A Singular Event in Jewish History
The Kishinev affairs marked a qualitative change in shaping the political anti-Semitism. The old motif of blood calumny was what got the mob moving, but in fact what happened behind the scenes was the formation of a phenomenon the world had not known before. The Jewish people, frequently used as a scapegoat was accused of all possible sins and the target of anger and dissatisfaction with the condition of the folk. This time, however, they were accused in demolition work meant to overrule not only the Tsar's authority but the whole political order in the world. The persecutions of the Jews went according to the pre-ordained scenario, in which a decisive role was played by the officially supported propaganda. It is through the Kishinev Jews that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, published a year later, were effectively approbated and afterwards not only incorporated into the Nazi anti-Semitic doctrine against the Jews in general, but played a decisive role in their extermination of the Soviet Jewry on the occupied territories.
Hitler, and many intellectuals treated the emergence of Communist State as an omen fitting perfectly the “predictions” and agenda outlined in Protocols. This was their justification for identifying all Jews with communists.
In the occupied territories of Soviet Union the Jews and communists were executed on the spot, ghettoes raised by Nazis in large cities did not last long, and the fate of Kishinev Jews during the War is exemplary. The ghetto in Kishinev existed less than half a year and as the pro-Nazist Romanian paper Bukarester Tageblat said in the beginning of 1942: “In 1941, 11,888 Jews lived in Kishinev that disappeared from there and today only 75 people are left”. In the middle of May 1942 Kishinev was declared to be Judenrein..
“House number 13 looks as dead man; it yawns on the street by its empty windows with broken and knocked out frames, and doors nailed with wooden pieces in a slapdash manner… One should give justice to the police - although it did not oppose much to the pogrom, now it energetic measures, urging the Jews to put the destroyed and damaged buildings in order. But it has no control over the owner of house 13 ...”
(Vladimir Galaktionovich Korolenko, “House 13”)
A story of a suckling child asleep,
A dead and cloven breast between its lips,
And of another child they tore in two,
Thus cutting short its last and loudest scream,
For “Ma-”, was heard, but “Mama” never finished.
Haim Nachman Bialik, “In the City of Slaughter”
In that town I saw in filth
A torn piece of Torah scroll.
With care I shook off dust
Absorbed by the eternal list
to read what was written on.
“In ForeignLand” - just two short words
said the forever living people’s Book ...