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Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv

 Collection
Identifier: RG 80

Scope and Content Note

Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv Collection consists of diverse materials that pertain to pogroms in the period between 1918 and 1921 that took place mostly in Ukraine but also in Belarus, Poland, and Russia. There is a wide variety of topics that are covered in the collection including Ukrainian-Jewish relations during a short lived Ukrainian Republic, Ukrainian-Jewish political, communal, and governmental organizations, Ukrainian government and the role of politicians and military Commanders in pogroms, most notably Symon Petlyura and Ataman Grigoriev, pogroms and its aftermath, military occupation of Ukraine by the German, Polish, Bolshevik and General Denikin’s armies and its relationship to pogroms, Jewish self-defense and relief work. Also included here are materials pertaining to the trial of Sholom Schwarzbard who was tried in France for assassination of Symon Petlyura.

There is a wealth of materials pertaining to Jewish political, communal, and governmental organization Ministry of Jewish Affairs and Jewish National Assembly in Ukraine, Zionist organizations in Ukraine and abroad, Jewish political parties such as Poalei Zion, Jewish Delegation in Paris, Union of Jewish Warriors, and a large number of Jewish Communal organizations. These materials consist of correspondence with individuals as well as with governmental, political, and relief organizations, petitions and reports, complaints by Jewish population, resolutions, questionnaires send out by the Ministry of Jewish Affairs, memoranda, appeals, speeches, and clippings. Additionally, there are minutes of meetings, circular letters, petitions, conference materials, statues, declarations, and by-laws.

There is a large number of lists including lists of victims, lists of localities where pogroms took place, and lists of pogrom perpetrators. Additionally, there is an abundance of resolutions and reports to and by local Jewish communal organizations and Ukrainian authorities, clippings from Ukrainian, Russian, and Yiddish-American newspapers, military orders by Bolshevik, Ukrainian Military leadership, and by local Atamans (Military leaders of sometimes independent units that actively participated in pogroms), a very large number of eyewitness testimonies as well as forms attesting the death of pogrom victims signed by witnesses.

Materials documenting relief work by Jewish as well as international aid organizations include statements, petitions by pogrom victims, and reports to and from relief organizations such as ORT, International Red Cross, and EKOPO (Evreyskii Komitet Pomoscchi Zhertvam Vojny, Eng: Jewish Committee to Aid Victims of the War, Rus: Еврейский Комитет Помощи Жертвам Войны), minutes, by-laws, correspondence with governmental agencies, resolutions, reports, manuscripts, and materials on the state of Jewish refugees.

There is a small amount of materials dealing with Jewish self-defense that consists of memoirs, registry of self0defense organization, photographs, minutes, and clippings.

Materials dealing with Ukrainian occupation by the Polish, German, Bolshevik, and Anton Denikin’s Volunteer Army include declarations and proclamations by military authorities, military orders, reports and petitions, printed materials, appeals by Jewish communal organizations, correspondence and testimonies, lists of victims, and documents pertaining to prosecution of individuals suspected of being pogrom perpetrators.

Substantial amount of documents collected in this collection shed light on Central Rada, Directory, and Symon Petlyura’s role in the pogroms. These materials consist of resolutions and statements, proclamations and petitions, minutes of Ukrainian cabinet meetings and meetings of the Ukrainian Central Rada, appeals to the Jewish population by the Ukrainian government, military orders regarding pogroms, correspondence with Ukrainian foreign missions and reports from military commanders. There are also manuscripts and essays on the history of Ukrainian Republic and memoirs depicting personal experience of Jews with the new Ukrainian Republic, most notably a memoir by A. Zolatarev, “A Year in the Ukrainian Central Rada", and recollections of a former Jewish doctor in the Petlyura Army.

A segment of the collection includes materials collected by the Schwarzbard Defense Committee that were to be used by Schwarzbard’s defense during a trial that took place in Paris in 1927. The committee included many prominent Jewish figures, such as Maxim Vinaver, Heinrich Sliosberg, Dr. Goldstein, Vladimir Tiomkin, Andre Spire, and others. Included here are witness accounts, lists of victims, correspondence of military leaders, military orders issued by Atamans and Denikin’s Volunteer Army, other materials pertaining to Denikin’s Volunteer Army, and clippings. These materials are similar to materials found in Series I: General Pogrom Materials and are supplemented by testimonies of former soldiers in the Petlyura Army, including a testimony by a Jewish soldier, forms attesting the death of pogrom victims signed by witnesses, reports by governmental and Jewish relief organizations, and correspondence of Ukrainian political leaders. Furthermore, there are eleven notebooks of stenographic reports from the trial and correspondence of the Defense Committee.

In addition to text based materials, the collection includes about 650 black and white photographs and negatives. By and large, the photographs depict horrors of anti-Jewish pogroms that took place in Ukraine after the October revolution but there is also a substantial number of photographs documenting Sholom Schwarzbard trial that took place in Paris in 1927. These are photographs of witnesses, jurors, prosecution lawyers, defense lawyers, and Sholom Schwarzbard. There are also photographs of Jewish self-defense units, Jewish refugees, and photographs of aid and medical workers providing necessary aid to pogrom victims.

There is also a small amount of photographs of pogrom perpetrators as well as photographs of Ukrainians who helped save Jews.

Materials dealing with the Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv administrative matters and its publication efforts constitute a small part of the collection and include manuscripts, drafts, notes, profess, correspondence, editorial documents, reports, contracts, and questionnaires. and other materials related to publications by the Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv

Dates

  • 1717-1956
  • Majority of material found in 1917-1927

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in Russian and Yiddish, with Ukrainian, German, French, English, Polish, Hebrew, and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection has been digitized and is available online without restrictions. The physical collection is closed.

Use Restrictions

The images, documents, film footage, audio materials, and texts displayed in any portion of this web site may be copyrighted. Permission to use this web site is given on condition that the user agrees to follow U.S. copyright laws. The user agrees that she or he assumes liability for any copyright violations resulting from unauthorized use of items appearing on this web site and to hold YIVO harmless from any action involving copyright infringement. It is the responsibility of the user to carry out a due diligence search under U.S. copyright laws to determine the copyright status of items displayed on this web site.

Historical Note

In the wake of Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Civil War and Bolshevik invasion of Ukraine, an unprecedented wave of anti-Jewish pogroms swept across Ukraine. As a response to the atrocities and in order to document these events, in 1919 a group of Jewish activists and representatives of Jewish organizations established a committee in Kiev (Kyiv) to collect and publish historical and documentary materials relating to the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Ukraine during the period between 1918 and 1921.

The committee was called Редакционная Коллегия по Обнародованию Материалов о Погромах на Украине (Rus.) (Editorial Committee for Collection and Investigation of Materials Relating to the Pogroms in the Ukraine). The founding organizations were the Jewish National Secretariat, the All-Ukrainian Committee to Aid Pogrom Victims and the Folksfarlag (People’s Press). The head of the Editorial Committee was Nahum Shtif and its secretary was Elias Tcherikower.

A great deal of original material was collected. Additionally, a large number of materials were copied (and authenticated) from the original sources across Ukraine and Russia. Many volunteers sent in collected materials and continued to do so even after the collection was transferred to Berlin where a new organization, the Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv (Ostjudisches Historisches Archiv), was founded to assume custody of these records.

In Berlin, Editorial Board of Ostjudisches Historisches Archiv included S. Dubnov, N. Shtif, V. Latski, Ben-Adir, and E. Tcherikower. Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv attempted to publish a number of books dealing with anti-Jewish pogroms and Jewish self-defense including “Anti-Semitism and Pogroms in Ukraine in 1917-1918” and “Pogroms of 1919” by Elias Tcherikower, “Pogroms by the Denikin’s Volunteer Army” Joseph Shekhtman (Shechtman), and other books.

In 1925 the MYHA merged with the YIVO Institute in Vilna. In 1933, Elias Tcherikower moved part of the collection to Paris where it remained until the end of World War II. After the war, the surviving part of the collection was transferred to YIVO in New York. The Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv records which are now at the YIVO Archives are only a fraction of the original archive. The larger part was sent from Berlin to Vilna and was destroyed in Vilna during the Holocaust period.

Extent

33.3 Linear Feet

Abstract

Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv Collection consists of diverse materials that pertain to pogroms in the period between 1918 and 1921 that took place mostly in Ukraine but also in Belarus, Poland, and Russia. There is a wide variety of topics that are covered in the collection including Ukrainian-Jewish relations during a short lived Ukrainian Republic, Ukrainian-Jewish political, communal, and governmental organizations, Ukrainian government and the role of politicians and military Commanders in pogroms, most notably Symon Petlyura and Ataman Grigoriev, pogroms and its aftermath, military occupation of Ukraine by the German, Polish, Bolshevik and General Denikin’s armies and its relationship to pogroms, Jewish self-defense and relief work. Also included here are materials pertaining to the trial of Sholom Schwarzbard who was tried in France for assassination of Symon Petlyura. The collection consists of of large amount of lists and eyewitness testimonies, correspondence, complaints and petitions, reports and resolutions, statements and proclamations, memoranda and circular letters, conference materials, statues and by-laws, clippings and bulletins, military orders, and photographs.

Arrangement

  1. Series I: General Pogrom Materials, 1916-1923, 1926-1932, 1941-1946
  2. Series II: Trial of Sholom Schwarzbard, 1905, 1919-1921, 1925-1928, 1956
  3. Series III: Printed Materials, 1917-1927, 1933-1939
  4. Series IV: Photographs, 1905, 1918-1922, 1927, 1937
  5. Series V: Editorial Board of the the Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv, 1919-1935
Title
Guide to the Mizrakh Yidisher Historisher Arkhiv 1717-1956 (bulk 1917-1927) RG 80
Status
In Progress
Author
Materials processed, described, prepared for digitization and finding aid encoded by Yakov Il'ich Sklar in 2017.
Date
©2017
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Processed, conserved and digitized as part of the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections project (2015-2022). Additional work funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Earlier work funded by the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany (2012).

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

Contact:
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