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Plundering the Judengasse, a Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt, on 22 August 1614
TargetPredominantly Jews
Additionally other ethnic groups

A pogrom[a] is a violent riot incited with the aim of massacring or expelling an ethnic or religious group, particularly Jews.[1] The term entered the English language from Russian to describe 19th- and 20th-century attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire (mostly within the Pale of Settlement). Similar attacks against Jews which also occurred at other times and places became known retrospectively as pogroms.[2] Sometimes the word is used to describe publicly sanctioned purgative attacks against non-Jewish groups. The characteristics of a pogrom vary widely, depending on the specific incident, at times leading to, or culminating in, massacres.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Significant pogroms in the Russian Empire included the Odessa pogroms, Warsaw pogrom (1881), Kishinev pogrom (1903), Kiev pogrom (1905), and Białystok pogrom (1906). After the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, several pogroms occurred amidst the power struggles in Eastern Europe, including the Lwów pogrom (1918) and Kiev pogroms (1919). The most significant pogrom which occurred in Nazi Germany was the 1938 Kristallnacht. At least 91 Jews were killed, a further thirty thousand arrested and subsequently incarcerated in concentration camps,[10] a thousand synagogues burned, and over seven thousand Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged.[11][12] Notorious pogroms of World War II included the 1941 Farhud in Iraq, the July 1941 Iași pogrom in Romania – in which over 13,200 Jews were killed – as well as the Jedwabne pogrom in German-occupied Poland. Post-World War II pogroms included the 1945 Tripoli pogrom, the 1946 Kielce pogrom, the 1947 Aleppo pogrom, and the 1955 Istanbul pogrom. In 1984 Sikh massacre, 3,000 Sikhs were killed brutally in the orderly pogrom.[13] In 2008, two attacks in the Occupied West Bank by Israeli Jewish settlers on Palestinian Arabs were labeled as pogroms by then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.[14] In 2023 a Wall Street Journal editorial referred to the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel as a pogrom.[15]


First recorded in English in 1882, the Russian word pogróm (погро́м, pronounced [pɐˈɡrom]) is derived from the common prefix po- (по-) and the verb gromít' (громи́ть, [ɡrɐˈmʲitʲ]) meaning 'to destroy, wreak havoc, demolish violently'. The noun pogrom, which has a relatively short history, is used in English and many other languages as a loanword, possibly borrowed from Yiddish (where the word takes the form פאָגראָם).[16] Its modern widespread circulation began with the antisemitic violence in the Russian Empire in 1881–1883.[17]

The Hep-Hep riots in Würzburg, 1819. On the left, two peasant women are assaulting a Jewish man with pitchfork and broom. On the right, a man wearing spectacles, tails and a six-button waistcoat, "perhaps a pharmacist or a schoolteacher,"[18] holds a Jewish man by the throat and is about to club him with a truncheon. The houses are being looted. A contemporary engraving by Johann Michael Voltz.

Historical background

The first recorded anti-Jewish riots took place in Alexandria in the year 38 CE, followed by the more known riot of 66 CE. Other notable events took place in Europe during the Middle Ages. Jewish communities were targeted in 1189-90 in England, during the Crusades and especially during the Black Death of 1348–1350, including in Toulon, Erfurt, Basel, Aragon, Flanders[19][20] and Strasbourg.[21] Some 510 Jewish communities were destroyed during this period,[22] extending further to the Brussels massacre of 1370. On Holy Saturday of 1389, a pogrom began in Prague that led to the burning of the Jewish quarter, the killing of many Jews, and the suicide of many Jews trapped in the main synagogue; the number of dead was estimated at 400–500 men, women and children.[23] Attacks against Jews also took place in Barcelona and other Spanish cities during the massacre of 1391.

The brutal murders of Jews and Poles occurred during the Khmelnytsky Uprising of 1648–1657 in present-day Ukraine.[24] Modern historians give estimates of the scale of the murders by Khmelnytsky's Cossacks ranging between 40,000 and 100,000 men, women and children,[b][c] or perhaps many more.[d]

The outbreak of violence against Jews (Hep-Hep riots) occurred at the beginning of the 19th century in reaction to Jewish emancipation in the German Confederation.[25]

Russian Empire

Victims of a pogrom in Kishinev, Bessarabia, 1903

The Russian Empire, which previously had very few Jews, acquired territories in the Russian Partition that contained large Jewish populations, during the military partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795.[26] In conquered territories, a new political entity called the Pale of Settlement was formed in 1791 by Catherine the Great. Most Jews from the former Commonwealth were allowed to reside only within the Pale, including families expelled by royal decree from St. Petersburg, Moscow and other large Russian cities.[27] The 1821 Odessa pogroms marked the beginning of the 19th century pogroms in Tsarist Russia; there were four more such pogroms in Odessa before the end of the century.[28] Following the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 by Narodnaya Volya, anti-Jewish events turned into a wave of over 200 pogroms by their modern definition, which lasted for several years.[29] Jewish self-governing Kehillah were abolished by Tsar Nicholas I in 1844.[30]

The first in 20th-century Russia was the Kishinev pogrom of 1903 in which 49 Jews were killed, hundreds wounded, 700 homes destroyed and 600 businesses pillaged.[31] In the same year, pogroms took place in Gomel (Belarus), Smela, Feodosiya and Melitopol (Ukraine). Extreme savagery was typified by mutilations of the wounded.[32] They were followed by the Zhitomir pogrom (with 29 killed),[33] and the Kiev pogrom of October 1905 resulting in a massacre of approximately 100 Jews.[34] In three years between 1903 and 1906, about 660 pogroms were recorded in Ukraine and Bessarabia; half a dozen more in Belorussia, carried out with the Russian government's complicity, but no anti-Jewish pogroms were recorded in Poland.[32] At about that time, the Jewish Labor Bund began organizing armed self-defense units ready to shoot back, and the pogroms subsided for a number of years.[34] According to professor Colin Tatz, between 1881 and 1920 there were 1,326 pogroms in Ukraine (see: Southwestern Krai parts of the Pale) which took the lives of 70,000 to 250,000 civilian Jews, leaving half a million homeless.[35][36] This violence across Eastern Europe prompted a wave of Jewish migration westward that totaled about 2.5 million people.[37]

Eastern Europe after World War I

Map of pogroms in Ukraine between 1918 and 1920 per casualties

Large-scale pogroms, which began in the Russian Empire several decades earlier, intensified during the period of the Russian Civil War in the aftermath of World War I. Professor Zvi Gitelman (A Century of Ambivalence) estimated that only in 1918–1919 over 1,200 pogroms took place in Ukraine, thus amounting to the greatest slaughter of Jews in Eastern Europe since 1648.[38]

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book Two Hundred Years Together provided additional statistics from research conducted by Nahum Gergel (1887–1931). Gergel counted 1,236 incidents of anti-Jewish violence and estimated that 887 mass pogroms occurred, the remainder being classified as "excesses" not assuming mass proportions.[36][39] The Kiev pogroms of 1919, according to Gitelman, were the first of a subsequent wave of pogroms in which between 30,000 and 70,000 Jews were massacred across Ukraine; although more recent assessments put the Jewish death toll at more than 100,000.[40][41] Of all the pogroms accounted for in Gergel's research:

  • About 40 percent were perpetrated by the Ukrainian People's Republic forces led by Symon Petliura. The Republic issued orders condemning pogroms,[42] but lacked authority to intervene.[42] After May 1919 the Directory lost its role as a credible governing body; almost 75 percent of pogroms occurred between May and September of that year.[43] Thousands of Jews were killed only for being Jewish, without any political affiliations.[36]
  • 25 percent by the Ukrainian Green Army and various Ukrainian nationalist gangs,
  • 17 percent by the White Army, especially the forces of Anton Denikin,
  • 8.5 percent of Gergel's total was attributed to pogroms carried out by men of the Red Army (more specifically Semyon Budenny's First Cavalry, most of whose soldiers had previously served under Denikin).[39] These pogroms were not, however, sanctioned by the Bolshevik leadership; the high command "vigorously condemned these pogroms and disarmed the guilty regiments", and the pogroms would soon be condemned by Mikhail Kalinin in a speech made at a military parade in Ukraine.[39][44][45]

Gergel's overall figures, which are generally considered conservative, are based on the testimony of witnesses and newspaper reports collected by the Mizrakh-Yidish Historiche Arkhiv which was first based in Kiev, then Berlin and later New York. The English version of Gergel's article was published in 1951 in the YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science titled "The Pogroms in the Ukraine in 1918–1921".[46]

On 8 August 1919, during the Polish–Soviet War, Polish troops took over Minsk in Operation Minsk. They killed 31 Jews suspected of supporting the Bolshevist movement, beat and attacked many more, looted 377 Jewish-owned shops (aided by the local civilians) and ransacked many private homes.[47][48] The "Morgenthau's report of October 1919 stated that there is no question that some of the Jewish leaders exaggerated these evils."[49][50] According to Elissa Bemporad, the "violence endured by the Jewish population under the Poles encouraged popular support for the Red Army, as Jewish public opinion welcomed the establishment of the Belorussian SSR."[51]

After the First World War, during the localized armed conflicts of independence, 72 Jews were killed and 443 injured in the 1918 Lwów pogrom.[52][53][54][55][56] The following year, pogroms were reported by the New York Tribune in several cities in the newly established Second Polish Republic.[57]

Rest of the world

A massacre of Armenians and Assyrians in the city of Adana, Ottoman Empire, April 1909

In the early 20th century, pogroms broke out elsewhere in the world as well. In 1904 in Ireland, the Limerick boycott caused several Jewish families to leave the town. During the 1911 Tredegar riot in Wales, Jewish homes and businesses were looted and burned over a period of a week, before the British Army was called in by the then-Home Secretary Winston Churchill, who described the riot as a "pogrom".[58]

In 1919, there was a pogrom in Argentina, during the Tragic Week.[59] It had an added element, as it was called to attack Jews and Catalans indiscriminately. The reasons are not clear, especially considering that, in the case of Buenos Aires, the Catalan colony, established mainly in the neighborhood of Montserrat, came from the foundation of the city, but could have been the result of the influence of Spanish nationalism, which at the time described Catalans as a Semitic ethnicity.[60]

In the north of Ireland during the early 1920s, violent riots which were aimed at the expulsion of a religious group took place. In 1920, Lisburn and Belfast saw violence related to the Irish War of Independence and partition of Ireland. On 21 July 1920 in Belfast, Protestant Loyalists marched on the Harland and Wolff shipyards and forced over 11,000 Catholic and left-wing Protestant workers from their jobs.[61] The sectarian rioting that followed resulted in about 20 deaths in just three days.[62] These sectarian actions are often referred to as the Belfast Pogrom. In Lisburn, County Antrim, on 23–25 August 1920 Protestant loyalist crowds looted and burned practically every Catholic business in the town and attacked Catholic homes. About 1,000 people, a third of the town's Catholics, fled Lisburn.[63] By the end of the first six months of 1922, hundreds of people had been killed in sectarian violence in newly formed Northern Ireland. On a per capita basis, four Roman Catholics were killed for every Protestant.[64]

In Mandatory Palestine under British administration, Jews were targeted by Arabs in the 1929 Hebron massacre during the 1929 Palestine riots. In 1934 there were pogroms against Jews in Turkey and Algeria.

In the worst incident of anti-Jewish violence in Britain during the interwar period, the "Pogrom of Mile End", that occurred in 1936, 200 Blackshirt youths ran amok in Stepney in the East End of London, smashing the windows of Jewish shops and homes and throwing an elderly man and young girl through a window. Though less serious, attacks on Jews were also reported in Manchester and Leeds in the north of England.[65]

Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe

Iași pogrom in Romania, June 1941

The first pogrom in Nazi Germany was the Kristallnacht, often called Pogromnacht, in which at least 91 Jews were killed, a further 30,000 arrested and incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps,[10] over 1,000 synagogues burned, and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged.[11][12]

During World War II, Nazi German death squads encouraged local populations in German-occupied Europe to commit pogroms against Jews. Brand new battalions of Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz (trained by SD agents) were mobilized from among the German minorities.[66][67]

A large number of pogroms occurred during the Holocaust at the hands of non-Germans.[68] Perhaps the deadliest of these Holocaust-era pogroms was the Iași pogrom in Romania, perpetrated by Ion Antonescu, in which as many as 13,266 Jews were killed by Romanian citizens, police and military officials.[69]

On 1–2 June 1941, in the two-day Farhud pogrom in Iraq, perpetrated by Rashid Ali, Yunis al-Sabawi, and the al-Futuwa youth, "rioters murdered between 150 and 180 Jews, injured 600 others, and raped an undetermined number of women. They also looted some 1,500 stores and homes".[70][71] Also 300-400 non-Jewish rioters were killed in the attempt to quell the violence.[72]

Jewish woman chased by men and youth armed with clubs during the Lviv pogroms, July 1941

In June–July 1941, encouraged by the Einsatzgruppen in the city of Lviv the Ukrainian People's Militia perpetrated two citywide pogroms in which around 6,000 Polish Jews were murdered,[73] in retribution for alleged collaboration with the Soviet NKVD. In Lithuania, some local police led by Algirdas Klimaitis and Lithuanian partisans – consisting of LAF units reinforced by 3,600 deserters from the 29th Lithuanian Territorial Corps of the Red Army[74] promulgated anti-Jewish pogroms in Kaunas along with occupying Nazis. On 25–26 June 1941, about 3,800 Jews were killed and synagogues and Jewish settlements burned.[75]

During the Jedwabne pogrom of July 1941, ethnic Poles burned at least 340 Jews in a barn (Institute of National Remembrance) in the presence of Nazi German Ordnungspolizei. The role of the German Einsatzgruppe B remains the subject of debate.[76][77][78][79][80][81]

After World War II

After the end of World War II, a series of violent antisemitic incidents occurred against returning Jews throughout Europe, particularly in the Soviet-occupied East where Nazi propagandists had extensively promoted the notion of a Jewish-Communist conspiracy (see Anti-Jewish violence in Poland, 1944–1946 and Anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Europe, 1944–1946). Anti-Jewish riots also took place in Britain in 1947.

In the Arab world, anti-Jewish rioters killed over 140 Jews in the 1945 Anti-Jewish Riots in Tripolitania. Following the start of the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, a number of anti-Jewish events occurred throughout the Arab world, some of which have been described as pogroms. In 1947, half of Aleppo's 10,000 Jews left the city in the wake of the Aleppo riots, while other anti-Jewish riots took place in British Aden and the French Moroccan cities of Oujda and Jerada.[82]

Hamas-initiated attacks, 7 October 2023

On 7 October 2023, Hamas' Al Qassam Brigades militant wing (based in Gaza) initiated an attack on Israel, and incited other groups and individuals to join them.[83] This resulted in the deaths of over 1100 Israelis and foreign nationals, most of whom were Jewish Israelis.[84] In the attacks Al Qassam and other armed groups from Gaza also took approximately 250 people hostage, including infants, elderly, and people who had already been severely injured.[85]


An early reference to a "pogrom" in The Times of London, December 1903. Together with The New York Times and the Hearst press, they took the lead in highlighting the pogrom in Kishinev (now Chişinău, Moldova) and other cities in Russia.[86] In May of the same year, The Times' Russian correspondent Dudley Disraeli Braham had been expelled from Russia.[87]

According to Encyclopædia Britannica, "the term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, [and] the first extensive pogroms followed the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881",[1] and the Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789 states that pogroms "were antisemitic disturbances that periodically occurred within the tsarist empire."[3] However, the term is widely used to refer to many events which occurred prior to the Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire. Historian of Russian Jewry John Klier writes in Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881–1882 that "By the twentieth century, the word 'pogrom' had become a generic term in English for all forms of collective violence directed against Jews."[4] Abramson wrote that "in mainstream usage the word has come to imply an act of antisemitism", since while "Jews have not been the only group to suffer under this phenomenon ... historically Jews have been frequent victims of such violence."[88]

The 1921 Tulsa race massacre, which destroyed the wealthiest black community in the United States, has been described as a pogrom.[89]

The term is also used in reference to attacks on non-Jewish ethnic minorities, and accordingly some scholars do not include antisemitism as the defining characteristic of pogroms. Reviewing its uses in scholarly literature, historian Werner Bergmann proposes that a pogrom should be "defined as a unilateral, nongovernmental form of collective violence that is initiated by the majority population against a largely defenseless minority ethnic group, and he also states that pogroms occur when the majority expects the state to provide it with no assistance in overcoming a (perceived) threat from the minority,"[5] but he adds that in Western usage, the word's "anti-Semitic overtones" have been retained.[17] Historian David Engel supports this view, writing that "there can be no logically or empirically compelling grounds for declaring that some particular episode does or does not merit the label [pogrom]," but he states that the majority of the incidents which are "habitually" described as pogroms took place in societies that were significantly divided by ethnicity and/or religion where the violence was committed by members of the higher-ranking group against members of a stereotyped lower-ranking group with which they expressed some complaint, and the members of the higher-ranking group justified their acts of violence by claiming that the law of the land would not be used to stop them.[6]

There is no universally accepted set of characteristics which define the term pogrom.[6][90] Klier writes that "when applied indiscriminately to events in Eastern Europe, the term can be misleading, the more so when it implies that 'pogroms' were regular events in the region and that they always shared common features."[4] Use of the term pogrom to refer to events in 1918–19 in Polish cities including Kielce pogrom, Pinsk massacre and Lwów pogrom, was specifically avoided in the 1919 Morgenthau Report and the word "excesses" was used instead because the authors argued that the use of the term "pogrom" required a situation to be antisemitic rather than political in nature, which meant that it was inapplicable to the conditions which exist in a war zone,[6][91][92] and media use of the term pogrom to refer to the 1991 Crown Heights riot caused public controversy.[93][94][95] In 2008, two separate attacks in the West Bank by Israeli Jewish settlers on Palestinian Arabs were characterized as pogroms by then Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert.[14][96]

Werner Bergmann suggests that all such incidents have a particularly unifying characteristic: "[b]y the collective attribution of a threat, the pogrom differs from other forms of violence, such as lynchings, which are directed at individual members of a minority group, while the imbalance of power in favor of the rioters distinguishes pogroms from other forms of riots (food riots, race riots or "communal riots" between evenly matched groups); and again, the low level of organization separates them from vigilantism, terrorism, massacre and genocide".[5]

Selected list

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This is a partial list of events for which one of the commonly accepted names includes the word "pogrom".

Inclusion in this list is based solely on evidence in multiple reliable sources that a name including the word "pogrom" is one of the accepted names for that event. A reliable source that merely describes the event as being a pogrom does not qualify the event for inclusion in this list. The word Pogrom must appear in the source as part of a name for the event.

Date Pogrom name Alternative name(s) Deaths Description
38 Alexandrian pogrom (name disputed)[e] Alexandrian riots Aulus Avilius Flaccus, the Egyptian prefect of Alexandria appointed by Tiberius in 32 CE, may have encouraged the outbreak of violence in which Jews were pushed out of the city of Alexandria and blockaded into a Jewish "ghetto". Those trying to escape the ghetto were killed, dismembered, and some burnt alive.[98] Philo wrote that Flaccus was later arrested and eventually executed for his part in this event. Scholarly research around the subject has been divided on certain points, including whether the Alexandrian Jews fought to keep their citizenship or to acquire it, whether they evaded the payment of the poll-tax or prevented any attempts to impose it on them, and whether they were safeguarding their identity against the Greeks or against the Egyptians.
1066 Granada pogrom 1066 Granada massacre 4,000 Jews A mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, which was at that time in Muslim-ruled al-Andalus, assassinated the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred much of the Jewish population of the city.
1096 1096 pogroms Rhineland massacres 2,000 Jews Peasant crusaders from France and Germany during the People's Crusade, led by Peter the Hermit (and not sanctioned by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church), attacked Jewish communities in the three towns of Speyer, Worms and Mainz.
1113 Kiev pogrom (name disputed)[f] Kiev revolt A rebellion which was sparked by the death of the Grand Prince of Kiev, in which Jews who participated in the prince's economic affairs were some of the victims
1349 Strasbourg pogrom Strasbourg massacre, this massacre coincided with the persecution of Jews during the Black Death
1391 1391 pogroms Massacre of 1391 A series of massacres and forced conversions beginning on 4 June 1391 in the city of Seville before they extend to the rest of Castile and the Crown of Aragon. It is considered one of the Middle Ages' largest attacks on the Jews, and were ultimately expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492.
1506 Lisbon pogrom Lisbon massacre 1,000+ New Christians After an episode of famine and bad harvests, a pogrom happened in Lisbon, Portugal,[102] in which more than 1,000 "New Christian" (forcibly converted Jews) people were slaughtered and/or burnt by an angry Christian mob, in the first night of what became known as the "Lisbon Massacre". The killing occurred from 19 to 21 April, almost eliminating the entire Jewish or Jewish-descended community in that city. Even the Portuguese military and the king himself had difficulty stopping it. Today the event is remembered with a monument in S. Domingos' church.
1563 Polotsk pogrom (name disputed)[g] Polotsk drownings Following the fall of Polotsk to the army of Ivan IV, all those who refused to convert to Orthodox Christianity were ordered drowned in the Western Dvina river.
1648–1657 Khmelnytsky pogrom (name disputed) Khmelnytsky massacres 100,000 Eastern Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth cossack riots, aka pogroms, aka uprisings included massive atrocities committed against Jews in what is today Ukraine, in numbers (conservatively estimated here by Veidlinger, Ataskevitch & Bemporad). They resulted in the creation of a new Hetmantate.
1821–1871 First Odessa pogroms The Greeks of Odessa attacked the local Jewish community, in what began as economic disputes
1840 Damascus affair Following accusations of Jews having conspired to murder a Christian monk for culinary purposes, the local population attacked Jewish businesses and committed acts of violence against the Jewish population.
1881–1884 First Russian Tsarist pogroms A large-scale wave of anti-Jewish riots swept through south-western Imperial Russia (present-day Ukraine and Poland) from 1881 to 1884 (in that period over 200 anti-Jewish events occurred in the Russian Empire, notably the Kiev, Warsaw and Odessa pogroms)
1881 Warsaw pogrom 2 Jews killed, 24 injured Three days of rioting against Jews, Jewish stores, businesses, and residences in the streets adjoining the Holy Cross Church.
1902 Częstochowa pogrom (name disputed) 14 Jews A mob attacked the Jewish shops, killing fourteen Jews and one gendarme. The Russian military brought to restore order were stoned by mob.
1903–1906 Second Russian Tsarist pogroms 2,000+ Jews A much bloodier wave of pogroms broke out from 1903 to 1906, leaving an estimated 2,000 Jews dead and many more wounded, as many Jewish residents took arms to defend their families and property from the attackers. The 1905 pogrom against the Jewish population in Odessa was the most serious pogrom of the period, with reports of up to 2,500 Jews killed.
1903 First Kishinev pogrom 47 Jews (Included above) Three days of anti-Jewish rioting sparked by antisemitic articles in local newspapers
1904 Limerick pogrom (name disputed)[h] Limerick boycott None An economic boycott waged against the small Jewish community in Limerick, Ireland, for over two years
1905 Second Kishinev pogrom 19 Jews (Included above) Two days of anti-Jewish rioting beginning as political protests against the Tsar
1905 Kiev pogrom (1905) 100 Jews (Included above) Following a city hall meeting, a mob was drawn into the streets, proclaiming that "all Russia's troubles stemmed from the machinations of the Jews and socialists."
1906 Siedlce pogrom 26 Jews (Included above) An attack organized by the Russian secret police (Okhrana). Antisemitic pamphlets had been distributed for over a week and before any unrest begun, a curfew was declared.
1909 Adana pogrom Adana massacre 30,000 Armenians A massacre of Armenians in the city of Adana amidst the government upheaval resulted in a series of anti-Armenian pogroms throughout the district.
1910 Slocum massacre Slocum pogrom[104][105] 6 Blacks confirmed; 100 Blacks estimated A massacre of African Americans living in Slocum, Texas, organized by white mobs after rumors of a Black uprising began to spread. White people throughout Anderson County gathered guns, ammunition, and alcohol to prepare. District Judge Benjamin Howard Gardner attempted to stop the massacre by closing all saloons, gun stores, and hardware stores, but it was too late. The massacre lasted 16 hours, with white mobs killing any Black people they saw. As a result of the massacre, half of Slocum's Black population had left or been killed by the next census.
1914 Anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo Sarajevo frenzy of hate 2 Serbs Occurred shortly after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.[106]
1918 Lwów pogrom Lemberg massacre 52–150 Jews, 270 Ukrainians During the Polish-Ukrainian War over three days of unrest in the city, an estimated 52–150 Jewish residents were killed and hundreds more were injured by Polish soldiers and civilians. Two hundred and seventy Ukrainians were also killed during this incident. The Poles did not stop the pogrom until two days after it began.
1919 Proskurov pogrom 1500–1700 Jews The pogrom was initiated by Ivan Samosenko following a failed Bolshevik uprising against the Ukrainian People's Republic in the city.[107] The massacre was carried out by Ukrainian People's Republic soldiers of Samosenko. According to historians Yonah Alexander and Kenneth Myers the soldiers marched into the centre of town accompanied by a military band and engaged in atrocities under the slogan: "Kill the Jews, and save the Ukraine." They were ordered to save the ammunition in the process and use only lances and bayonets.[108]
1919 Kiev pogroms (1919) 60+ A series of anti-Jewish pogroms in various places around Kiev carried out by White Army troops
1919 Pinsk pogrom (name disputed)[i] Pinsk massacre 36 Jews Mass execution of 35 Jewish residents of Pinsk in April 1919 by the Polish Army, during the opening stages of the Polish–Soviet War
1919–20 Vilna pogrom Vilna offensive 65+ Jews and non-Jews As Polish troops entered the city, dozens of people connected with the Lit-Bel were arrested, and some were executed.
1921[citation needed] Tulsa Massacre Tulsa race massacre 26 whites and 39 Blacks confirmed; 100-300 Blacks estimate Economic and social tension against Black community in Greenwood
1929 Hebron pogrom Hebron massacre 67 Jews During the 1929 Palestine riots, sixty-seven Jews were killed as the violence spread to Hebron, then part of Mandatory Palestine, by Arabs incited to violence by rumors that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem and seizing control of Muslim holy places.
1934 1934 Thrace pogroms None[110] It was followed by the vandalizing of Jewish houses and shops. The tensions started in June 1934 and spread to a few other villages in Eastern Thrace region and to some small cities in Western Aegean region. At the height of the violent events, it was rumoured that a rabbi was stripped naked and was dragged through the streets shamefully while his daughter was raped. Over 15,000 Jews had to flee from the region.[111][112]
1936 Przytyk pogrom Przytyk riot 2 Jews and 1 Polish Some of the Jewish residents gathered in the town square in anticipation of the attack by the peasants, but nothing happened on that day. Two days later, however, on a market day, as historians Martin Gilbert and David Vital state, peasants attacked their Jewish neighbors.
1938 November pogrom Kristallnacht 91+ Jews Coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and non-Jewish civilians. Accounts from the foreign journalists working in Germany sent shock waves around the world.
1940 Dorohoi pogrom 53 Jews Romanian military units carried out a pogrom against the local Jews, during which, according to an official Romanian report, 53 Jews were murdered, and dozens injured
1941 Iași pogrom 13,266 Jews One of the most violent pogroms in Jewish history, launched by governmental forces in the Romanian city of Iași (Jassy) against its Jewish population.
1941 Antwerp Pogrom 0 One of the few pogroms of Belgian history. Flemish collaborators attacked and burned synagogues and attacked a rabbi in the city of Antwerp
1941 Bucharest pogrom Legionnaires' rebellion 125 Jews and 30 soldiers As the privileges of the paramilitary organisation Iron Guard were being cut off by Conducător Ion Antonescu, members of the Iron Guard, also known as the Legionnaires, revolted. During the rebellion and pogrom, the Iron Guard killed 125 Jews and 30 soldiers died in the confrontation with the rebels.
1941 Tykocin pogrom 1,400–1,700 Jews Mass murder of Jewish residents of Tykocin in occupied Poland during World War II, soon after Nazi German attack on the Soviet Union.
1941 Jedwabne pogrom 380–1,600 Jews The local rabbi was forced to lead a procession of about 40 people to a pre-emptied barn, killed and buried along with fragments of a destroyed monument of Lenin. A further 250–300 Jews were led to the same barn later that day, locked inside and burned alive using kerosene
1941 Farhud 180 Jewish Iraqis 180 Jews were killed and over 1,000 injured in attacks on Shavuot following British victory in the Anglo-Iraqi War.
1941 Lviv pogroms Thousands of Jews Massacres of Jews by the Ukrainian People's Militia and a German Einsatzgruppe.
1945 Kraków pogrom 1 Jew Violence amid rumors of kidnappings of children by Jews
1946 Kunmadaras pogrom 4 Jews A frenzy instigated by the crowd's libelous belief that some Jews had made sausage out of Christian children
1946 Miskolc pogrom 2 Jews Riots started as demonstrations against economic hardships and later became antisemitic
1946 Kielce pogrom 38–42 Jews Violence against the Jewish community centre, initiated by Polish Communist armed forces (LWP, KBW, GZI WP) and continued by a mob of local townsfolk.
1955 Istanbul pogrom Istanbul riots 13–30 Greeks Organized mob attacks directed primarily at Istanbul's Greek minority. Accelerated the emigration of ethnic Greeks from Turkey (Jews were also targeted in this event).[113][114]
1956 1956 anti-Tamil pogrom 150 Primarily Tamils 1956 anti-Tamil pogrom or Gal Oya massacre/riots were the first ethnic riots that targeted the minority Tamils in independent Sri Lanka.
1958 1958 anti-Tamil pogrom 58 riots 300 Primarily Tamils 1958 anti-Tamil pogrom also known as 58 riots, refer to the first island wide ethnic riots and pogrom in Sri Lanka.
1959 Kirkuk massacre 79 Ethnic tension between Kurds and Turkmen
1966 1966 anti-Igbo pogrom 30,000-50,000 Primarily Igbo People A series of massacres directed at Igbo and other southern Nigerian residents throughout Nigeria before and after the overthrow (and assassination) of the Aguiyi-Ironsi junta by Murtala Mohammed.
14–15 August 1969[citation needed] 1969 Northern Ireland Anti-Catholic pogroms 1969 Northern Ireland riots 6 Catholics were killed, 4 by state force & 2 by anti-Catholic mob, Along with the 6 murders, 500 Irish Catholics were injured by the state forces and anti-Catholic mob, 72 of those injured were injured from gun shot wounds, also 150+ Catholic homes and 275+ businesses had been destroyed – 83% of all buildings destroyed were owned by Catholics. Catholics generally fled across the border into the Republic of Ireland as refugees. After Belfast the other areas that saw violence were Newry, Armagh, Crossmaglen, Dungannon, Coalisland and Dungiven.

The bloodiest clashes were in Belfast, where seven people were killed and hundreds wounded, in what some viewed as an attempted pogrom against the Catholic minority. Protesters clashed with both the police and with loyalists, who attacked Catholic districts. Scores of homes and businesses were burnt out, most of them owned by Catholics, and thousands of mostly Catholic families were driven from their homes. In some cases, RUC officers helped the loyalists and failed to protect Catholic areas.

1977 1977 anti-Tamil pogrom 300-1500 Primarily Tamils The 1977 anti-Tamil pogrom followed the 1977 general elections in Sri Lanka where the Sri Lankan Tamil nationalistic Tamil United Liberation Front won a plurality of minority Sri Lankan Tamil votes in which it stood for secession.
1983[citation needed] Black July 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom 400–3,000 Tamils Over seven days mobs of mainly Sinhalese attacked Tamil targets, burning, looting and killing
1984 1984 anti-Sikh riots 8,000 Sikhs Sikhs were targeted in Delhi and other parts of India during a pogrom in October 1984.[115][116][117]
1988[citation needed] Sumgait pogrom 26+ (or about 100–300) Armenians and 6+ Azeris (possibly rioters)[citation needed] Mobs made up largely of ethnic Azeris formed into groups that went on to attack and kill Armenians both on the streets and in their apartments; widespread looting and a general lack of concern from police officers allowed the situation to worsen
1988 Kirovabad pogrom 3+ Soviet soldiers, 3+ Azeris and 1+ Armenian Ethnic Azeris attacked Armenians throughout the city
1990 Baku pogrom 90 Armenians, 20 Russian soldiers Seven-day attack during which Armenians were beaten, tortured, murdered and expelled from the city. There were also many raids on apartments, robberies and arsons.
1991[citation needed] Crown Heights pogrom (disputed)[j] Crown Heights riot 1 Jew and 1 non-Jew A three-day riot that occurred in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. The riots incited by the death of the seven-year-old Gavin Cato, unleashed simmering tensions within Crown Heights' black community against the Orthodox Jewish community. In its wake, several Jews were seriously injured; one Orthodox Jewish man, Yankel Rosenbaum, was killed; and a non-Jewish man, allegedly mistaken by rioters for a Jew, was killed by a group of African-American men.[119][120]
1994[citation needed] Srebrenica genocide Srebrenica massacre 8000 Muslims The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, was the July 1995 genocidal killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys in and around the town of Srebrenica, during the Bosnian War. The killings were perpetrated by units of the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of Ratko Mladić. The Scorpions, a paramilitary unit from Serbia, who had been part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, also participated in the massacre.[121][122]
2004[citation needed] March pogrom 2004 unrest in Kosovo 16 ethnic Serbs Over 4,000 Serbs were forced to leave their homes, 935 Serb houses, 10 public facilities and 35 Serbian Orthodox church-buildings were desecrated, damaged or destroyed, and six towns and nine villages were ethnically cleansed.

See also



  1. ^ UK: /ˈpɒɡrəm/ POG-rəm, US: /ˈpɡrəm, ˈpɡrɒm, pəˈɡrɒm/ POH-grəm, POH-grom, pə-GROM; Russian: погро́м, pronounced [pɐˈɡrom].
  2. ^ Historians, who put the number of killed Jewish civilians at between 40,000 and 100,000 during the Khmelnytsky Pogroms in 1648–1657, include:
    • Naomi E. Pasachoff, Robert J. Littman (2005). A Concise History Of The Jewish People, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0-7425-4366-8, p. 182.
    • David Theo Goldberg, John Solomos (2002). A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies, Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-20616-7, p. 68.
    • Micheal Clodfelter (2002). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1500–1999, McFarland, p. 56: estimated at 56,000 dead.
  3. ^ Historians estimating that around 100,000 Jews were killed include:
    • Cara Camcastle. The More Moderate Side of Joseph de Maistre: Views on Political Liberty And Political Economy, McGill-Queen's Press, 2005, ISBN 0-7735-2976-4, p. 26.
    • Martin Gilbert (1999). Holocaust Journey: Traveling in Search of the Past, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-10965-2, p. 219.
    • Manus I. Midlarsky. The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-81545-2, p. 352.
    • Oscar Reiss (2004). The Jews in Colonial America, McFarland, ISBN 0-7864-1730-7, pp. 98–99.
    • Colin Martin Tatz (2003). With Intent to Destroy: Reflections on Genocide, Verso, ISBN 1-85984-550-9, p. 146.
    • Samuel Totten (2004). Teaching about Genocide: Issues, Approaches and Resources, Information Age Publishing, ISBN 1-59311-074-X, p. 25.
    • Mosheh Weiss (2004). A Brief History of the Jewish People, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0-7425-4402-8, p. 193.
  4. ^ Historians who estimate that more than 100,000 Jews were killed in Ukraine in 1648–1657 include:
    • Meyer Waxman (2003). History of Jewish Literature Part 3, Kessinger, ISBN 0-7661-4370-8, p. 20: estimated at about two hundred thousand Jews killed.
    • Micheal Clodfelter (2002). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1500–1999, McFarland, p. 56: estimated at between 150,000 and 200,000 Jewish victims.
    • Zev Garber, Bruce Zuckerman (2004). Double Takes: Thinking and Rethinking Issues of Modern Judaism in Ancient Contexts, University Press of America, ISBN 0-7618-2894-X, p. 77, footnote 17: estimated at about 100,000–500,000 Jews.
    • The Columbia Encyclopedia (2001–2005), "Chmielnicki Bohdan", 6th ed.: estimated at over 100,000 Jews.
    • Robert Melvin Spector (2005). World without Civilization: Mass Murder and the Holocaust, History and Analysis, University Press of America, ISBN 0-7618-2963-6, p. 77: estimated at more than 100,000.
    • Sol Scharfstein (2004). Jewish History and You, KTAV, ISBN 0-88125-806-7, p. 42: estimated at more than 100,000 Jews killed.
  5. ^ Prof. Sandra Gambetti: "A final note on the use of terminology related to anti-Semitism. Scholars have frequently labeled the Alexandrian events of 38 C.E. as the first pogrom[citation needed] in history and have often explained them in terms of an ante litteram explosion of anti-Semitism. This work [The Alexandrian Riots] deliberately avoids any words or expressions that in any way connect, explicitly or implicitly, the Alexandrian events of 38 C.E. to later events in modern or contemporary Jewish experience, for which that terminology was created. ... To decide whether a word like pogrom, for example, is an appropriate term to describe the events that are studied here, requires a comparative re-discussion of two historical frames—the Alexandria of 38 C.E. and the Russia of the end of the nineteenth century."[97]
  6. ^ John Klier: "upon the death of the Grand Prince of Kiev Sviatopolk, rioting broke out in Kiev against his agents and the town administration. The disorders were not specifically directed against Jews and they are best characterized as a social revolution. This fact has not prevented historians of medieval Russia from describing them as a pogrom."[99][100] George Vernadsky: "Incidentally, one should not suppose that the movement was anti-Semitic. There was no general Jewish pogrom. Wealthy Jewish merchants suffered because of their association with Sviatopolk's speculations, especially his hated monopoly on salt."[101]
  7. ^ John Klier: "Russian armies led by Tsar Ivan IV captured the Polish city of Polotsk. The Tsar ordered drowned in the river Dvina all Jews who refused to convert to Orthodox Christianity. This episode certainly demonstrates the overt religious hostility towards the Jews which was very much a part of Muscovite culture, but its conversionary aspects were entirely absent from modern pogroms. Nor were the Jews the only heterodox religious group singled out for the tender mercies of Muscovite religious fanaticism."[99]
  8. ^ Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Moda'i: "I think it is a bit over-portrayed, meaning that, usually if you look up the word pogrom it is used in relation to slaughter and being killed. This is what happened in many other places in Europe, but that is not what happened here. There was a kind of boycott against Jewish merchandise for a while but that's not a pogrom."[103]
  9. ^ Carole Fink: "What happened in Pinsk on April 5, 1919 was not a literal "pogrom" – an organized, officially tolerated or inspired massacre of a minority such as the massacre which occurred in Lemberg – instead, it was a military execution of a small, suspect group of civilians. ... The misnamed "Pinsk pogrom", a plain, powerful, alliterative phrase, entered history in April 1919. Its importance lay not only in its timing, during the tensest moments of the Paris Peace Conference and the most crucial deliberations over Poland's political future: The reports of Pinsk once more demonstrated the swift transmission of local violence to world notice and the disfiguring process of rumor and prejudice on every level."[109]
  10. ^ Media use of the term pogrom to refer to the 1991 Crown Heights riot caused public controversy.[95][93] For example, Joyce Purnick of The New York Times wrote in 1993 that the use of the word pogrom was "inflammatory"; she accused politicians of "trying to enlarge and twist the word" in order to "pander to Jewish voters".[118]


  1. ^ a b Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica; et al. (2017). "Pogrom". Encyclopædia Britannica. (Russian: "devastation" or "riot"), a mob attack, either approved or condoned by authorities, against the persons and property of a religious, racial, or national minority. The term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  2. ^ Brass, Paul R. (1996). Riots and Pogroms. New York University Press. p. 3. Introduction. ISBN 978-0-8147-1282-5.
  3. ^ a b Atkin, Nicholas; Biddiss, Michael; Tallett, Frank (23 May 2011). The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-4443-9072-8. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Klier, John (2011). Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881–1882. Cambridge University Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-521-89548-4. By the twentieth century, the word "pogrom" had become a generic term in English for all forms of collective violence directed against Jews. The term was especially associated with Eastern Europe and the Russian Empire, the scene of the most serious outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence before the Holocaust. Yet when applied indiscriminately to events in Eastern Europe, the term can be misleading, the more so when it implies that "pogroms" were regular events in the region and that they always shared common features. In fact, outbreaks of mass violence against Jews were extraordinary events, not a regular feature of East European life.
  5. ^ a b c Bergmann, Werner (2003). "Pogroms". International Handbook of Violence Research. p. 352–55. doi:10.1007/978-0-306-48039-3_19. ISBN 978-1-4020-3980-5.
  6. ^ a b c d Dekel-Chen, Jonathan; Gaunt, David; Meir, Natan M.; Bartal, Israel, eds. (26 November 2010). Anti-Jewish Violence. Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-00478-9. Engel states that although there are no "essential defining characteristics of a pogrom", the majority of the incidents "habitually" described as pogroms "took place in divided societies in which ethnicity or religion (or both) served as significant definers of both social boundaries and social rank.
  7. ^ Weinberg, Sonja (2010). Pogroms and Riots: German Press Responses to Anti-Jewish Violence in Germany and Russia (1881–1882). Peter Lang. p. 193. ISBN 978-3-631-60214-0. Most contemporaries claimed that the pogroms were directed against Jewish property, not against Jews, a claim so far not contradicted by research.
  8. ^ Klier, John D.; Abulafia, Anna Sapir (2001). Religious Violence Between Christians and Jews: Medieval Roots, Modern Perspectives. Springer. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-4039-1382-1. The pogroms themselves seem to have largely followed a set of unwritten rules. They were directed against Jewish property only.
  9. ^ Klier, John (2010). "Pogroms". The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The common usage of the term pogrom to describe any attack against Jews throughout history disguises the great variation in the scale, nature, motivation and intent of such violence at different times.
  10. ^ a b "World War II: Before the War". The Atlantic. 19 June 2011. Windows of shops owned by Jews which were broken during a coordinated anti-Jewish demonstration in Berlin, known as Kristallnacht, on November 10, 1938. Nazi authorities turned a blind eye as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed storefronts with hammers, leaving the streets covered in pieces of smashed windows. Ninety-one Jews were killed, and 30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps.
  11. ^ a b Berenbaum, Michael; Kramer, Arnold (2005). The World Must Know. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. p. 49.
  12. ^ a b Gilbert, Martin (1986). The Holocaust: the Jewish tragedy. Collins. pp. 30–33. ISBN 978-0-00-216305-7.
  13. ^ Bedi, Rahul (1 November 2009). "Indira Gandhi's death remembered". BBC. Archived from the original on 2 November 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2009. The 25th anniversary of Indira Gandhi's assassination revives stark memories of some 3,000 Sikhs killed brutally in the orderly pogrom that followed her killing
  14. ^ a b Koutsoukis, Jason (15 September 2008). "Settlers attack Palestinian village". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 5 April 2023. Retrieved 14 November 2023. 'As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term "pogrom" to describe what I have seen.'
  15. ^ "Opinion | Hamas Puts Its Pogrom on Video". The Wall Street Journal. 27 October 2023.
  16. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, December 2007 revision. See also: Pogrom at Online Etymology Dictionary.
  17. ^ a b International handbook of violence research. Vol. 1. Springer. 2005. ISBN 978-1-4020-3980-5. The word "pogrom" (from the Russian, meaning storm or devastation) has a relatively short history. Its international currency dates back to the anti-Semitic excesses in Tsarist Russia during the years 1881–1883, but the phenomenon existed in the same form at a much earlier date and was by no means confined to Russia. As John D. Klier points out in his seminal article "The pogrom paradigm in Russian history", the anti-Semitic pogroms in Russia were described by contemporaries as demonstrations, persecution, or struggle, and the government made use of the term besporiadok (unrest, riot) to emphasize the breach of public order. Then, during the twentieth century, the term began to develop along two separate lines. In the Soviet Union, the word lost its anti-Semitic connotation and came to be used for reactionary forms of political unrest and, from 1989, for outbreaks of interethnic violence; while in the West, the anti-Semitic overtones were retained and government orchestration or acquiescence was emphasized.
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  20. ^ John Marshall John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture; p. 376 2006 "The period of the Black Death saw the massacre of Jews across Germany, and in Aragon, and Flanders,"
  21. ^ Anna Foa The Jews of Europe after the black death 2000 p. 13 "The first massacres took place in April 1348 in Toulon, where the Jewish quarter was raided and forty Jews were murdered in their homes. Shortly afterwards, violence broke out in Barcelona."
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