A prayer for the government: Ukrainians and Jews in revolutionary times, 1917-1920

Front Cover
Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University, 1999 - History - 255 pages
0 Reviews
After the fall of the Russian Empire, Jewish and Ukrainian activists worked to overcome previous mutual antagonism by creating a Ministry of Jewish Affairs within the new Ukrainian state and taking other measures to satisfy the national aspirations of Jews and other non-Ukrainians. This bold experiment ended in terrible failure as anarchic violence swept the countryside amidst civil war and foreign intervention. Pogromist attacks resulted in the worst massacres of Jews in Europe in almost three hundred years. Some 40 percent of these pogroms were perpetrated by troops ostensibly loyal to the very government that was simultaneously extending unprecedented civil rights to the Jewish population. Abramson explores this paradox and sheds new light on the relationship between the various Ukrainian governments and the communal violence, focusing especially on the role of Symon Petliura, the Ukrainian leader later assassinated by a Jew claiming revenge for the pogroms. A Prayer for the Government treats a crucial period of Ukrainian and Jewish history, and is also a case study of ethnic violence in emerging political entities.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Ukrainians and Jews on the Eve of Revolutionary Times
The Establishment of Jewish Autonomy
Autonomism in Practice

8 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Anna's Shtetl
Lawrence A. Coben
No preview available - 2007
All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Abramson is an Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. He teaches in the Department of History and the Program of Holocaust and Judaic Studies.