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In April, 1903, 49 Jews were killed, 600 were raped or wounded, and more than 1,000 Jewish-owned houses and stores were ransacked and destroyed during three days of violence in the town of Kishinev. So shattering were the aftereffects of this rampage, that one historian remarked that it was “nothing less than a prototype for the Holocaust itself.”
Recounted in lurid detail by newspapers throughout the Western world, and covered sensationally by America’s Hearst press, the pre-Easter attacks seized the imagination of an international public, quickly becoming the prototype for what would become known as a “pogrom,” and providing the impetus for efforts as varied as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the formation of the NAACP. Using new evidence culled from Russia, Israel, and Europe for his new book, Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History (Liveright/WW Norton, 2018), distinguished historian Steven J. Zipperstein brings historical insight and clarity to a much-misunderstood event.
Lazar Krestin (Lithuanian/Austrian, 1868-1938), [Birth of] Jewish Resistance, 1905. Oil on canvas, 55.25 x 74.25 in. The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley, Gift of Alan Sternberg
This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Pièces de Résistance: Echoes of Judaea Capta from Ancient Coins to Modern Art, that features Lazar Krestin’s painting, [The Birth of] Jewish Resistance (1905), which depicts an imagined Jewish reaction to the 1903 Kishinev pogrom.Steven J. Zipperstein is Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford.
About Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History,by Steven J. Zipperstein
"The best single volume treatment of a seminal but under-discussed event in modern history I've read." -Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic
"With extraordinary scholarly energy, Zipperstein uncovers sources in Russian, Yiddish, and English that show not only why this bloody event ignited the Jewish imagination, its sense of embattlement, but also why it had such lasting resonance internationally." -The New Yorker
"Elegant and masterful...A quite remarkable book." -Jack Miles, LA Review of Books