What is a Pogrom and Where Did They Occur

Pogrom traditionally defines a violent mob attack against the Jewish community. These violent attacks have a very long history and not only includes the killing of unarmed Jews, but also the destruction of their homes, businesses and religious places.

Pogrom is a Russian word, which entered into the English language in the description of brutal 19th and 20th-century attacks against Jews in the Russian Empire. The same word is also used to refer to the attacks at other times and places.  The term ‘Pogrom’ is typically associated with the attack on Jews, but it is now used to describe the violent attacks even against the non-Jewish religious groups.


  • 1

    The list of major pogroms in the Russian Empire includes Odessa pogroms, Warsaw pogrom (1881), Kishinev pogrom (1903), Kiev Pogrom (1905), and Białystok pogrom (1906).

    The violent attacks against the Jews continued even after the 1917 Russian Revolution. The Lwów pogrom (1918), and Kiev Pogroms (1919) are the ones that took place after the revolution.

  • 2

    Pogroms have a long history even outside Russia. One of the biggest violent attacks against the Jewish community was Kristallnacht that took place in Nazi Germany in 1938. There are no confirmed stats available, but it is believed that at least 91 Jews were killed, and more than 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps.

    Kristallnacht was much more than just killing and arresting of over thirty thousand people. Almost 1,000 synagogues were burned, and nearly 7,000 Jewish businesses were either totally destroyed or damaged.

  • 3

    According to the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaeus, the Alexandrian pogroms against Jews occurred in Alexandria back in 38 CE.

  • 4

    Massive pogroms against the Jews date back at least to the Crusades. The violent attack of 1096 in France and Germany is quite notable in this regard. Massacres of Jews, a series of violent attack, were seen at London and York in 1189–1190.

  • 5

    In the middle of 14th century, the Jews were massacred by Christians in Chillon, Basle, Stuttgart, Ulm, Speyer, Dresden, and Mainz. It is believed that 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish communities had been either destroyed or badly damaged by 1351.

  • 6

    The pogroms of 19th and 20th century also carry a lot of importance. The Nazi government tried to destory the Jewish community during the World War II. Even after the end of the war, a series of violent incidents occurred throughout the Europe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× nine = 54