Ukrainian-Jewish-Soviet relations during the civil war in Russia

Ukrainian-Jewish-Soviet relations during the civil war in Russia

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Dr. Simon Rabinovich

Boston University

June 30, 2011 / 4.15 pm

Center for Urban History, Lviv

Dr. Simon Rabinovich gave an open lecture for the 2nd annual "Jewish History and Culture of East-Central Europe" Summer School.

This lecture explores the complexities of Ukrainian-Jewish-Soviet relations during the and after the civil war, through a case-study examining one individual, and a few documents. The lecture relates the story of Abraham Revutsky who in 1919 briefly served as Minister for Jewish Affairs in the government of the independent Ukrainian National Republic. This government, also known as the Directory, struggled and failed to impose order in the midst of civil war, and the anti-Jewish violence that took place throughout Ukriane during its tenure came to be associated in the Jewish popular memory with the head of the Directory, Semyon Petliura. We will discuss the unknown story of Revutsky's attempt to "rehabilitate" himself following his conviction in absentia for supposed anti-Soviet activities; his motivations,  how he framed his petition, and what his story can tell us about perceptions of Soviet power among Jewish socialists at the time.

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Dr. Simon Rabinovich

Assistant Professor, Boston University – teaches modern Jewish and European history. His published articles examine Jewish politics in revolutionary Russia, Jewish nationalist thought, and Jewish folkloristics and ethnography. He is currently editing two anthologies of Jewish thought and politics: “Diaspora Nationalism in Modern Jewish Thought” (Brandeis University Press) and “Modern Jewish Politics: Ideologies, Identities, and the Jewish Question” (University of Wisconsin Press). Professor Rabinovich is also working on a monograph examining Jewish autonomy in late imperial and revolutionary Russia.


Сover Image: Jews in prewar Lviv, west Ukraine. Boznicza Str., 1931-35