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

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

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Irina Astashkevich

Series: Jews of Russia & Eastern Europe and Their Legacy
ISBN: 9781618116161 (hardcover), 9781618119995 (paperback)
Pages: 170 pp.
Publication Date: November 2018

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This is a groundbreaking study of an important and neglected topic. Between 1917 and 1921, rape was used as a strategic weapon in the genocidal anti-Jewish violence—the pogroms—that erupted in Ukraine. During this period, at least 100,000 Jews died and unknown numbers of Jewish women were raped. The book is based on the in-depth study of the scores of survivor narratives that have been all but forgotten for almost a century. It analyzes how the victimized Jewish communities experienced trauma, how they expressed it, the motives of the perpetrators, and the part played by rape in furthering the pogroms’ objectives.

Irina Astashkevich was born in Moscow. Valedictorian in the Project Judaica, a joint project of the Russian State University for the Humanities, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, she holds an MA degree in History and Archival Sciences. In April 2013, she received a PhD from Brandeis University, since when she has been a research associate at Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Chaos in Ukraine: Defining the Context of Anti-Jewish Violence
Chapter 2. Carnival of Violence: Development of the Pogrom Script
Chapter 3. The Perfect Weapon: Mass Rape as Public Spectacle
Chapter 4. Inventing Vengeance: Who and Why Punished the Jews
Chapter 5. Describing the Indescribable: Narratives of Gendered Violence
Chapter 6. “Wretched Victims of Another Kind”: Making Sense of Rape Trauma