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Anti-Jewish Violence in Tsarist Lithuania: a Comparative Approach



January 29 (Fri) - 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Darius Staliunas
Lithuanian Institute of History
Encina Hall West, Room 219
417 Galvez Mall
A talk co-sponsored by the Taube Center for Jewish Studies and Stanford University Libraries.

This paper will be divided into three parts. First of all, the short summary of the book will be presented, so that the audience  is acquainted with the basic trends related to the anti-Jewish violence in the nineteenth century Lithuania. In the second part the situation in Lithuania will be compared to that in Belarus which is a very suitable region for comparison with Lithuania, when investigating anti-Jewish pogroms. At the beginning of the 1880s, when a wave of pogroms rippled through the southern part of the Russian Empire, the situation in the Lithuanian and Belarusian provinces was very similar (no pogroms in Belarus and only two in Lithuania),  whereas at the beginning of the 20th century we can see essential differences (quite а many deadly pogroms in Belarus). Thus, by comparing the situation in these two regions at the beginning of the 20th c. we should have a better understanding of why pogroms erupted in Belarus, and why Lithuania with its very small number of pogroms was such an exceptional area within the Jewish Pale of Settlement.

In the last part of the talk the situation in Lithuania will be compared to the one in the Kingdom of Poland and East Galicia (Habsburg Monarchy) where,  similarly to Lithuania, antisemitic ideology gained strength in the late imperial period but at the same time the number of anti-Jewish pogroms  was very small compared to other regions with a significant Jewish minority (West Galicia, other parts of Jewish Pale of Settlement). By comparing these different cases I’ll try to find some patterns that can help explain why the level of anti-Jewish violence was so diverse in different regions of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Since 2000, Darius Staliunas has been a deputy director at Lithuanian Institute of History. He teaches at Vilnius and Klaipėda universities. Staliunas is the author of Making Russians. Meaning and Practice of Russification in Lithuania and Belarus after 1863 (Amsterdam/New York, NY: Rodopi, 2007); Enemies for a Day: Antisemitism and Anti-Jewish Violence in Lithuania under the Tsars (Budapest/New York: CEU Press, 2015); Lithuanian Nationalism and the Vilnius Question, 1883-1940 (Marburg: Herder-Institut, 2015; co-author – Dangiras Mačiulis). His research interests include issues of Russian nationality policy in the so-called Northwestern Region (Lithuania and Belarus), ethnic conflicts as well as problems of historiography and places of memory in Lithuania.

RSVP requested.

This event is open to Stanford affiliates.



By Liisi Esse

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