Khmelnytsky uprising: why was the Jewish pogroms in Ukraine

History 16/02/20 Khmelnytsky Uprising: why was the Jewish pogroms in Ukraine

many of the Jews hate the second after Hitler is the Ukrainian Cossack Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. The insurgent Cossacks pogroms, raided synagogues, burned sacred books, and the Jews themselves were ruthlessly killed. Only in the city of Nemyriv in one day killed 16 thousand Jews.


the Researchers of this period, especially Jewish, described a horrific picture of atrocities of the Ukrainian Cossacks against the Jews. In fact, there was the eighth national disaster in the history of the Jewish people. Naturally, the question sounds: “How and why such cruelty on the part of the Ukrainians?”

Not all the researchers of history bother to answer to this question. The answer is very important, because a similar situation would occur in Russia by the early 80-ies of the XIX century and ends with the outbreak of a large number of anti-Jewish pogroms in the countryside, and the answer to the “sick” question is almost similar. The famous Nikolai Gogol in his work “Taras Bulba” hinted at this reason the Jews “strongly marked its presence” among the Cossacks.

the Relationship of the rebels to the Jews

Revenge of the poles and hired them to collect the taxes of the Jews, the Cossacks sometimes dealt with them brutally and mercilessly. A significant number of captive Jews and the poles were sold in the markets of slaves in Istanbul shortly after the uprising. The exact number of victims is unknown and most likely never will be reliably established. Nevertheless, virtually all sources agree with the fact the total disappearance of Jewish communities in the territory covered by the uprising.

Among the rebellious Ukrainians were strong “anti-Semitism”, Jewish tenant, allegedly exploited the peasants. So, the Jews charged the Orthodox with the fee for departure ceremonies at the Church. The peasant masses saw the Jews as executors of the will of the Polish gentry.

Otrady peasants and townspeople attacked the estate, killing property managers and tenants-Jews. The Jews were killed in large number in Pereyaslav, Piryatin, lokhvytsya and Lubny. Jewish chroniclers describe the massacres of Jews in Nemirov, Tulchin, polonnoe, Zaslavl, Ostrog, Staro-kostyantyniv, Bar, Lutsk, Chernihiv, Starodub, Gomel and many other places.

Some Jews were forced to accept Christianity. The majority preferred death, for example, the famous Kabbalist Samson Ostropoler.

the Polish king Jan Kazimierz, after the conclusion of the contract (according to which the Jews can’t be “nor rulers, nor farmers, nor the inhabitants of Ukrainian cities”) in August 1649, permitted forcibly baptized into Orthodoxy back to the bosom of Judaism. Jewish women forcibly married to the Cossacks returned to their families.

the Day of the Nemirov massacre (Sivan 20) was celebrated as the day of mourning for the events of 1648 the Jews of Nemirov.

a year later, the war between Cossacks and poles resumed. In the Polish ranks fought and Jewish force of a thousand people. Berestechko Khmelnytsky was defeated and was forced to sign a disadvantageous agreement (at the White Church, on 28 September 1651). This Treaty contains, among other things, a clause according to which Jews are permitted to continue to be “resident and tenants in the estates of his Royal grace and the estates of the nobility”.

the Cossacks continued to worry. Khmelnitsky gave himself under the protection of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. Russia declared war on Poland. Russian-Cossack army United came into Belarus and Lithuania and began to beat the Jews and drive them out of conquered cities, in the apparent sympathy or the assistance of the burghers.

extreme cruelty

the Jewish chronicler Nathan Hanover testified: “some of the Cossacks were skinned alive and the body thrown to the dogs; others inflicted severe wounds, but not finished off, and threw them on the street to slowly die; many were buried alive. Infants slaughtered at the hands of mothers and many were cut into pieces like fish. Pregnant women were ripped open, took out the fruit and whip them on the face of the mother, and the other in the bellies sewed a live cat and chopped off the unfortunate hands that they couldn’t get a cat. Other children were stabbed with a pike, grilled on the fire and brought the mothers so they ate their meat. Sometimes dumped heaps of Jewish children and made them crossing the river…” Modern historians have questioned some aspects of the Chronicles of Hanover, as any chronicle of that era; however, the reality of these events raises no objections.

According to Hanover, the Jews talked about Bohdan Khmelnytsky: “Hop-a villain, Yes, erased his name!”

the Outcome of the uprising for the Jews

Modern methods of demographic statistics based on data of the Treasury of the Polish Kingdom. The total number of the Jewish population in the Polish Kingdom in 1618-1717 years ranged from 200,000 to 500,000 people. A significant proportion of Jews lived in places not affected by the rebellion and then in fact, the Jewish population of Ukraine is estimated by some researchers approximately 50-60 thousand people. 30-35 thousand of them were killed or left the territory of Ukraine.

the Jewish and Polish Chronicles of the era of the uprising tend to emphasize the large number of victims. In the historical literature of the late 20th century circulated as estimates of 100,000 dead Jews and more, and numbers range from 40 to 100 thousand.

a Number of modern scholars believe that the number of victims was inflated. Ukrainian-canadian historian Orest Subtelny writes: “fragmentary information about this and the following period includes the reports of the rapid revival, and clearly indicates that the disaster was not as great as previously thought”. Bernard of Weinrib believes that the Jewish losses did not reached terrifying figures inherent in legends about the pogroms of the Khmelnytsky times, but in his opinion the percentage of casualties among the Jews was considerably higher than among other groups.

According to Ukrainian journalist InItaly Portnikov, the extermination of the Jews of Khmelnitsky troops were not ethnic hostility and hatred on religious basis, because in addition to the Jews killed a lot of Uniate Catholics. Therefore, according to Portnikov, the story is not quite right to call anti-Semitism, but rather religious slaughter.

also there is a perception that the horror and sorrow sown by the massacres of Khmelnitsky, influenced by the fact that the Jews, in less than 20 years, followed the false Messiah by Shabtaj Tsvi.

© Russian Seven

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