How the Russian Revolution Transformed East European Jewry

November 6, 2018 | Samuel Kassow

The 1917 revolution brought economic collapse to all of the tsar’s former subjects. Meanwhile, various combatants in the ensuing civil war—and the nascent Soviet Union’s war with Poland—targeted Jews in particular, leaving some 150,000 dead. Yet, paradoxically, this period was also one of liberation, as Jews were freed from age-old legal restrictions and saw new opportunities. Following World War II, without these new freedoms being revoked, official Soviet anti-Semitism became the norm. In a concise but sweeping lecture, Samuel Kassow tells the story of the revolutionary years and the decades that followed.

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