jewish poverty in Odessa at the turn of the century, estimated that nearly 50,000 Jews were destitute and another 30,000 were poverty-stricken. In 1905 nearly 80,000 Jews requested financial assistance from the Jewish community in order to buy matzoh during Passover, a telling sign that well over half the Jews in Odessa experienced difficulties making ends meet.

Despite the disparity between popular perception and the reality of Jewish wealth and power, a reversal in Odessa's economic fortunes at the turn of the century strengthened anti-Jewish sentiments among its Russian residents. Russia entered a deep recession as the great industrial spurt of the 1890s faltered. In turn, Odessa's economy suffered a setback due to the decrease in the demand for manufactured goods, the drop in the supply of grain available for export, and the drying up of credit. Weaknesses and deficiencies in Odessa's economic infrastructure complicated matters. Conditions continued to deteriorate as the year 1905 approached, due to the outbreak of war between Russia and Japan in 1904. Trade, the mainstay of Odessa's economy, declined even further and the city's industrial sector entered a period of retrenchment.

Although anti-Jewish sentiments in Odessa usually remained submerged, many residents feared that Russian-Jewish hostilities could explode in a matter of hours given the right combination of factors. During major labor demonstrations or strikes, organizers often felt compelled to exhort workers not to direct their anger at Jews, but to present a united front of Jew and Russian against employers. More important, organizers had to allay fears among the general public that demonstrations and strikes might develop into pogroms. As one Russian worker assured the Odessa Jewish community in early 1905, Russian workers were not "wild animals ready to unleash a pogrom." The fear that strikes and demonstrations would degenerate into antisemitic violence even served to curb labor militancy. For example, the 1903 May Day rally never materialized because many potential participants, Jews and Russians alike, with the memory of the recent Kishinev pogrom fresh in their minds, feared that a march through Odessa would spark a pogrom. In fact, a group of Jewish shopkeepers and property owners, upset by workers gathering in a field to celebrate May Day, informed the police, who arrested some thirty workers. Employers also understood that religious animosities could be used to hinder worker solidarity; owners of the few enterprises with ethnically mixed labor forces sometimes encouraged Russian workers to direct their anger at Jewish coworkers. Ethnic loyalties and hatreds of Russian workers sometimes overshadowed their affinities to Jewish workers based on the common exploitation and oppression both groups experienced as wage laborers and permitted ethnic tensions to surface.

During the first half of 1905 tensions between Jews and Russians ran particularly high. Fomented in part by the popular belief that Jews were not contributing to the war effort against the Japanese, anti-Jewish hostility nearly reached a breaking point in the spring. As in previous years rumors of an impending pogrom circulated among the Jewish community during Orthodox Holy Week in April. Yet unlike the past, when Jews did not take precautions, in 1905 they mobilized.

Building upon the self-defense groups they had formed in the aftermath of the 1903 Kishinev pogrom, Odessa's Jews armed themselves and issued appeals, calling upon the non-Jewish residents of Odessa to show restraint and not engage in violence against Jews. Just before Easter the National Committee of Jewish Self-Defense distributed a series of leaflets threatening non-Jews with armed retaliation in the event of a pogrom. The committee urged all Jews to join self-defense brigades and prepare to counter any attack on Jews and their property. Men were told to arm themselves with guns, knives, clubs, and whips, and women were encouraged to prepare solutions of sulfuric acid. Bundists, Bolsheviks, and Mensheviks joined in these efforts by also reorganizing self-defense brigades established the year before and taking up collections for weapons and ammunition. Despite the circulation of pogromist literature inciting Russians to attack Jews, local officials and a Bundist correspondent concluded that rumors of a pogrom were unfounded. In fact, the Bund's correspondent wrote that " a pogromist mood was . . . unnoticeable. "

Yet fear of an impending pogrom resurfaced in June in the aftermath of a general strike and disorders occasioned by the arrival of the battleship Potemkin. On 13 June Cossacks shot several workers from metalworking and machine-construction factories who had been on strike since the beginning of May. Workers retaliated on 14 June by engaging in massive work stoppages and attacking the police with guns and rocks, but the arrival of the Potemkin that night diverted the workers from further confrontation with their employers and the government. On 15 June instead of intensifying the strike, thousands of Odessans jammed the port district in order to view the battleship and rally behind the mutinous sailors. By late afternoon some members of the crowd began to ransack warehouses and set fire to the harbor's wooden buildings. Although available sources do not allow a precise determination of the composition of the rioters, partial arrest records reveal that non-Jewish vagrants (liudi bex opredelennykh zaniatii), dockworkers, and other day laborers comprised the majority. To suppress the unrest, the military cordoned off the harbor and opened fire on the trapped crowd. By the next morning well over 1,000 people had died, victims of either the soldiers' bullets or the fire which consumed the harbor.

During these disorders rumors of an impending pogrom once again surfaced, as right-wing agitators attempted to incite Russian workers against the Jews. On 20 June, only a few days after the massacre, a virulently antisemitic, four-page broadside entitled Odesskie dni appeared. The tract blamed the Jews, in particular the National Committee of Jewish Self-Defense and secondary school students, for the recent disorders and the tragedy at the port.

Accusing the Jews of fomenting the unrest and enlisting the support of unwitting Russians, the author of the broadside stated that Jews initiated the shootings on 14 and 15 June and were responsible for setting fire to the port. The tract ended with a call to hold the Jewish community of Odessa collectively responsible for the destruction and demanded that Jews compensate Gentiles who suffered property damage and personal loss. In addition, Odesskie dni called for the disarming of all Jews and suggested a general search of all Jewish apartments in the city. Failure to carry out these proposals, the tract concluded, would make it " impossible for Christians to live in Odessa" and result in the take-over of Odessa by Jews.

While Odesskie dni did not call for acts of anti-Jewish violence, its appearance underscores the tense atmosphere existing in Odessa and highlights how in times of social unrest and political crisis ethnic hostility could come to the fore and threaten further disruption of social calm. In the week or so following the massive disorders of mid-June, scattered attacks against Jews were reported as antisemitic agitators tried to stir up Gentiles into a pogromist mood. Moreover, the belief that Jews were responsible for the June unrest was evident in the reports of some government officials. Gendarme chief Kuzubov wrote that the instigators of the disorders and arson were "exclusively Jews" and Count Aleksei Ignatiev, in his report on the disorders in Kherson and Ekaterinoslav provinces, also accused Jews of setting fire to the port but did not furnish any hard evidence or substantiation. Though no pogrom occurred in June, the sentiments expressed in both Odesskie dni and official reports indicate the emotionally charged atmosphere of Russian-Jewish relations in Odessa and the extent to which government officials, who in their search for simple explanations and unwillingness to dig deeper into the root causes of the social and political turmoil engulfing Odessa, were prepared to affix blame to the Jews.

Jews found it difficult to dispel the accusations expressed in Odesskie dni. While many reports of Jewish revolutionary activity were exaggerations or even fabrications, Jews were behind some though certainly not all - of the unrest in Odessa. During the summer the police arrested several Jews for making and stockpiling bombs. Jews also figured prominently among the 133 Social Democrats and Socialist Revolutionaries either considered politically unreliable, arrested or exiled after the June Days. In addition, a leaflet distributed throughout the city, apparently by a Bundist organization, urged Jews to arm themselves, struggle for civil and political freedom, and overthrow the autocracy. Jews also helped organize rallies at the university and direct student strikes and public demonstrations. Like others throughout the Empire, Odessa's university became the locus of anti-government activity after August when the Tsar granted administrative autonomy to Russia's universities, thereby removing these institutions from the jurisdiction of the police. Jewish youths, students, and workers filled the ranks of the crowds that attended the rallies at the university in September and October, and Jews actively participated in the wave of work stoppages, demonstrations, and street disorders that broke out in mid-October. On 16 October, a day of major disturbances, 197 of the 214 persons arrested were Jews. Moreover, Jews eagerly celebrated the political concessions granted in the October Manifesto, seeing them as the first step in the civil and political emancipation of Russian Jewry.

These events confirmed many high-ranking police and other officials in the belief that Jews were a seditious element. As we have seen, many government officials blamed Jews for the June unrest. In doing so they were following a tradition of accusing Jews for fomenting trouble in Odessa. At the turn of the century, for example, the city governor even asked the Ministry of the Interior to limit Jewish migration to Odessa in the hope that such a measure would weaken the revolutionary movement. Such attitudes, along with the legacy of discrimination against Russian Jewry and governmental tolerance and at times sponsorship of anti-Jewish organizations and propaganda, signaled to antisemites that authorities in Odessa would probably countenance violence against Jews. When combined with economic resentments and frustrations as well as timeworn religious prejudices, the perception that Jews were revolutionaries provided fertile ground for a pogrom. To those residents of Odessa alarmed by the opposition to the Tsar and government, Jews were a convenient target for retaliation.

Politics in Odessa polarized during 1905 as anti- and pro-government forces coalesced and mobilized. Militant right-wing organizations like the Black Hundreds and patriotic student groups consolidated their ranks, and radical student groups emerged as significant political forces, joining the organized revolutionary parties already active in Odessa. Indeed, the stage was set for confrontation between the forces of revolution and reaction and the pogrom occurred in the context of this unrest and Odessa's feverish atmosphere. During the week before the October pogrom, public calm was disturbed by bloody confrontations pitting the populace against soldiers and police. The crucial question is why this unrest degenerated into one of the worst anti-Jewish progroms ever experienced in imperial Russia.

On 15 October, a day after the police injured several high school students who were boycotting classes in sympathy with striking railway workers, radical students and revolutionaries appealed to workers to start a general strike. They collected donations for guns and ammunition and representatives of the city's three Social Democratic organizations visited factories and workshops. Reports also circulated that students and revolutionaries were forming armed militias. On 16 October students, youths, and workers roamed the streets of Odessa, building barricades and engaging the police and military in pitched battles. The troops summoned to suppress the demonstrations encountered fierce resistance, as demonstrators behind the barricades greeted them with rocks and gunfire. Military patrols were also targets of snipers. The troops retaliated by opening fire, and by early evening, the army had secured the streets of Odessa. The police disarmed and arrested scores of demonstrators, systematically bludgeoning some into unconsciousness.

The 17th of October passed without any public disturbances or confrontations, but life did not return to normal. The military continued to patrol the city, schools and many stores remained closed and, even though not all workers responded to the appeal for a general strike, at least 4,000 workers - many of whom were Jewish - walked off their jobs either voluntarily or after receiving threats from other workers already on strike. Groups of workers congregated outside stores that opened for business, singing songs, and drinking vodka. At the university, professors and students, along with representatives of revolutionary parties, redoubled efforts to form armed militias.

The storm broke on 18 October. News of the October Manifesto had reached Odessa officials the previous evening, and by the next morning, thousands of people thronged the streets to celebrate. As one university student exclaimed, "a joyous crowd appeared in the streets - people greeted each other as if it were a holiday." Jews, hoping that the concessions would lead to the end of all legal disabilities against them, were joined by non-Jews in vigorously and enthusiastically celebrating the granting of civil and political liberties.

At first the crowds were peaceful, but the quiet did not last long. Soon after the demonstrations began, several individuals began to unfurl red flags and banners with anti-government slogans. Others shouted slogans like " Down with the Autocracy," " Long Live Freedom " and " Down with the Police." Apartment dwellers draped red carpets and shawls from their balconies and windows, while groups of arrogant demonstrators forced passersby to doff their hats or bow before the flags. In the city council building, demonstrators ripped down the portrait of the Tsar, substituted a red flag for the imperial colors and collected money for weapons. The city governor also reported that one group of demonstrators tied portraits of Nicholas II to the tails of dogs and then released them to run through the city. The mood of the demonstrators grew more violent as the day wore on. Groups of celebrants - primarily Jewish youths according to official accounts - viciously attacked and disarmed policemen. By mid-afternoon the office of the civil governor had received reports that two policemen had been killed, ten wounded and twenty-two disarmed, and that many others had abandoned their posts in order to avoid possible injury.

The clashes were not limited to attacks on policemen by angry demonstrators. Toward the end of the day tensions between those Odessans who heralded the Manifesto and those who disapproved of the concessions granted by Nicholas had reached a breaking point. Angered over being forced to doff their caps and outraged by the sight of desecrated portraits of the Tsar, supporters of the monarchy gave vent to their anger and frustration. They demonstrated their hostility not by attacking other Russians celebrating in the streets, but by turning on Jews, for they viewed them as the source of Russia's current problems. Clashes occurred throughout the day as groups of armed demonstrators, chiefly Jewish students and workers, scuffled with bands of Russians. These outbreaks of violence marked the beginning of the infamous pogrom and were the culmination of trends that had been unfolding in the city for several weeks.

Armed confrontations between Jews and Russians originated near the Jewish district of Moldavanka in the afternoon and early evening of 18 October. The clashes apparently started when a group of Jews carrying red flags to celebrate the October Manifesto attempted to convince a group of Russian workers to doff their caps to the flags. Harsh words were exchanged, a scuffle ensued and then shots rang out. Both groups scattered, but quickly reassembled in nearby streets and resumed fighting. The clashes soon turned into an anti-Jewish riot, as Russians indiscriminately attacked Jews and began to vandalize and loot Jewish homes, apartments, and stores in the neighborhood. The rioters also turned on policemen and troops summoned to quell the disorders, actions suggesting that pogromists were not yet fully focused on Jews in their attacks. The military on October 18 was equally vigilant in its efforts to restrain both Russian and Jewish rioters, vigorously suppressing these disturbances and restoring order by early evening. Four Russians were killed, dozens of Russians wounded - including policemen - and twelve Russians arrested as a result of the unrest. The number of Jews who were injured or arrested is unknown.

The pogrom began in full force the next day, 19 October. In the mid-morning hundreds of Russians - children, women, and men - gathered in various parts of the city for patriotic marches to display their loyalty to the Tsar. Day laborers, especially those employed at the docks, comprised a major element of the crowd that assembled at the harbor and were joined by Russian factory and construction workers, shopkeepers, salesclerks, workshop employees, other day laborers, and vagrants.

These patriotic processions had the earmarks of a rally organized by extreme, right-wing political organizations like the Black Hundreds. The main contingent of marchers assembled at Customs Square at the harbor, where the procession's organizers distributed flags, icons and portraits of the Tsar. The marchers passed around bottles of vodka, and plainclothes policemen reportedly handed out not only vodka but also money and guns.' Onlookers and passersby joined the procession as the demonstrators made their way from the port to the city center. Singing the national anthem and religious hymns and, according to some reports, shouting "Down with the Jews" and "It's necessary to beat them," they stopped at the city council building and substituted the imperial colors for the red flag that demonstrators had raised the previous day. They then headed toward the cathedral located in central Odessa, stopping en route at the residences of Neidhardt and Baron Aleksandr Kaulbars, Commander of the Odessa Military District. Kaulbars, fearing confrontation between the patriotic marchers and left-wing students and revolutionaries, asked them to disperse. Some heeded his request, but most members of the procession continued their march. Neidhardt, on the other hand, greeted the patriots enthusiastically and urged them to hold their memorial service at the cathedral. After a brief prayer service, the procession continued to march through the streets of central Odessa.

Suddenly, shots rang out and a young boy carrying an icon lay dead. Most accounts of the incident assert that the shots came from surrounding buildings, probably from the offices of luzhnoe obozrenie. No one knows for certain who fired first, but evidence strongly suggests that revolutionaries or members of Jewish and student self-defense brigades were responsible. In any case, the crowd panicked and ran through the streets as more shots were fired from rooftops, balconies, and apartment windows, prompting some to plead for police protection. Revolutionaries and self-defense units organized by students and Jews threw homemade bombs at the Russian demonstrators. These actions suggest that they, along with pro-government forces, were itchy for confrontation and ready to instigate trouble. The shootings triggered a chain reaction: convinced that Jews were responsible for the shootings, members of the patriotic demonstration began to shout "Beat the Yids" and "Death to the Yids" and went on a rampage, attacking Jews and destroying Jewish apartments, homes, and stores.

The course of events was similar in other parts of the city, as members of student and Jewish self-defense units fired on other Russians holding patriotic services and provoked similar pogromist responses. However, in Peresyp, a heavily Russian working-class district where no patriotic procession took place, the pogrom started only after pogromists from the city center arrived and began to incite local residents. By mid-afternoon a full-fledged pogrom had developed, and it raged until 22 October.

The lurid details of the pogrom can be found in several eyewitness and secondary accounts. Although the list of atrocities perpetrated against the Jews is too long to recount here, suffice it to say that pogromists brutally and indiscriminately beat, mutilated, and murdered defenseless Jewish men, women, and children. They hurled Jews out of windows, raped and cut open the stomachs of pregnant women, and slaughtered infants in front of their parents. In one particularly gruesome incident, pogromists hung a woman upside down by her legs and arranged the bodies of her six dead children on the floor below.

The pogrom's unrestrained violent and destructive excesses were
in large measure made possible by the failure of authorities to adopt any countermeasures. Low-ranking policemen and soldiers failed to interfere with the pogromists and in many instances participated in the looting and killing. At times, policemen, seeking to avenge the attacks of 16 and 18 October on their colleagues, went so far as to provide protection for pogromists by firing on the self-defense units formed by Jews, students, and revolutionaries. For their part, soldiers, concluding from the actions of the police that the pogrom was sanctioned by higher authorities, stood idly by while pogromists looted stores and murdered unarmed Jews. Some policemen discharged their weapons into the air and told rioters that the shots had come from apartments inhabited by Jews, leaving the latter vulnerable to vicious beatings and murder. Eyewitnesses also reported seeing policemen directing pogromists to Jewish-owned stores or Jews' apartments, while steering the rioters away from the property of non-Jews. As the correspondent for Collier's reported, " Ikons and crosses were placed in windows and hung outside doors to mark the residences of the Russians, and in almost every case this was a sufficient protection." Indeed, Odesskii pogrom i samooborona, an emotional account of the October tragedy published by Labor Zionists in Paris, argues that the police more than any other group in Odessa were responsible for the deaths and pillage.

The evidence indicates that policemen acted (or failed to act) with the knowledge and tacit approval of their superiors. Neither Neidhardt nor Kaulbars took any decisive action to suppress the pogrom when disorders erupted. In fact, the head of the Odessa gendarmes admitted that the military did not apply sufficient energy to end the pogrom and stated that pogromists greeted soldiers and policemen with shouts of " Hurrah " and then continued their rampage and pillage without interference. It was not until 21 October that Kaulbars publicly announced that his troops were under orders to shoot at pogromists as well as self-defensists. Until then soldiers and police had shot only at self-defensists. Whether the 21 October directive ordering troops to shoot at pogromists helped to restore order is unclear. While it is difficult to discount entirely the effect of the directive, particularly since the pogrom petered out the next day, it bears noting that the return to calm may have been due more to the exhaustion of the pogromist mobs than to any military directive and action. Yet it is also important to stress that when the military did act to stop public disorders, as they did on 18 October and again on 21 and 22 October, pogromists generally did desist and disperse. Considering that the pogrom ended on 22 October, one cannot help but conclude that more immediate and effective action by the military could have prevented the pogrom from assuming such monstrous dimensions.

Kaulbars, defending his inaction before a delegation of city councillors on 22 October, stated that he could not take more decisive measures since Neidhardt had not made a formal determination that armed force be used to stem the disorders. Relevant regulations permitted civil authorities to request the assistance of military units when the police concluded that they were unable to maintain control; the prerogative to determine whether force should be employed resided with the city governor, but once he made such a decision, then the military commander assumed independent control until the end of operations. Thus, Kaulbars believed that he lacked authorization to deploy his troops against the pogroms since Neidhardt had not followed procedure, a conclusion also reached by Senator Aleksandr Kuzminskii, head of the official government inquiry into the pogrom.

Kaulbars discounted reports that his troops were participating in the disorders, terming them unfounded and unsubstantiated rumors. He issued his directive only after Neidhardt visited him on 20 October and reiterated a request made on 19 October to adopt measures to prevent the outbreak of a pogrom. More importantly, the fact that the 21 October order was signed by chief-of-staff Lieutenant-General Bezradetskii and only issued by Kaulbars's office strongly suggests that the military commander was compelled by his superiors to suppress the pogrom. Neidhardt and Kaulbars defended their individual actions (or inactions) and bitterly accused each other of dereliction of duty, claiming the other was responsible for maintaining order. The sad truth of the matter is that police and troops were in a position to act but failed to due to the absence of instructions, rendering irrelevant the claims of Neidhardt and Kaulbars that the other possessed authority to suppress the pogrom. Consequently, pogromists enjoyed almost two full days of unrestrained destruction.

Senator Kuzminskii castigated the city governor for withdrawing all police from their posts in the early afternoon on 18 October, an action he believed to warrant criminal investigation. The reasons for Neidhardt's action are unclear, since his reports are contradictory and conflict with accounts of other informed police officials and civilian leaders. Neidhardt claimed that he was seeking to protect the lives of policemen who were subject to attack by celebrants of the Manifesto, but close examination of the testimony indicates that the bulk of attacks on policemen occurred after they were removed from their posts. Indeed, many had abandoned their posts before trouble erupted. Nonetheless, the possibility remains that the city governor was acting to protect his men, since several of them had been victimized prior to his directive. Having removed policemen from their posts, Neidhardt instructed them to patrol the city in groups. Strong evidence also suggests that Neidhardt tacitly approved the student militias and hoped they could maintain order in Odessa in the absence of the police. Kuzminskii concluded that Neidhardt was guilty of dereliction of duty because he had left Odessa defenseless by not ordering the police patrols to take vigorous action to prevent trouble and suppress the disorders. The absence of police ready to maintain law and order on 18 and 19 October made for an explosive situation, signifying the surrender of the city to armed bands of pogromists and self-defensists.

Both Neidhardt and Kaulbars defended the behavior of the police and military. Referring to the intensity of the shooting and bombing, the city governor and military commander argued that attacks by student and Jewish militias hampered efforts of policemen and soldiers to contain the pogrom. They also accused self-defense brigades of shooting not only at pogromists, but also at police, soldiers, and Cossacks. The police and military, according to Neidhardt and Kaulbars, had to contend first with the self-defense groups before turning their attention to the pogromists. Konstantin Prisnenko, commander of an infantry brigade, supported Neidhardt and Kaulbars when he told Kuzminskii that "it was hard to stop pogromshchiki because the soldiers were diverted by revolutionaries who were shooting at them."

The police and military undoubtedly were targets of civilian militias and were rightly concerned about their safety and security. Yet as the pogrom gathered momentum, one can hardly blame members of self-defense brigades for shooting at soldiers and policemen, for many of them were actively participating in the violence. Moreover, Neidhardt and Kaulbars acted as though civilian militias were the only groups involved in the violence, conveniently ignoring how the actions of policemen and soldiers after the pogrom began were provocative and might compel Jews to defend themselves. Despite Neidhardt's 19 October request to Kaulbars to help forestall disorders, it was not until the pogrom was in full swing that any official made an effort to stop it. Neither Neidhardt nor Kaulbars gave immediate orders to their staffs to subdue pogromists and restore order. Had the police and military genuinely applied their energies to halting the pogrom, the need for self-defense would have been reduced and attacks on soldiers and policemen would have dropped accordingly. The explanations offered by Neidhardt and Kaulbars were self-serving attempts to shift the blame for the failure of the police and military to perform their basic law enforcement functions to the victims of the pogrom.

How then are we to explain the outbreak of the pogrom? Was any one individual or group responsible for conceiving and directing the pogrom or was the orgy of violence against Jews spontaneous in origin and execution? Like many government officials, Kuzminskii concluded that the Odessa pogrom was a spontaneous display of outrage against the Jews whose political activity had elicited the pogromist response. Despite his criticism of Neidhardt, Kuzminskii joined the city governor, Kaulbars, and other authorities in Odessa in blaming the pogrom on its victims, since the Jews played a visible role in the revolutionary movement and events of 1905. Such tortuous reasoning dated back to the 1880s when government apologists seeking to explain the pogroms of 1881 argued that Jews, not pogromists, bore responsibility for anti-Jewish violence. Unlike previous pogroms, which Kuzminskii attributed to national hatred and economic exploitation, the October disorders occurred as a result of the scandalous public behavior of Odessa's Jews, especially after the announcement of the October Manifesto. Okhrana chief Bobrov, for example, concluded that Jews were responsible for provoking pogromist attacks because they were spearheading a revolutionary attack on the autocracy in an effort to establish their "own tsardom." For government officials, then, patriotic Russians were justified in seeking punishment of Jews for such treasonous behavior as desecrating portraits of the Tsar and forcing bystanders to pay tribute to revolutionary flags. They could also point to the stockpiling of weapons and medical supplies at the university and the organization of student militias in the days immediately before the issuance of the October Manifesto as evidence of a revolutionary conspiracy to overthrow the government. Fears that Jews were prepared to use the concessions of the manifesto as a springboard for the subjugation of non-Jews created a situation fraught with frightening prospects. Kuzminskii defined the pogrom as an offshoot of the patriotic procession and blamed its excesses on the failure of Neidhardt to adopt adequate countermeasures.

The legacy of discrimination against Russian Jewry and governmental tolerance and at times sponsorship of anti-Jewish organizations and propaganda provided fertile ground for a pogrom. When combined with economic resentments and frustrations, timeworn religious prejudices and the political polarization of Odessa society during 1905, the belief that Jews were revolutionaries and fears that they were prepared to use the concessions of the manifesto as a springboard for the subjugation of non-Jews helped to create a situation fraught with frightening prospects. To those residents of Odessa alarmed by the opposition to the Tsar and government, Jews were a convenient and obvious target for retaliation.

It is questionable, however, whether the pogrom was purely spontaneous. Even though the work of Hans Rogger and Heinz Dietrich Lowe has done much to absolve many high-ranking government ministers and officials in St. Petersburg of engineering the pogroms and giving a signal to mark their start, the culpability of certain local officials is less easy to dismiss. The standard view of the Odessa pogrom places much of the blame on the encouragement and connivance of local officials, though not all the sources agree on whether the police and military actually planned the pogrom. Many contemporaries blamed civilian and military authorities, especially Neidhardt, for fostering a pogromist atmosphere and not taking measures to suppress the pogrom. Members of the city council and the newspaper Odesskie novosti, for example, placed full responsibility for the bloodletting on Neidhardt by stressing that his decision to remove the police from their posts gave free reign to pogromists, and Khronika evreiskoi zhizni called for a judicial investigation in order to reveal the city governor's "criminal responsibility.''

Stanislav said...

but real power to a hereditary monarch is far more likely to look like the bottom of the barrel of the House of Saud than the cream of the crop of the house of Romanov.

hardly, especially if one studies the history of elected presidents and the various wars of profit, power and genocide they have ran...