Anti-Jewish Pogroms in The Russian Empire - Russian Pogroms in Arts and Literature

Russian Pogroms in Arts and Literature

In 1903, Hebrew poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik wrote the poem In the City of Slaughter in response to the Kishinev pogrom.

Elie Wiesel's The Trial of God depicts Jews fleeing a pogrom and setting up a fictitious "trial of God" for His negligence in not assisting them against the bloodthirsty mobs. In the end, it turns out that the mysterious stranger who has argued as God's advocate is none other than Lucifer. The experience of a Russian Jew is also depicted in Elie Wiesel's The Testament.

A pogrom is one of the central events in the play Fiddler on the Roof, which is adapted from Russian author Sholem Aleichem's Tevye the Dairyman stories. Aleichem writes about the pogroms in a story called "Lekh-Lekho". The famous Broadway musical and film Fiddler on the Roof showed the cruelty of the Russian pogroms on the Jews in Anatevka in the early 20th century.

In the film An American Tail, set during and after the 1880s pogroms, Fievel and his family's village is destroyed by a pogrom (Fievel and his family are mice and cats are their Cossack attackers).

The novel The Sacrifice by Adele Wiseman also deals with a family that is displaced after a pogrom in their homecountry and who emigrate to Canada after losing two sons to the riot and barely surviving themselves. The loss and murder of the sons haunts the entire story.

Mark Twain gives graphic descriptions of the Russian pogroms in Reflections on Religion, Part 3, published in 1906.

Joseph Joffo describes the early history of his mother, a Jew in the Russia of Tsar Nicholas II, in the biographical, 'Anna and her Orchestra'. He describes the raids by Cossacks on Jewish quarters and the sometime retribution inflicted by Anna's father and brothers on the Cossacks who murdered and burnt homes at the behest of the tsar.

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