Gendered Violence: Jewish Women in the Pogroms of 1917 to 1921

Gendered Violence: Jewish Women in the Pogroms of 1917 to 1921


Irina Astashkevich

Series: Jews of Russia & Eastern Europe and Their Legacy
ISBN: 9781618116161 (hardcover)
Pages: approx. 180 pp.
Publication Date: October 2018


This is the first book to recognize and address the problem of mass rape of Jewish women during the pogroms in Ukraine during the Civil War (1917-1921). The genocidal violence during the pogroms became a precursor to the Holocaust, and until recently the latter overshadowed the significance of the pogrom violence in the historiography of East European Jewish life. This book evaluates the traumatic impact of rape on both Jewish women and men through scrupulous analysis of the gendered narrative of the pogrom rape. This gendered form of violence shaped the experience of the victims and the narration of the events, which often follows normative gendered scripts and but also deviates from them. Drawing on theories of trauma and archival documents from the YIVO Institute, this volume illuminates a dark history that has never been addressed nor officially recognized, until now.

Irina Astashkevich, a visiting research associate of the Tauber Institute, holds a PhD from Brandeis University. She received her MA in History, Jewish History and Archives from the Project Judaica – a joint project of the Russian State University of Humanities, Historical Archival Institute, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research in New York. She has worked in various archives in Russia, Lithuania, and the US, as well as in Jewish philanthropic organizations, such as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Moscow.