In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 in Ukraine and the Onset of the Holocaust
Lecture by Prof. Jeffrey Veidlinger (University of Michigan) as part of the Yerushalmi Lecture 2023.
Between 1918 and 1921, over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in Ukraine by peasants, townsmen, and soldiers who blamed the Jews for the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Largely forgotten today, these pogroms—ethnic riots—dominated headlines and international affairs in their time.Aid workers warned that six million Jews were in danger of complete extermination. Twenty years later, these dire predictions would come true.
Drawing upon long-neglected archival materials, including thousands of newly discovered witness testimonies, trial records, and official orders, acclaimed historian Jeffrey Veidlinger shows for the first time how this wave of genocidal violence created the conditions for the Holocaust. Through stories of survivors, perpetrators, aid workers, and governmental officials, he explains how so many different groups of people came to the same conclusion: that killing Jews was an acceptable response to their various problems.
Professor Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. His research interests include modern Jewish history, Russian and Eastern European studies, and Holocaust studies. In late 2022, his most recent book, "Amidst Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918 to 1921 and the Prehistory of the Holocaust," was published in German translation by Verlag C.H. Beck.
The Yerushalmi Lecture is organized in cooperation with the Department of History of Eastern and Southeastern Europe and supported by the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria and C.H. Beck Verlag.