Posts tagged Russia.




© Jonas Bendiksen

Birobidzhan, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russia, 1999

  May 23, 2013 at 03:57pm via tystna


American Fund for the Relief of Those So Bitterly Oppressed in Russia Will Be Used to Bring Thousands Here.

New York City is just beginning to feel the crest of another great wave of Jewish immigration. The Russian massacres have caused more Hebrews to look hither for a refuge than have ever before turned their faces toward this land of freedom and wealth. The “plagues of the sword and torch” that have smitten their race in Russia in the last few weeks exceed any catastrophe known to their history since their dispersal. As was said the other day in the appeal by the National Hebrew Relief Fund Committee of the United States to the Jews of this country:

"Apparently no calamity of such magnitude has befallen Israel since the fall of Jerusalem. All the horrors of the Inquisition, all the persecutions of the Middle Ages, seem incomparable with this stupendous and unspeakable crime, both in its malignity and in the number of people affected and endangered."

And yet in spite of all these horrors it is said by Jews as prominent as Oscar S. Straus that the worst is still likely to come.

Headline in the New York Tribune, dated December 17, 1905

See the newspaper page here & more of the article transcription here.

It’s winter in Russia and the people are hungry. The town council announces that meat will be arriving so everyone gets in line to wait for the meat. After an hour of waiting in the snow and freezing cold, the town council announces that there will be less meat coming than expected, all Jews go home. So all the Jews leave the line. Another hour goes by and, again, the town council announces there will be less than expected food arriving, all non-communists go home. All the non-communists leave the line. Another hour, and the town council announces there will be no food arriving, everybody go home. As one man trudges home through the snow, he turns to his friend and says, “you see, the Jews always get to go home first!”

(via JRCC)

Everyone makes mistakes, even God! Didn’t God Himself make a mistake when He settled the Jews in Russia so they could be tormented as if they were in hell? Wouldn’t it have been better to have the Jews living in Switzerland, where they would’ve been surrounded by first-class lakes, mountain air, and Frenchmen galore? Everyone makes mistakes, even God.

Isaac Babel, “How It Was Done in Odessa” (via twodogsdead)

From The Odessa Tales (Одесские рассказы), a collection of short stories published in 1931.

more Isaac Babel


Brass menorah. Russian Empire, 1890s. 


Hanukkah 1916
Jewish soldiers at military Hanukkah celebration
World War I; Russia
c/o the Leo Baeck Institute


Rosh Hashanah- a great time to make political jokes? In this 20th century post card, the head of the rooster used for kapparot is substituted by the face of Tsar Nicholas of Russia.  Apart from celebrating the Jewish new year, this card is an alert to any anti-semitic leader that this is where he/she might end up!  

Rosh Hashanah postcard. YU Museum Collection. Early 20th century (1996.286)

Lebisch: Is there a proper blessing… for the Tsar?
Rabbi: A blessing for the Tsar? Of course! May God bless and keep the Tsar… far away from us!

— Fiddler on the Roof

Much of Shanghai’s Jewish Quarter has disappeared, but visitors still can see some of the buildings, like this one, where thousands of refugees lived alongside the city’s residents. 

Jewish Life in Shanghai’s Ghetto (The New York Times)

Published: June 19, 2012

SHANGHAI - While much of the city’s Jewish Quarter has disappeared in the years since the end of World War II, the Ohel Moshe Synagogue is a constant reminder of how this Chinese city saved tens of thousands of Jews fleeing the Holocaust.

Built by Russian Jews in 1927 in the Hongkou district in northern Shanghai, the synagogue was the primary religious destination for the Jewish refugees who flooded into the city.

And while its facade has not changed, the building now is the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. It is the first stop for many visitors seeking information about what the Holocaust scholar David Kranzler called the “Miracle of Shanghai.”

About 20,000 refugees settled around the synagogue, in an area called the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees but more commonly known as the Jewish Ghetto. The 2.68 square kilometers, or about a square mile, which was cordoned off by the Japanese who controlled the city, also was home to 100,000 Shanghaiese, who were welcoming to their new neighbors, according to Jian Chen, the museum’s director.

“After the end of the Pacific War in 1945, the European Jewish refugees slowly left Shanghai,” Mr. Chen said. “However, they always looked upon Shanghai as their second home, calling the city their ‘Noah’s Ark’.”

(via Soviet Samovar)

  August 11, 2012 at 12:36pm via The New York Times



David Shterenberg - Aunt Sasha, 1922-23

“The root vegetables in the painting, such as beets and onions, are observed to be ingredients in the making of the Russian dish borshch or beet soup.” (via)

(via gotochelm)


The artist Isaak Brodsky standing beside a portrait of Vladimir Lenin painted for the Conference Hall at Smolny, 1927.

Isaak Izrailevich Brodsky (Russian: Исаак Израилевич Бродский, 6 January 1884 – August 14, 1939), was a Soviet painter whose work provided a blueprint for the art movement of socialist realism. He is known for his iconic portrayals of Lenin and idealized, carefully crafted paintings dedicated to the events of the Russian Civil War and Bolshevik Revolution.

Brodsky was born in the village of Sofiyevka in Ukraine, Russian Empire. He studied at Odessa Art Academy and the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. In 1916 he joined the Jewish Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. When Brodsky asked Lenin to autograph his painting Lenin, he said: “I am signing to what I don’t agree with for the first time”.

He was an avid art collector who donated numerous first-class paintings to museums in his native Ukraine and elsewhere. His superb art collection included important works by Ilya RepinVasily SurikovValentin SerovIsaak LevitanMikhail Vrubel, and Boris Kustodiev. After his death Brodsky’s apartment on Arts Square in St. Petersburg was declared a national museum. His art collection is still on exhibit there.

(via Wikipedia)