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Pluenderung der Judengasse 1614.png
Plundering the Judengasse, a Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt, on 22 August 1614
TargetPredominantly Jews

A pogrom is a violent riot which is aimed at the massacre or expulsion of an ethnic or religious group, particularly Jews.[1] The Slavic term originally entered the English language as a descriptive term for 19th- and 20th-century attacks on Jews which occurred in the Russian Empire (mostly within the Pale of Settlement). Similar attacks against Jews which also occurred at other times and places retrospectively became known as pogroms.[2] Sometimes the word is used to describe publicly sanctioned purgative attacks against non-Jewish ethnic or religious groups. The characteristics of a pogrom vary widely, depending on the specific incident, at times leading to, or culminating in, massacres.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Significant pogroms in the Russian Empire included the Odessa pogroms, Warsaw pogrom (1881), Kishinev pogrom (1903), Kiev Pogrom (1905), and Białystok pogrom (1906). After the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, several pogroms occurred amidst the power struggles in Eastern Europe, including the Lwów pogrom (1918) and Kiev Pogroms (1919).

The most significant pogrom which occurred in Nazi Germany was the 1938 Kristallnacht. At least 91 Jews were killed, a further thirty thousand arrested and subsequently incarcerated in concentration camps,[10] a thousand synagogues burned, and over seven thousand Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged.[11][12] Notorious pogroms of World War II included the 1941 Farhud in Iraq, the July 1941 Iași pogrom in Romania – in which over 13,200 Jews were killed – as well as the Jedwabne pogrom in German-occupied Poland. Post-World War II pogroms included the 1945 Tripoli pogrom, the 1946 Kielce pogrom and the 1947 Aleppo pogrom.


First recorded in English in 1882, the Russian word pogrom (погро́м, pronounced [pɐˈgrom]) is derived from the common prefix po- (по-) and the verb gromit' (громи́ть, [grɐˈmʲitʲ]) meaning "to destroy, to wreak havoc, to demolish violently". The noun pogrom, which has a relatively short history, is used in English and many other languages as a loanword, possibly borrowed from Yiddish (where the word takes the form פאָגראָם).[13] Its widespread circulation in today's world began with the antisemitic violence in the Russian Empire in 1881–1883.[14]

The Hep-Hep riots in Frankfurt, 1819. On the left, two peasant women are assaulting a Jewish man with pitchfork and broom. On the right, a man wearing spectacles, tails and a six-button waistcoat, "perhaps a pharmacist or a schoolteacher,"[15] holds a Jewish man by the throat and is about to club him with a truncheon. The houses are being looted. A contemporary engraving by Johann Michael Voltz.

Historical background[edit]

The first recorded anti-Jewish riots took place in Alexandria in the year 38 CE, followed by the more known riot of 66 CE. Other notable events took place in Europe during the Middle Ages. Jewish communities were targeted in the Black Death Jewish persecutions of 1348–1350, in Toulon in 1348, the Massacre of 1391 in Barcelona as well as in other Catalan cities,[16] during the Erfurt massacre (1349), the Basel massacre, massacres in Aragon and in Flanders,[17][18] as well as the "Valentine's Day" Strasbourg pogrom of 1349.[19] Some 510 Jewish communities were destroyed during this period,[20] extending further to the Brussels massacre of 1370. On Holy Saturday of 1389, a pogrom began in Prague that led to the burning of the Jewish quarter, the killing of many Jews, and the suicide of many Jews trapped in the main synagogue; the number of dead was estimated at 400–500 men, women and children.[21]

The brutal murders of Jews and Poles occurred during the Khmelnytsky Uprising of 1648–1657 in present-day Ukraine.[22] Modern historians give estimates of the scale of the murders by Khmelnytsky's Cossacks ranging between 40,000 and 100,000 men, women and children,[23][24] or perhaps many more.[25]

The outbreak of violence against Jews (Hep-Hep riots) occurred at the beginning of the 19th century in reaction to Jewish emancipation in the German Confederation.[26]

Russian Empire[edit]

Victims of a pogrom in Kishinev, Bessarabia, 1903

The Russian Empire, which previously had very few Jews, acquired territories in the Russian Partition that contained large Jewish populations, during the military partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795.[27] In conquered territories, a new political entity called the Pale of Settlement was formed in 1791 by Catherine the Great. Most Jews from the former Commonwealth were allowed to reside only within the Pale, including families expelled by royal decree from St. Petersburg, Moscow and other large Russian cities.[28] The 1821 Odessa pogroms marked the beginning of the 19th century pogroms in Tsarist Russia; there were four more such pogroms in Odessa before the end of the century. Following the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 by Narodnaya Volya – blamed on the Jews by the Russian government, anti-Jewish events turned into a wave of over 200 pogroms by their modern definition, which lasted for several years.[29][30] Jewish self-governing Kehillah were abolished by Tsar Nicholas I in 1844.[31]

The first in 20th-century Russia was the Kishinev pogrom of 1903 in which 49 Jews were killed, hundreds wounded, 700 homes destroyed and 600 businesses pillaged.[32] In the same year, pogroms took place in Gomel (Belarus), Smela, Feodosiya and Melitopol (Ukraine). Extreme savagery was typified by mutilations of the wounded.[33] They were followed by the Zhitomir pogrom (with 29 killed),[34] and the Kiev pogrom of October 1905 resulting in a massacre of approximately 100 Jews.[35] In three years between 1903 and 1906, about 660 pogroms were recorded in Ukraine and Bessarabia; half a dozen more in Belorussia, carried out with the Russian government's complicity, but no anti-Jewish pogroms were recorded in Poland.[33] At about that time, the Jewish Labor Bund began organizing armed self-defense units ready to shoot back, and the pogroms subsided for a number of years.[35] According to professor Colin Tatz, between 1881 and 1920 there were 1,326 pogroms in Ukraine (see: Southwestern Krai parts of the Pale) which took the lives of 70,000 to 250,000 civilian Jews, leaving half a million homeless.[36][37] This violence across Eastern Europe prompted a wave of Jewish migration westward that totaled about 2.5 million people.[38]

Eastern Europe after World War I[edit]

Map of pogroms in Ukraine between 1918 and 1920 per casualties

Large-scale pogroms, which began in the Russian Empire several decades earlier, intensified during the period of the Russian Civil War in the aftermath of World War I. Professor Zvi Gitelman (A Century of Ambivalence) estimated that only in 1918–1919 over 1,200 pogroms took place in Ukraine, thus amounting to the greatest slaughter of Jews in Eastern Europe since 1648.[39]

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book Two Hundred Years Together provided additional statistics from research conducted by Nahum Gergel (1887–1931). Gergel counted 1,236 incidents of anti-Jewish violence and estimated that 887 mass pogroms occurred, the remainder being classified as "excesses" not assuming mass proportions.[37][40] The Kiev pogroms of 1919, according to Gitelman, were the first of a subsequent wave of pogroms in which between 30,000 and 70,000 Jews were massacred across Ukraine.[41][42] Of all the pogroms accounted for in Gergel's research:

  • About 40 percent were perpetrated by the Ukrainian People's Republic forces led by Symon Petliura. The Republic issued orders condemning pogroms,[43] but lacked authority to intervene.[43] After May 1919 the Directory lost its role as a credible governing body; almost 75 percent of pogroms occurred between May and September of that year.[44] Thousands of Jews were killed only for being Jewish, without any political affiliations.[37]
  • 25 percent by the Ukrainian Green Army and various Ukrainian nationalist gangs,
  • 17 percent by the White Army, especially the forces of Anton Denikin,
  • 8.5 percent of Gergel's total was attributed to pogroms carried out by men of the Red Army (more specifically Semyon Budenny's First Cavalry, most of whose soldiers had previously served under Denikin).[40] These pogroms were not, however, sanctioned by the Bolshevik leadership; the high command "vigorously condemned these pogroms and disarmed the guilty regiments", and the pogroms would soon be condemned by Mikhail Kalinin in a speech made at a military parade in Ukraine.[40][45]

Gergel's overall figures, which are generally considered conservative, are based on the testimony of witnesses and newspaper reports collected by the Mizrakh-Yidish Historiche Arkhiv which was first based in Kiev, then Berlin and later New York. The English version of Gergel's article was published in 1951 in the YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science titled "The Pogroms in the Ukraine in 1918–1921."[46]

On 8 August 1919, during the Polish–Soviet War, Polish troops took over Minsk in Operation Minsk. They killed 31 Jews merely suspected of supporting the Bolshevist movement, beat and attacked many more, looted 377 Jewish-owned shops (aided by the local civilians) and ransacked many private homes.[47][48] The "Morgenthau's report of October 1919 stated that there is no question that some of the Jewish leaders exaggerated these evils."[49][50] According to Elissa Bemporad, the "violence endured by the Jewish population under the Poles encouraged popular support for the Red Army, as Jewish public opinion welcomed the establishment of the Belorussian SSR."[51]

After the First World War, during the localized armed conflicts of independence, 72 Jews were killed and 443 injured in the 1918 Lwów pogrom.[52][53][54][55][56] The following year, pogroms were reported by the New York Tribune in several cities in the newly established Second Polish Republic.[57]

Rest of the world[edit]

A massacre of Armenians and Assyrians in the city of Adana, Ottoman Empire, April 1909

In the early 20th century, pogroms broke out elsewhere in the world as well. In 1904 in Ireland, the Limerick boycott caused several Jewish families to leave the town. During the 1911 Tredegar riot in Wales, Jewish homes and businesses were looted and burned over a period of a week, before the British Army was called in by the then-Home Secretary Winston Churchill, who described the riot as a "pogrom".[58] In 1919 there was a pogrom in Argentina, during the Tragic Week.[59]

In the north of Ireland during the early 1920s, violent riots which were aimed at the expulsion of a religious group took place. On 21 July 1920 in Belfast, Protestant Loyalists marched on the Harland and Wolff shipyards and forced over 11,000 Catholic and left-wing Protestant workers from their jobs.[60] The sectarian rioting that followed resulted in about 20 deaths in just three days.[61] These sectarian actions are often referred to as the Belfast Pogrom. By the end of the first six months of 1922, hundreds of people had been killed in sectarian violence in newly formed Northern Ireland. On a per capita basis, four Roman Catholics were killed for every one Protestant.[62]

In Mandatory Palestine under British administration, Jews were targeted in the 1929 Hebron massacre and the 1929 Safed pogrom. In 1934 there were pogroms against Jews in Turkey and Algeria.

Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe[edit]

Iași pogrom in Romania, June 1941

The first pogrom in Nazi Germany was the Kristallnacht, often called Pogromnacht, in which at least 91 Jews were killed, a further 30,000 arrested and incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps,[10] over 1,000 synagogues burned, and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged.[11][12]

During World War II, Nazi German death squads encouraged local populations in German-occupied Europe to commit pogroms against Jews. Brand new battalions of Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz (trained by SD agents) were mobilized from among the German minorities.[63][64]

A large number of pogroms occurred during the Holocaust at the hands of non-Germans.[65] Perhaps the deadliest of these Holocaust-era pogroms was the Iași pogrom in Romania, perpetrated by Ion Antonescu, in which as many as 13,266 Jews were killed by Romanian citizens, police and military officials.[66]

On 1–2 June 1941, in the two-day Farhud pogrom in Iraq, perpetrated by Rashid Ali, Yunis al-Sabawi, and the al-Futuwa youth, "rioters murdered between 150 and 180 Jews, injured 600 others, and raped an undetermined number of women. They also looted some 1,500 stores and homes".[67][68] Also 300-400 non-Jewish rioters were killed in the attempt to quell the violence.[69]

Jewish woman chased by men and youth armed with clubs during the Lviv pogroms, July 1941

In June–July 1941, encouraged by the Einsatzgruppen in the city of Lviv the Ukrainian People's Militia perpetrated two citywide pogroms in which around 6,000 Polish Jews were murdered,[70] in retribution for alleged collaboration with the Soviet NKVD. In Lithuania, some local police led by Algirdas Klimaitis and Lithuanian partisans – consisting of LAF units reinforced by 3,600 deserters from the 29th Lithuanian Territorial Corps of the Red Army[71] promulgated anti-Jewish pogroms in Kaunas along with occupying Nazis. On 25–26 June 1941, about 3,800 Jews were killed and synagogues and Jewish settlements burned.[72]

During the Jedwabne pogrom of July 1941, ethnic Poles burned at least 340 Jews in a barn (Institute of National Remembrance) in the presence of Nazi German Ordnungspolizei. The role of the German Einsatzgruppe B remains the subject of debate.[73][74][75][76][77][78]

After World War II[edit]

After the end of World War II, a series of violent antisemitic incidents occurred against returning Jews throughout Europe, particularly in the Soviet-occupied East where Nazi propagandists had extensively promoted the notion of a Jewish-Communist conspiracy (see Anti-Jewish violence in Poland, 1944–1946 and Anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Europe, 1944–1946). Anti-Jewish riots also took place in Britain in 1947.

In the Arab world, anti-Jewish rioters killed over 140 Jews in the 1945 Anti-Jewish Riots in Tripolitania. Following the start of the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, a number of anti-Jewish events occurred throughout the Arab world, some of which have been described as pogroms. In 1947, half of Aleppo's 10,000 Jews left the city in the wake of the Aleppo riots, while other anti-Jewish riots took place in British Aden and the French Moroccan cities of Oujda and Jerada.[79]


An early reference to a "pogrom" in The Times, December 1903. Together with the New York Times and the Hearst press, they took the lead in highlighting the pogrom in Kishinev (now Chişinău, Moldova) and other cities in Russia.[80] In May of the same year, The Times' Russian correspondent Dudley Disraeli Braham had been expelled from Russia.[81]

According to Encyclopædia Britannica, "the term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, [and] the first extensive pogroms followed the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881",[1] and the Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789 states that pogroms "were antisemitic disturbances that periodically occurred within the tsarist empire."[3] However, the term is widely used to refer to many events which occurred prior to the Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire. Historian of Russian Jewry John Klier writes in Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881–1882 that "By the twentieth century, the word 'pogrom' had become a generic term in English for all forms of collective violence directed against Jews."[4] Abramson wrote that "in mainstream usage the word has come to imply an act of antisemitism", since while "Jews have not been the only group to suffer under this phenomenon ... historically Jews have been frequent victims of such violence."[82]

The 1921 Tulsa race massacre, which destroyed the wealthiest black community in the United States, has been described as a pogrom.[83]

The term is also used in reference to attacks on non-Jewish ethnic minorities, and accordingly some scholars do not include antisemitism as the defining characteristic of pogroms. Reviewing its uses in scholarly literature, historian Werner Bergmann proposes that a pogrom should be "defined as a unilateral, nongovernmental form of collective violence that is initiated by the majority population against a largely defenseless minority ethnic group, and he also states that pogroms occur when the majority expects the state to provide it with no assistance in overcoming a (perceived) threat from the minority,"[5] but he adds that in Western usage, the word's "anti-Semitic overtones" have been retained.[14] Historian David Engel supports this view, writing 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 states that the majority of the incidents which are "habitually" described as pogroms took place in societies that were significantly divided by ethnicity and/or religion where the violence was committed by members of the higher-ranking group against members of a stereotyped lower-ranking group with which they expressed some complaint, and the members of the higher-ranking group justified their acts of violence by claiming that the law of the land would not be used to stop them.[6]

There is no universally accepted set of characteristics which define the term pogrom.[6][84] 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."[4] Use of the term pogrom to refer to events in 1918–19 in Polish cities including Kielce pogrom, Pinsk massacre and Lwów pogrom, was specifically avoided in the 1919 Morgenthau Report and the word "excesses" was used instead because the authors argued that the use of the term "pogrom" required a situation to be antisemitic rather than political in nature, which meant that it was inapplicable to the conditions which exist in a war zone,[6][85][86] and media use of the term pogrom to refer to the 1991 Crown Heights riot caused public controversy.[87][88][89] In 2008, two separate attacks in the West Bank by Israeli Jewish settlers on Palestinian Arabs were characterized as pogroms by then Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert.[90][91]

Werner Bergmann suggests that all such incidents have a particularly unifying characteristic: "[b]y the collective attribution of a threat, the pogrom differs from other forms of violence, such as lynchings, which are directed at individual members of a minority group, while the imbalance of power in favor of the rioters distinguishes pogroms from other forms of riots (food riots, race riots or 'communal riots' between evenly matched groups); and again, the low level of organization separates them from vigilantism, terrorism, massacre and genocide".[92]

Selected list[edit]

This is a partial list of events for which one of the commonly accepted names includes the word "pogrom".

Date Pogrom name Alternative name(s) Deaths Description
38 Alexandrian pogrom (name disputed)[a] Alexandrian riots Aulus Avilius Flaccus, the Egyptian prefect of Alexandria appointed by Tiberius in 32 CE, may have encouraged the outbreak of violence; Philo wrote that Flaccus was later arrested and eventually executed for his part in this event. Scholarly research around the subject has been divided on certain points, including whether the Alexandrian Jews fought to keep their citizenship or to acquire it, whether they evaded the payment of the poll-tax or prevented any attempts to impose it on them, and whether they were safeguarding their identity against the Greeks or against the Egyptians.
1066 Granada pogrom 1066 Granada massacre 4,000 Jews A mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, which was at that time in Muslim-ruled al-Andalus, assassinated the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred much of the Jewish population of the city.
1096 1096 pogroms Rhineland massacres 2,000 Jews Peasant crusaders from France and Germany during the People's Crusade, led by Peter the Hermit (and not sanctioned by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church), attacked Jewish communities in the three towns of Speyer, Worms and Mainz.
1113 Kiev pogrom (name disputed)[b] Kiev revolt Rebellion sparked by the death of the Grand Prince of Kiev, in which Jews connected to the prince's economic affairs were among the victims
1349 Strasbourg pogrom Strasbourg massacre
1391 1391 pogroms The Massacre of 1391 Series of massacres and forced conversions beginning June 4, 1391 in the city of Seville before extending to the rest of Castile and the Crown of Aragon. It is considered one of the Middle Ages' largest attacks on the Jews, and were ultimately expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492.
1506 Lisbon pogrom Lisbon massacre 1,000+ New Christians After an episode of famine and bad harvests, a pogrom happened in Lisbon, Portugal,[97] in which more than 1,000 "New Christian" (forcibly converted Jews) people were slaughtered and/or burnt by an angry Christian mob, in the first night of what became known as the "Lisbon Massacre". The killing occurred from 19 to 21 April, almost eliminating the entire Jewish or Jewish-descended community in that city. Even the Portuguese military and the king himself had difficulty stopping it. Today the event is remembered with a monument in S. Domingos' church.
1563 Polotsk pogrom (name disputed)[c] Polotsk drownings Following the fall of Polotsk to the army of Ivan IV, all those who refused to convert to Orthodox Christianity were ordered drowned in the Western Dvina river.
1821–1871 First Odessa pogroms The Greeks of Odessa attacked the local Jewish community, in what began as economic disputes
1881–1884 First Russian Tsarist pogroms A large-scale wave of anti-Jewish riots swept through south-western Imperial Russia (present-day Ukraine and Poland) from 1881 to 1884 (in that period over 200 anti-Jewish events occurred in the Russian Empire, notably the Kiev, Warsaw and Odessa pogroms)
1881 Warsaw pogrom 2 Jews killed, 24 injured Three days of rioting against Jews, Jewish stores, businesses, and residences in the streets adjoining the Holy Cross Church.
1885 Rock Springs Massacre Anti-Chinese Pogrom At least 28 immigrant Chinese miners (some sources indicate as many as 40 to 50 died) The riot, and resulting massacre of immigrant Chinese miners by white immigrant miners, was the result of racial prejudice toward the Chinese miners, who were perceived to be taking jobs from the white miners. This occurred on September 2, 1885, in the present-day United States city of Rock Springs in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Rioters burned 78 Chinese homes, resulting in approximately US$150,000 in property damage ($4.18 million in present-day terms).
1891 New Orleans lynchings Anti-Italian Pogrom
1893 Aigues-Mortes massacre Anti-Italian Pogrom
1902 Częstochowa pogrom (name disputed) 14 Jews A mob attacked the Jewish shops, killing fourteen Jews and one gendarme. The Russian military brought to restore order were stoned by mob.
1903–1906 Second Russian Tsarist pogroms 2,000+ Jews A much bloodier wave of pogroms broke out from 1903 to 1906, leaving an estimated 2,000 Jews dead and many more wounded, as many Jewish residents took arms to defend their families and property from the attackers. The 1905 pogrom against the Jewish population in Odessa was the most serious pogrom of the period, with reports of up to 2,500 Jews killed.
1903 First Kishinev pogrom 47 Jews (Included above) Three days of anti-Jewish rioting sparked by anti-semitic articles in local newspapers
1904 Limerick pogrom (name disputed)[d] Limerick boycott None An economic boycott waged against the small Jewish community in Limerick, Ireland, for over two years
1905 Second Kishinev pogrom 19 Jews (Included above) Two days of anti-Jewish rioting beginning as political protests against the Tsar
1905 Kiev Pogrom (1905) 100 Jews (Included above) Following a city hall meeting, a mob was drawn into the streets, proclaiming that "all Russia's troubles stemmed from the machinations of the Jews and socialists."
1906 Siedlce pogrom 26 Jews (Included above) An attack organized by the Russian secret police (Okhrana). Anti-semitic pamphlets had been distributed for over a week and before any unrest begun, a curfew was declared.
1909 Adana pogrom Adana massacre 30,000 Armenians A massacre of Armenians in the city of Adana amidst the Countercoup (1909) resulted in a series of anti-Armenian pogroms throughout the district.
1911 Tredegar pogrom (name disputed)
South Wales[e]
Tredegar riots None Jewish shops were ransacked and the army was brought in.
1914 Anti-Serb pogrom in Sarajevo Sarajevo frenzy of hate 2 Serbs Occurred shortly after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.[101]
1918 Lwów pogrom Lemberg massacre 52–150 Jews, 270 Ukrainians During the Polish-Ukrainian War over three days of unrest in the city, an estimated 52–150 Jewish residents were killed and hundreds more were injured by Polish soldiers and civilians. Two hundred and seventy Ukrainians were also killed during this incident. The Poles did not stop the pogrom until two days after it began.
1918 Porvenir Massacre Anti-Mexican Pogrom 15 The Porvenir massacre was an incident on January 28, 1918, outside the village of Porvenir in Presidio County, Texas, in which Texas Rangers, U.S. Cavalry soldiers, and local ranchers killed 15 unarmed Mexican villagers, both men and boys.
1919 Proskurov pogrom 1500-1700 Jews The pogrom was initiated by Ivan Samosenko following a failed Bolshevik uprising against the Ukrainian People's Republic in the city.[102] The massacre was carried out by Ukrainian People's Republic soldiers of Samosenko. According to historians Yonah Alexander and Kenneth Myers the soldiers marched into the centre of town accompanied by a military band and engaged in atrocities under the slogan: "Kill the Jews, and save the Ukraine." They were ordered to save the ammunition in the process and use only lances and bayonets.[103]
1919 Elaine Pogrom Elaine Massacre 250 African Americans A massive African American pogrom in Elaine, Arkansas USA carried out by local White Americans, local police and Federal troops. Considered one of the largest, if not the largest Pogrom carried out in the United States
1919 Kiev Pogroms (1919) 60+ A series of Jewish pogroms in various places around Kiev carried out by White Volunteer Army troops
1919 Pinsk pogrom (name disputed)[f] Pinsk massacre 36 Jews Mass execution of thirty-five Jewish residents of Pinsk in April 1919 by the Polish Army, during the opening stages of the Polish–Soviet War
1919–20 Vilna pogrom Vilna offensive 65+ Jews and non-Jews As Polish troops entered the city, dozens of people connected with the Lit-Bel were arrested, and some were executed
1921 Tulsa Massacre Tulsa massacre 26 whites and 39 blacks confirmed; 100-300 blacks estimate Economic and social tension against black community in Greenwood
1929 Hebron pogrom Hebron massacre 67 Jews During the 1929 Palestine riots, sixty-seven Jews were killed as the violence spread to Hebron, then part of Mandatory Palestine, by Arabs incited to violence by rumors that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem and seizing control of Muslim holy places.
1934 1934 Thrace pogroms 1 Jew[105][circular reference] It was followed by vandalizing of Jewish houses and shops. The tensions started in June 1934 and spread to a few other villages in Eastern Thrace region and to some small cities in Western Aegean region. At the height of violent events, it was rumoured that a rabbi was stripped naked and was dragged through the streets shamefully while his daughter was raped. Over 15,000 Jews had to flee from the region.
1936 Przytyk pogrom Przytyk riot 2 Jews and 1 Polish Some of the Jewish residents gathered in the town square in anticipation of the attack by the peasants, but nothing happened on that day. Two days later, however, on a market day, as historians Martin Gilbert and David Vital state, peasants attacked their Jewish neighbors.
1938 November pogrom Kristallnacht 91 Jews Coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and non-Jewish civilians. Accounts from the foreign journalists working in Germany sent shock waves around the world.
1940 Dorohoi pogrom 53 Jews Romanian military units carried out a pogrom against the local Jews, during which, according to an official Romanian report, 53 Jews were murdered, and dozens injured
1941 Iași pogrom 13,266 Jews One of the most violent pogroms in Jewish history, launched by governmental forces in the Romanian city of Iași (Jassy) against its Jewish population.
1941 Antwerp Pogrom 0 One of the few pogroms of Belgian history. Flemish collaborators attacked and burned synagogues and attacked a rabbi in the city of Antwerp
1941 Bucharest pogrom Legionnaires' rebellion 125 Jews and 30 soldiers As the privileges of the paramilitary organisation Iron Guard were being cut off by Conducător Ion Antonescu, members of the Iron Guard, also known as the Legionnaires, revolted. During the rebellion and pogrom, the Iron Guard killed 125 Jews and 30 soldiers died in the confrontation with the rebels.
1941 Tykocin pogrom 1,400–1,700 Jews Mass murder of Jewish residents of Tykocin in occupied Poland during World War II, soon after Nazi German attack on the Soviet Union.
1941 Jedwabne pogrom 380-1,600 Jews The local rabbi was forced to lead a procession of about 40 people to a pre-emptied barn, killed and buried along with fragments of a destroyed monument of Lenin. A further 250-300 Jews were led to the same barn later that day, locked inside and burned alive using kerosene
1941 Pogrom in Krnjeuša 240 Croats An organized attack in the territory of the Catholic parish of Krnjeuša in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina, carried out by Serb Chetniks against the local Catholic Croat population
1941 Farhud 180 Jewish Iraqis
1941 Lviv pogroms Thousands of Jews Massacres of Jews by the Ukrainian People's Militia and a German Einsatzgruppe.
1945 Kraków pogrom 1 Jew Violence amid rumors of kidnappings of children by Jews
1946 Kunmadaras pogrom 4 Jews A frenzy instigated by the crowd's libelous belief that some Jews had made sausage out of Christian children
1946 Miskolc pogrom 2 Jews Riots started as demonstrations against economic hardships and later became anti-Semitic
1946 Kielce pogrom 38–42 Jews Violence against the Jewish community centre, initiated by Polish Communist armed forces (LWP, KBW, GZI WP) and continued by a mob of local townsfolk.
1955 Istanbul pogrom Istanbul riots 13–30 Greeks Organized mob attacks directed primarily at Istanbul's Greek minority. Accelerated the emigration of ethnic Greeks from Turkey (Jews were also targeted in this event).[106][107]
1956 1956 Ceylonese riots 1956 anti-Tamil pogrom 150 Primarily Tamils 1956 anti-Tamil pogrom or Gal Oya massacre/riots were the first ethnic riots that targeted the minority Tamils in independent Sri Lanka.
1958 1958 anti-Tamil pogrom 1958 anti-Tamil pogrom 300 Primarily Tamils 1958 anti-Tamil pogrom also known as 58 riots, refer to the first island wide ethnic riots and pogrom in Sri Lanka.
1964 Anti-Arab Pogrom Zanzibar Revolution At least 80 people were killed and 200 more people were injured during the revolution (the majority of the victims were Arabs) The revolution ended 200 years of Arab dominance in Zanzibar, and each year it is commemorated on the island with anniversary celebrations and a public holiday. 2,000–4,000 (up to 20,000) civilians were killed in the revolution's aftermath.
1966 1966 anti-Igbo pogrom 30,000-50,000 Primarily Igbo People A series of massacres directed at Igbo and other southern Nigerian residents throughout Nigeria before and after the overthrow (and assassination) of the Aguiyi-Ironsi junta by Murtala Mohammed.
1977 1977 anti-Tamil pogrom 300-1500 Primarily Tamils The 1977 anti-Tamil pogrom followed the 1977 general elections in Sri Lanka where the Sri Lankan Tamil nationalistic Tamil United Liberation Front won a plurality of minority Sri Lankan Tamil votes in which it stood for secession.
1983 Black July 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom 400–3,000 Tamils Over seven days mobs of mainly Sinhalese attacked Tamil targets, burning, looting and killing
1984 1984 anti-Sikh riots 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom 8,000 Sikhs In October 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom in Delhi, and other parts of India, Sikhs in India were targeted
1988 Sumgait pogrom 26+ (or about 100–300) Armenians and 6+ Azeris (possibly rioters)[citation needed] Mobs made up largely of ethnic Azeris formed into groups that went on to attack and kill Armenians both on the streets and in their apartments; widespread looting and a general lack of concern from police officers allowed the situation to worsen
1988 Kirovabad pogrom 3+ Soviet soldiers, 3+ Azeris and 1+ Armenian Ethnic Azeris attacked Armenians throughout the city
1990 Baku pogrom 90 Armenians, 20 Russian soldiers Seven-day attack during which Armenians were beaten, tortured, murdered and expelled from the city. There were also many raids on apartments, robberies and arsons
1991 Crown Heights pogrom (disputed)[g] Crown Heights riot 1 Jew and 1 non-Jew A three-day riot that occurred in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. The riots incited by the death of the seven-year-old Gavin Cato, unleashed simmering tensions within Crown Heights' black community against the Orthodox Jewish community. In its wake, several Jews were seriously injured; one Orthodox Jewish man, Yankel Rosenbaum, was killed; and a non-Jewish man, allegedly mistaken by rioters for a Jew, was killed by a group of African-American men.[110][111]
2004 March pogrom 2004 unrest in Kosovo 16 ethnic Serbs Over 4,000 Serbs were forced to leave their homes, 935 Serb houses, 10 public facilities and 35 Serbian Orthodox church-buildings were desecrated, damaged or destroyed, and six towns and nine villages were ethnically cleansed
2010 Lahore pogrom 2010 Ahmadiyya mosques massacre 94 Ahmadiyya Muslims Systemic violence was perpetrated against a minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the Pakistani city of Lahore.[112][113] Responsibility of attacks was claimed by Tehrik-i-Taliban. Human Rights groups in Pakistan alleged that government took inadequate steps to provide security despite repeated warnings.[114]
2020 Shashamane massacre Hachalu Hundessa riots[115] 239+[116] Targets:[117]

The deliberate attacks were mainly targeted ethnic Amhara people and ethnic Gurage people, but attacks were also taken against Jamaicans in Ethiopia, other non-Oromo ethnic groups, ethnic Oromos that opposed ethnic nationalism and gave aid to non-Oromos, Orthodox Christians regardless of ethnicity, and Rastafarians.[120][121]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Prof. Sandra Gambetti: "A final note on the use of terminology related to anti-Semitism. Scholars have frequently labeled the Alexandrian events of 38 C.E. as the first pogrom[citation needed] in history and have often explained them in terms of an ante litteram explosion of anti-Semitism. This work [The Alexandrian Riots] deliberately avoids any words or expressions that in any way connect, explicitly or implicitly, the Alexandrian events of 38 C.E. to later events in modern or contemporary Jewish experience, for which that terminology was created. ... To decide whether a word like pogrom, for example, is an appropriate term to describe the events that are studied here, requires a comparative re-discussion of two historical frames—the Alexandria of 38 C.E. and the Russia of the end of the nineteenth century."[93]
  2. ^ John Klier: "upon the death of the Grand Prince of Kiev Sviatopolk, rioting broke out in Kiev against his agents and the town administration. The disorders were not specifically directed against Jews and are best characterised as a social revolution. This has not prevented historians of medieval Russia from describing them as a pogrom."[94][95]
    George Vernadsky: "Incidentally, one should not suppose that the movement was anti-Semitic. There was no general Jewish pogrom. Wealthy Jewish merchants suffered because of their association with Sviatopolk's speculations, especially his hated monopoly on salt."[96]
  3. ^ John Klier: "Russian armies led by Tsar Ivan IV captured the Polish city of Polotsk. The Tsar ordered drowned in the river Dvina all Jews who refused to convert to Orthodox Christianity. This episode certainly demonstrates the overt religious hostility towards the Jews which was very much a part of Muscovite culture, but its conversionary aspects were entirely absent from modern pogroms. Nor were the Jews the only heterodox religious group singled out for the tender mercies of Muscovite religious fanaticism."[94]
  4. ^ Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Moda'i: "I think it is a bit over-portrayed, meaning that, usually if you look up the word pogrom it is used in relation to slaughter and being killed. This is what happened in many other places in Europe, but that is not what happened here. There was a kind of boycott against Jewish merchandise for a while but that’s not a pogrom."[98]
  5. ^ William Rubinstein: "London-based sources, especially the press, Jewish and non-Jewish, consistently exaggerated the resemblance of the Welsh riots to Russian 'pogroms'. ... The Western Mail's 'London Letter' pointed this out on 28 August 1911, when it stated that 'both the Government and the Jewish leaders think that the Jewish press is betraying an unnecssary amount of alarm, and that it would have been better advised to have treated the attacks upon Jews and their property in Wales as part of a general attack upon persons and property'. Perhaps the most cogent letter on this subject came from Bertam Jacobs, a Welsh-born London barrister who wrote to the South Wales Argus. ... Jacobs pointed out the absurdity of likening the South Wales riots to the Russian pogroms, noting the crucial differences between the two, especially the fact that no Jew was physically assautled, no private house belonging to a Jew was set up, no anti-Semitic cries or slogans were heard, and, especially, no synagogue was attacked."[99][100]
  6. ^ Carole Fink: "What happen in Pinsk on April 5, 1919 was not literally a "pogrom" – an organized, officially tolerated or inspired massacre of a minority such as has occurred in Lemberg – but rather a military execution of a small, suspect group of civilians. ... The misnamed "Pinsk pogrom", a plain, powerful, alliterative phrase, entered history in April 1919. Its importance lay not only in its timing, during the tensest moments of the Paris Peace Conference and the most crucial deliberations over Poland's political future: The reports of Pinsk once more demonstrated the swift transmission of local violence to world notice and the disfiguring process of rumor and prejudice on every level."[104]
  7. ^ Media use of the term pogrom to refer to the 1991 Crown Heights riot caused public controversy.[89][108] For example, Joyce Purnick of The New York Times wrote in 1993 that the use of the word pogrom was "inflammatory"; she accused politicians of "trying to enlarge and twist the word" in order to "pander to Jewish voters".[109]


  1. ^ a b Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica; et al. (2017). "Pogrom". Encyclopædia Britannica. Britannica.com. (Russian: "devastation" or "riot"), 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.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Brass, Paul R. (1996). Riots and Pogroms. NYU Press. p. 3. Introduction. ISBN 978-0814712825.
  3. ^ a b Atkin, Nicholas; Biddiss, Michael; Tallett, Frank (2011-05-23). The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789. ISBN 9781444390728. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Klier, John (2011). Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881–1882. Cambridge University Press. p. 58. ISBN 9780521895484. 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. Yet 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 fact, outbreaks of mass violence against Jews were extraordinary events, not a regular feature of East European life.
  5. ^ a b For this definition and a review of scholarly definitions see Wilhelm Heitmeyer and John Hagan, International handbook of violence research, Volume 1 (Springer, 2005) pp 352–55 online
  6. ^ a b c d Jonathan Dekel-Chen; David Gaunt; Natan M. Meir; Israel Bartal, eds. (2010-11-26). Anti-Jewish Violence. Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History. ISBN 978-0253004789. 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.
  7. ^ Weinberg, Sonja (2010). Pogroms and Riots: German Press Responses to Anti-Jewish Violence in Germany and Russia (1881-1882). Peter Lang. p. 193. ISBN 978-3631602140. Most contemporaries claimed that the pogroms were directed against Jewish property, not against Jews, a claim so far not contradicted by research.
  8. ^ Klier, John D.; Abulafia, Anna Sapir (2001). Religious Violence Between Christians and Jews: Medieval Roots, Modern Perspectives. Springer. p. 165. ISBN 978-1403913821. The pogroms themselves seem to have largely followed a set of unwritten rules. They were directed against Jewish property only.
  9. ^ Klier, John (2010). "Pogroms". The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. 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.
  10. ^ a b "World War II: Before the War", The Atlantic, June 19, 2011. "Windows of shops owned by Jews which were broken during a coordinated anti-Jewish demonstration in Berlin, known as Kristallnacht, on Nov. 10, 1938. Nazi authorities turned a blind eye as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed storefronts with hammers, leaving the streets covered in pieces of smashed windows. Ninety-one Jews were killed, and 30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps.
  11. ^ a b Michael Berenbaum, Arnold Kramer (2005). The World Must Know. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. p. 49.
  12. ^ a b Gilbert, Martin (1986). The Holocaust: the Jewish tragedy. Collins. pp. 30–33. ISBN 978-0-00-216305-7.
  13. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Dec. 2007 revision. See also: Pogrom at Online Etymology Dictionary.
  14. ^ a b International handbook of violence research, Volume 1 (Springer, 2005) "The word "pogrom" (from the Russian, meaning storm or devastation) has a relatively short history. Its international currency dates back to the anti-Semitic excesses in Tsarist Russia during the years 1881–1883, but the phenomenon existed in the same form at a much earlier date and was by no means confined to Russia. As John D. Klier points out in his seminal article "The pogrom paradigm in Russian history", the anti-Semitic pogroms in Russia were described by contemporaries as demonstrations, persecution, or struggle, and the government made use of the term besporiadok (unrest, riot) to emphasize the breach of public order. Then, during the twentieth century, the term began to develop along two separate lines. In the Soviet Union, the word lost its anti-Semitic connotation and came to be used for reactionary forms of political unrest and, from 1989, for outbreaks of interethnic violence; while in the West, the anti-Semitic overtones were retained and government orchestration or acquiescence was emphasized."
  15. ^ Amos Elon (2002), The Pity of It All: A History of the Jews in Germany, 1743–1933. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 0-8050-5964-4. p. 103.
  16. ^ Anna Foa The Jews of Europe after the black death 2000 p. 13 "The first massacres took place in April 1348 in Toulon, where the Jewish quarter was raided and forty Jews were murdered in their homes. Shortly afterwards, violence broke out in Barcelona."
  17. ^ Codex Judaica: chronological index of Jewish history; p. 203 Máttis Kantor - 2005 "The Jews were savagely attacked and massacred, by sometimes hysterical mobs."
  18. ^ John Marshall John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture; p. 376 2006 "The period of the Black Death saw the massacre of Jews across Germany, and in Aragon, and Flanders,"
  19. ^ Stéphane Barry and Norbert Gualde, «La plus grande épidémie de l'histoire» ("The greatest epidemic in history"), in L'Histoire magazine, n° 310, June 2006, p. 47 (in French)
  20. ^ Durant, Will. The Renaissance, Simon and Schuster (1953), page 730–731, ISBN 0-671-61600-5
  21. ^ Barbara Newman The Passion of the Jews of Prague: The Pogrom of 1389 and the Lessons of a Medieval Parody Church History 81:1 (March 2012), 1-26
  22. ^ Herman Rosenthal (1901). "Chmielnicki, Bogdan Zinovi". Jewish Encyclopedia.
  23. ^ Historians, who put the number of killed Jewish civilians at between 40,000 and 100,000 during the Khmelnytsky Pogroms in 1648–1657, include:
    1.   Naomi E. Pasachoff, Robert J. Littman (2005). A Concise History Of The Jewish People, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0-7425-4366-8, p. 182.
    2.   David Theo Goldberg, John Solomos (2002). A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies, Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-20616-7, p. 68.
    3.   Michael Clodfelter (2002). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1500–1999, McFarland, p. 56: estimated at 56,000 dead.
  24. ^ Historians estimating that around 100,000 Jews were killed include:
    1.   Cara Camcastle. The More Moderate Side of Joseph de Maistre: Views on Political Liberty And Political Economy, McGill-Queen's Press, 2005, ISBN 0-7735-2976-4, p. 26.
    2.   Martin Gilbert (1999). Holocaust Journey: Traveling in Search of the Past, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-10965-2, p. 219.
    3.   Manus I. Midlarsky. The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-81545-2, p. 352.
    4.   Oscar Reiss (2004). The Jews in Colonial America, McFarland, ISBN 0-7864-1730-7, pp. 98–99.
    5.   Colin Martin Tatz (2003). With Intent to Destroy: Reflections on Genocide, Verso, ISBN 1-85984-550-9, p. 146.
    6.   Samuel Totten (2004). Teaching about Genocide: Issues, Approaches and Resources, Information Age Publishing, ISBN 1-59311-074-X, p. 25.
    7.   Mosheh Weiss (2004). A Brief History of the Jewish People, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0-7425-4402-8, p. 193.
  25. ^ Historians who estimate that more than 100,000 Jews were killed in Ukraine in 1648–1657 include:
    1.   Meyer Waxman (2003). History of Jewish Literature Part 3, Kessinger, ISBN 0-7661-4370-8, p. 20: estimated at about two hundred thousand Jews killed.
    2.   Michael Clodfelter (2002). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1500–1999, McFarland, p. 56: estimated at between 150,000 and 200,000 Jewish victims.
    3.   Zev Garber, Bruce Zuckerman (2004). Double Takes: Thinking and Rethinking Issues of Modern Judaism in Ancient Contexts, University Press of America, ISBN 0-7618-2894-X, p. 77, footnote 17: estimated at about 100,000–500,000 Jews
    4.   The Columbia Encyclopedia (2001–2005), "Chmielnicki Bohdan", 6th ed.: estimated at over 100,000 Jews.
    5.   Robert Melvin Spector (2005). World without Civilization: Mass Murder and the Holocaust, History and Analysis, University Press of America, ISBN 0-7618-2963-6, p. 77: estimated at more than 100,000.
    6.   Sol Scharfstein (2004). Jewish History and You, KTAV, ISBN 0-88125-806-7, p. 42: estimated at more than 100,000 Jews killed.
  26. ^ Elon, Amos (2002). The Pity of It All: A History of the Jews in Germany, 1743-1933. Metropolitan Books. p. 103. ISBN 0-8050-5964-4.
  27. ^ Davies, Norman (2005). "Rossiya: The Russian Partition (1772–1918)". God's Playground: a history of Poland. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-0199253401. Volume II: Revised Edition.
  28. ^ "Shtetl". Encyclopaedia Judaica. Jewish Virtual Library, The Gale Group. Also in: Rabbi Ken Spiro. "Pale of Settlement". History Crash Course #56. Aish.com.
  29. ^ John Doyle Klier, Shlomo Lambroza (2004). Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History. Cambridge University Press. p. 376. ISBN 978-0521528511.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) Also in: Omer Bartov (2013). Shatterzone of Empires. p. 97. ISBN 978-0253006318. Note 45. It should be remembered that for all the violence and property damage caused by the 1881 pogroms, the number of deaths could be counted on one hand. For further information, see: Oleg Budnitskii (2012). Russian Jews Between the Reds and the Whites, 1917-1920. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 17–20. ISBN 978-0812208146.
  30. ^ Heinz-Dietrich Löwe, Pogroms in Russia: Explanations, Comparisons, Suggestions, Jewish Social Studies, New Series, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Autumn 2004), pp. 17–. Excerpt. [failed verification]
  31. ^ Henry Abramson (10–13 July 2002). "The end of intimate insularity: new narratives of Jewish history in the post-Soviet era" (PDF). Acts.
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  54. ^ Gilman, Sander L.; Milton Shain (1999). Jewries at the Frontier: Accommodation, Identity, Conflict. University of Illinois Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780252067921. After the end of the fighting and as a result of the Polish victory, some of the Polish soldiers and the civilian population started a pogrom against the Jewish inhabitants. Polish soldiers maintained that the Jews had sympathized with the Ukrainian position during the conflicts
  55. ^ Marsha L. Rozenblit (2001). Reconstructing a National Identity: The Jews of Habsburg Austria during World War I. Oxford University Press. p. 137. "The largest pogrom occurred in Lemberg [= Lwow]. Polish soldiers led an attack on the Jewish quarter of the city on November 21–23, 1918 that claimed 73 Jewish lives".
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  90. ^ "As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term 'pogrom' to describe what I have seen."Settlers attack Palestinian village
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  93. ^ Prof. Sandra Gambetti (2009). The Alexandrian Riots of 38 C.E. and the Persecution of the Jews: A Historical Reconstruction. University of California, Berkeley: BRILL. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-9004138469.
  94. ^ a b Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History, edited by John Doyle Klier, Shlomo Lambroza, pages 13 and 35 (footnotes)
  95. ^ Klier also writes that Alexander Pereswetoff-Morath has advanced a strong argument against considering the Kiev riots of 1113 an anti-Jewish pogrom. Pereswetoff-Morath writes in "A Grin without a Cat" (2002) that "I feel that Birnbaum's use of the term "anti-Semitism" as well as, for example, his use of "pogrom" in references to medieval Rus are not warranted by the evidence he presents. He is, of course, aware that it may be controversial."
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Further reading[edit]