Self-Defence as an Emotional Experience
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Youth who left their communities and declared independence from communal values and norms of behaviour found that family and communal ties were much too strong to be easily cut. Considering that at the time all Jews, including secular revolutionary Jews, had to deal with the same anti-Semitism, some level of allegiance of the revolutionaries towards the Jewish community was to be expected. Young revolutionaries did not leave behind the individualistic idea of self-development, but they learned that the way to self-development was through communal solidarity. They expressed this solidarity not as traditional Jews would, through allegiance to communal and religious values and behavioural practices, but in ways legitimate to the new youth culture that they had developed. They presented themselves not as renegades, but as people with a new Jewish identity, the identity of a Jewish revolutionary. This new identity found its utmost expression in two emotion-laden political struggles — the struggle for self-assertion against the revolutionary intelligentsia and self-defence against pogroms.
KeywordsEmotional Experience Jewish Community Jewish Population Jewish Identity Jewish Woman
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- 3.According to the available partial data, pogroms took place in 108 cities, 70 settlements and 108 villages during the three weeks after the tsar published his Manifesto on 17 October 1905. At least 1622 people were murdered and at least 3544 were wounded. S. A. Stepanov, Chernaya sotnia 1905–1914 gg (Moscow, 1992), p. 56.Google Scholar
- 4.There were also pogroms in central Russia, Siberia, the Far East and Central Asia, targeting anyone who was considered a supporter of a revolution. Jews were not the only ones targeted due to their nationality, as so, too, were Armenians, and in different places Azeris, Georgians, Ukrainians, Latvians and Germans as well. But Jews were the only nationality targeted systematically. A. P. Korelin and S. A. Stepanov, S.Iu. Vitte – finansist, politik, diplomat (Moscow, 1998), p. 186.Google Scholar
- 6.Stepanov, Chernaya sotnia; Klier and Lambroza (eds), Pogroms; and I. Kagan, Pogromy v dni svobody, oktiabr’ 1905 g (Moscow, 1925).Google Scholar
- 40.I am reminded here of Jacques Rancière’s depiction of politicized workers as positioned between the workers and the revolutionary intelligentsia, deriving their status in each space from belonging to the other, but not fully belonging anywhere — neither in their own eyes nor in the eyes of others around them. Jacques Rancière, The Nights of Labor: The Workers’ Dream in Nineteenth Century-France (Philadelphia, PA, 1989).Google Scholar