East View produces a variety of valuable collections for researchers and graduate-level students in Judaic studies. Covering the period from the Russian Empire of the 1850s to the early Soviet era of the 1920s, the collections include documentation from important historical events, such as Kyiv’s Bloody October of 1905 and the Beilis Case. Topics covered include: emigration from Ukraine, before and during the Soviet era; anti-Semitic groups, ethnic tension and the resulting pogroms; Jewish societies and education programs; and more. All collections are available online, in full-image, text-searchable files, providing researchers with convenient access to rare, primary source materials. See below for detailed collection descriptions; please inquire for pricing and availability.
The Beilis Case was one of the most important public events in Russia before WWI. It lasted for two and a half years and stirred up the attention of the entire civilized world. The authorities accused Mendel Beilis, a Jewish clerk at a brick factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, in a ritual murder of a Gentile boy, Andrei Yushchinsky. The police knew the identity of the real perpetrators but were forbidden to arrest them as the government’s plan was to convict a Jew and to incite mass anti-Semitic pogroms around the country. When Beilis was acquitted by the jury this heinous scheme failed. This unprecedented collection from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast (GAKO) presents unique documents covering the trial and the events around it. It includes there are proceedings of the court, testimonies of all 355 witnesses, speeches by the prosecution and the defense, materials of the investigation, articles from the newspapers, and other pertinent sources. The documents are in Russian, Yiddish, German, and Polish.
This collection of rare archival documents from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast (GAKO) contains important materials from Jewish Societies in Ukraine during 1857-1929, many of which were founded by donations from Jewish philanthropists and foreign Jewish charities. Includes materials on the Kyiv Society for Aid to Jewish Victims of Military Actions, the Kyiv Committee of the Jewish Community Health Society, the Kyiv Executive Office of the Central Committee of the United Jewish Socialist Workers’ Party, the Society for Study of the Jewish Workers’ Movement and Revolutionary-Socialist Tendencies among Jews, the Kyiv Committee of the Society of Manual and Agricultural Labor for Jews in Ukraine, the Novofastovsk Jewish Society, Jewish social organizations, and the newspaper Kommunistishe Fon, an organ of the Kyivan Jews of the Gubernial Committee of the Bolshevik Party of the Ukraine.
There were several short-term periods when emigration was possible during the years of the Soviet regime. Documents in this collection include materials from thousands of families emigrating from the Soviet Union from 1926-1930. This collection from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast contains documents from the “Joint-Stock Company Russo-Canadian-American Passenger Agency” (“Aktsionernoe obshchestvo Russkocanadsko-amerikanskoe passazhirskoe agenstvo”) (RUSCAPA). According to the collection’s documents, RUSCAPA was set up in the early 1920s as a joint-stock company whose members were Russian, Canadian and American passenger carriers. Its central Moscow office, Kyiv branch and representatives operating throughout Ukraine helped Soviet citizens process the necessary emigration documents and arranged for their transit to the United States, Canada, southern Africa, or Caribbean region. Personal information regarding their family members, age, family status, state of health, literacy standards, and funds spent to leave the country are included. Each of the 1,470 dossiers is a personal file of an individual and family members emigrating. Dossiers range in size between 3 and 150 pages. Documents include the questionnaires, medical certificates, personal letters and telegrams filled out and submitted in order to exit the USSR and enter the USA and Canada.
Scattered around the World today are an estimated 12 million descendants of Jewish emigres who departed Ukraine for the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia between 1895 and 1917. From start to finish, this remarkable diaspora was managed by a single organization in Kyiv, the Society for Adjustment of Jewish Emigration, later called the Jewish Emigration Society. The Society organized and managed the outflow of Jewish emigres and their destinations abroad before it was disbanded in 1917. This collection includes over 10,000 pages of documents of the Jewish Emigration Society, as well as over 36,000 pages of detailed personal correspondence.
In 1905, revolutionary demonstrations in Russia forced Czar Nicholas II to issue a Manifesto on October 17 in which he promised to convene a State Duma and granted the freedom of speech, the press, of associations and assembly. After the Manifesto was published, pogroms organized by the Black Hundred erupted in Gomel, Odessa, Saratov and many other places. The Black Hundred, an anti-Semitic, ultra-nationalist movement that supported the autocracy of the reigning monarch, believed that the Jewish people, in particular, strongly supported the Manifesto. The pogrom in Kyiv on October 18-21, 1905, stands apart from others because of its scale and tragic results. The collection was compiled from materials from the Judicial Investigator of Critical Cases of the Kyiv District Court (1905-1906; 4,173 pages), the Kyiv District Court (1872-1919; 2,907 pages), and the Committee for Aiding Victims of the Pogrom of October 18-21, 1905 (1905-1912; 3,260 pages).
The world at large may have sighed in relief with the end of World War I, but the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and subsequent Russian Civil War brought new outbreaks of anti-Semitic activities—particularly in Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands of Jewish people fell victim to pogroms. In addition to the dead, the region was flooded with the sick, the homeless and the poverty stricken as well as over 300,000 orphans. This collection offers a unique research opportunity—over 30,000 pages of never before seen correspondence, witness accounts, reports describing commissioners’ and committee activities, records of individual investigations, refugee and victim lists and statistics, communications with Western relief organizations and documents pertaining to Jewish emigration out of Ukraine. Also included is information on the organization of the commission itself as well as the organization and operation of orphanages, schools, hospitals, work centers, shelters and refugee camps.
In the early 1900s, the leading organization in Russia devoted to education and enlightenment among the Jewish population was Obshchestvo prosveshcheniia evreev (The Society for the Proliferation of Education among Jews). The Ukrainian chapter of this society first formed in Kyiv in 1903. Thanks to membership dues and donations, the OPE distributed financial subsidies to Jewish educational programs and supplied Jewish schools and Talmud Torahs with literature in the provinces of Kyiv, Volynia, Podol and Chernigov. During the First World War, the society helped set up schools and preschool centers for the children of Jewish refugees. Documents in this collection covering the activity of the OPE as well as other Jewish cultural societies are from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast, and total more than 17,600 pages of rare documents.
Revolutionary turmoil swept through the Russian Empire in the early 1900s. After the wake of “Bloody Sunday” on January 9, 1905, the tsarist government saw that it could not survive through police measures and punitive raids alone. Thus, in 1905 the government supported right-wing political parties. The Union of the Russian People (Soiuz russkogo naroda), one of the most notorious, was founded in St. Petersburg by A.I. Dubrovin, the editor of a monarchist newspaper, Russkoe Znamia, and an active participant in pogroms. Tsar Nicholas II gave his full support to this organization. Its charter was adopted in August of 1906. The height of the Union’s activity came at the end of 1905 and early 1906 when branches of the Union of the Russian People formed throughout the empire. The Ukrainian chapter of the Union was organized in Kyiv, on April 29, 1906. The Union was openly nationalistic and discriminatory against the smaller ethnic groups that made up the Russian Empire. This collection is based on the rare materials obtained from the State Archives of Kyiv Oblast. Among its contents are papers on the opening of the Russian People Union of Archangel Michael in Kyiv Gubernia, lists of members of the boards and councils of the Union’s departments and correspondence with the Mayor of Petrograd and local police officers.