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The Fable of Pogroms against Jews in Tsarist Russia

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The author is a well-known academic historian of Russia and Ukraine, which he approaches from a Christian (Russian Orthodox) and nationalist perspective, arguing that nationalism and Christian Orthodoxy are inseparable. He also writes widely on current affairs. Rare for contemporary Western historians of Russia, he sources original materials in Russian, pulling back the veil on much misunderstanding, ranging from modern history back to Russia’s very beginnings in the Middle Ages.

His latest book, Ukrainian Nationalism (2019), (Amazon), is the definitive treatment of this topic and is essential reading to understand the current political turmoil in Ukraine. It argues that Ukrainian nationalism is real and legitimate, but needn’t be Anti-Russian, and that Russia and Ukraine are in fact natural allies. Here is his article on Russia Insider explaining some of the ideas in the book. There is no other scholar writing today about Russia and the Ukraine with this extraordinary command of historical detail and meaning. Johnson is a national treasure, and his works are highly recommended. For a fascinating audio podcast discussion of the book by Johnson and Andrew Carrington Hitchcock, see here

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The official history says that from the late 19th century to the First World War, Jews in western Russian cities were targeted by the “Black Hundreds” and the government in “pogroms.” This is a buzzword designed to make attacking Jews different than attacking everyone else. These riots, the academic will piously tell us, “killed millions and millions.”

These Jews were targeted for “no reason” and the violence was instigated by “the tsar” due to “blind hate.” While this is a common historical claim whenever Jews are concerned, as always, none of this is true. Western Russian violence at this time had several qualities in common: few Jews were killed; Jews were almost always the aggressors; and Jews were far better armed than the local police in cities such as Vilna, Starodub, Odessa and Kiev.

One of the more important reasons for the creation of this myth is to cover over the crimes of liberal and leftist movements in Russia. Between 1905 and 1906, the Socialist Revolutionaries murdered 15 governors and mayors, 267 security officials and 12 bishops. That’s only a single leftist party in one year. All told, those killed and injured by leftist terror between 1905 and 1907 is more than 20,000. The majority of the terrorists were Jews. The pogroms were a cover story for this violence.

The Origins of the Myth

Solzhenitsyn writes in his famed Two Hundred Years Together that the “pogroms” began after the murder of Alexander II by Jewish revolutionaries. He makes it clear that the initial Odessa pogrom one Jew was killed. Troops were sent into this immensely important economic region to stop all violence. Property was destroyed by the spontaneous rage of local Russians, but no fatalities were reported immediately after the Tsar’s murder. In some cases, Greek merchants, the Jewish competition, were involved. Count N.P. Ignatiev, the Interior Minister, is said to have “ordered” these pogroms, but instead he crushed them. About 2000 were arrested in Kiev alone when the anti-liberal (and hence, anti-Jewish uprisings began). Alexander III thought the treatment of peasant rioters was too lenient. Violence in these westernized, wealthy regions was certainly not in the Tsar’s interest.

Other than Solzhenitsyn and Oleg Platonov, both John Klier and Andrew Joyce have popped the mythical bubble of the pogroms that have become the most critical and important aspect of Russian Jewish mythology. Royce is important because he spends so much time laying out the motivation of the myth. Royce writes in 2012:

In the pages of [The British Daily Telegraph], it was stated that “these Russian atrocities are only the beginning. The Russian officials themselves countenance these barbarities.” Around this time in Continental Europe, Prussian Rabbi Yizhak Rülf established himself as an “intermediary” between Eastern Jewry and the West, and, according to Klier, one of his specialties was the spreading of “sensationalized accounts of mass rape.” Other major sources of pogrom atrocity stories were the New York Times, the London Times, and the Jewish World. It would be the Jewish World which furnished the majority of these tales, having sent a reporter “to visit areas that had suffered pogroms.”

Most of the other papers simply reprinted what the Jewish World reporter sent them. The atrocity stories carried by these newspapers provoked global outrage. There were large-scale public protests against Russia in Paris, Brussels, London, Vienna, and even in Melbourne, Australia. However, “it was in the United States that public indignation reached its height.” Historian Edward Judge states that the American public was spurred on by reports of “brutal beatings, multiple rapes dismemberment of corpses, senseless slaughter, painful suffering and unbearable grief” (Royce, 2012).

The Russian popular press from 1905 to the War is a frightening and disturbing spectacle. Granted immense power and totally free from state control, journalists invented the wildest satires they could for quick sales. Another myth easily disproved is that there was any media censorship over the press. Strangely, corporate money censuring articles is seen as legitimate. There was no systematic censorship over the press during the reign of Nicholas II, though there should have been.

Overwhelmingly Jewish and liberal, the Russian press did little more than concoct stories about the “corrupt, Prussian Tsar” and the “immanent collapse” of Russia. So much of the nonsense from the Russian press – then as now – was immediately taken as true by the western media. Unfortunately, the western world knew almost completely nothing about Russia at the time. Hence, they would believe anything. Noting has changed. On this topic, Solzhenitsyn writes concerning press coverage of the pogroms:

In St. Petersburg became frantic newspaper articles were read about the murders of women and infants and on numerous occasions, the rape of underage girls; wives raped in the presence of their husbands or parents. “One Jew had his belly ripped open and the insides came out. . . A Jewish woman had nails driven into her head through her nostrils.” Within the same week the western papers reprinted these. They unconditionally believed the Russian press. Britain’s leading Jews completely relied on these terrible articles and incorporated them into their protest slogans.(1)

The Jewish mainstream papers were the dominant ones. The crown had yet to grasp the importance of propaganda as journalism was seen as a vulgar form of muckraking. It had no real propaganda of its own, a problem perpetuated by the White armies shortly thereafter. The British had a geostrateic reason to discredit the Russian government, and the broad ignorance of the western world meant that anything would be believed if only a authoritative source stated it.

Even the liberal and philosemitic Witte stated that the St. Petersburg Press was Jewish. DI Pikhno, the editor of the Kievan Daily, said that “Russian society understood that in such moments the power of the press was immense, and it was in the hands of his opponents [that is, Tsar Nicholas] who spoke on behalf of Russia. . . Society was lost in a mass of lies they could barely understand.” (2)

Interestingly, certain factions of the far left believed Jewish dominance in finance meant that they were really part of the ruling class. Marxism and Bolshevism was dedicated to smashing that idea, since Jews were revolutionary by nature. Solzhenitsyn points out that some on the left interpreted the protection of Jews in the region the same as the protection of capitalists, they wrote:

Not only all the governors, but all other officials, police, troops, priests, zemstvo and journalists – stood up for the kulak-Jews…The government protects the person and property of the Jews. Threats are announced by the governors that the perpetrators of the riots will be dealt with according to the full extent of the law. The police looked for people who were in the crowd, arrested them, dragged them to the police station. Soldiers and Cossacks used the rifle butt and the whip…they beat the people with rifles and whips…some were prosecuted and locked up in jail or sent to do hard labor, and others were thrashed with birches on the spot by the police (Black Reparation Workers leaflet, June 1881).

This means that some leftists were claiming the state was protective of the Jews to an unhealthy level. The more naive left saw this as protecting the bourgeoisie rather than a pogrom. It was the army being used in the Jews’ favor against the peasants. While this was not common, there were some on the left who actually believed that the struggle was for the purposes of establishing equality among people. There is a surprising amount of anti-Jewish talk among the far left communists of the era. However, the Red movement was an ethnic one, not an ideological one. Equality was not remotely their concern.

In this environment, rumors spread rapidly. Since the press had no standards, it was difficult to confirm information. In some cases, in the later 1880s, peasants rose up believing rumors that the tsar had ordered action against the Jews. This deliberately fostered confusion was a tactic of the left and the media in general.

Jewish Violence as “Pogrom” 

None of this is to say that there was no violence against Jews. In modern America, violence against Jews is far worse than violence against others. This is to say, however, that Jewish behavior was usually obnoxious and, if anything, the restraint of the Russian people was heroic. Jews earned the almost universal contempt heaped upon their arrogance. Again, Interior Minister Ignatiev writes:

Recognizing the harm to the Christian population from the Jewish economic activity, their tribal exclusivity and religious fanaticism, in the last 20 years the government has tried to blend the Jews with the rest of the population using a whole row of initiatives, and has almost made the Jews equal in rights with the native inhabitants. However, the present anti-Jewish movement incontrovertibly proves, that despite all the efforts of the government, the relations between the Jews and the native population of these regions remain abnormal as in the past, because of the economic issues: after the easing of civil restrictions, the Jews have not only seized commerce and trade, but they have acquired significant landed property. Moreover, because of their cohesion and solidarity, they have, with few exceptions, directed all their efforts not toward the increase of the productive strength of the state, but primarily toward the exploitation of the poorest classes of the surrounding population (Quoted from Solzhenitsyn, 2002).

The massive number of myths concerning Russia and the Jews also include the notion that they could not own land or could not engage in certain occupations. To the contrary, the state offered affirmative action programs to encourage it. Since all ground other than Israel was unclean, it was rare to find Jews tilling the land.

Jewish behavior in Russia, as elsewhere, was abominable. However, the Russian state could ill afford its most strategic cities to go up in flames. The cities of Kishinev, Gomel, Starodub and the rest were strategic economic hubs – the government had absolutely no reason to start trouble there. In the 1897 census, Jews were 4% of the population of the Empire. The merchant class numbered 618,926 total, of which 450,427 were Jews. They created a cartel that then plugged into an international network. They could not charge interest against each other, but would charge it only to gentiles.

Jews in major western cities were well organized, rich and well armed. They were a privileged caste far better off than the actual Russians in the area. In 1905, the Kiev “pogrom” saw a death toll of a few hundred, of which 12% were Jews. Most “pogroms” were started by well armed Jewish revolutionaries making war on Russian nationalist groups in the area. In Odessa, a Black Hundred march was interrupted by a bomb thrown by Jacob Brietman. In 1906 Chernigov, incitement leaflets were traced to Israel Tamgolsky, Yankel Bruk and Pinkus Krugersky. They called for a killing of all royalists, death to the tsar and shutting down of all royalist papers .The Duma followed suit on February of 1917, where it called for the death of all royalists (from Platonov, 2005).

In Starodub, a column of heavily armed Jews sought to evict the Orthodox population. More than once, Jews sought to cleanse their regions of the unclean gentiles. This was called a “pogrom” only when the unclean fought back. June 1 1906, the Jewish Bund, armed with heavy weapons, attacked a nationalist procession, killing 25. This was standard procedure and is well known to any serious scholar of the era. In the US, well paid court historians simply ignore it.

The Vilna Gazette (3) writes:

In Chisinau, the September 1903 riots saw the Jewish provocateurs and their well armed “self-defense units” showing no care about the safety of ordinary Jews, organized to attack Russians and cause disorders. One thug, Pinkhus Dashevskii, tried to shoot the Russian writer P. Krushevan with a revolver. Fortunately, the wound was not serious, and the perpetrator was arrested by the Russian people and punished by the court (From Platonov, 2005). 

There is a sense that the purpose of the disorder was for the creation of chaos. There, the population would become more sensitive to manipulation. Chaos would remove any faith in the state and suggest that the society was “falling apart.” However, the Russian press and, thus, the western press stated that Chisinau was a massacre. William Randolph Hearst wrote:

We accuse the Russian government of bearing the responsibility for the Chisinau slaughter. We declare that this holocaust is steeped in blood. It is on [Nicholas’] door that lie these killings and violence. May the God of Justice come into world and finish Russia as he finished with Sodom and Gomorrah. . . .sweeping this hotbed of hate from the earth as a plague. (4) 

The outrage here is that, at the time, the knowledge of Russia by Americans was zero. Only Harvard offered Russian language studies. Historians barely knew the basics. It was a black hole in the western mind. Only the emigre movement, insular and ineffective, offered any alternative. Hence, the elite are calling for the destruction of Russia based on absurd press reports that could never be verified. Could there be another agenda?

Apparently, however, the local press in Chisinau did not give any cause for alarm. From the Bessarabian press: 

The last three years the Jewish agitators of Bessarabia, particularly in Chisinau, and its underground movement strenuously preparing for a war, riot and murder. The Jewish leaders hoped that Easter was to begin the violence. . . On the second day of Easter in the early morning, all Jews poured into the streets and squares of the city armed with revolvers, clubs, crowbars, knives and sulfuric acid and began to attack in small groups the Christians on their way to Matins (Bessarabian Province News, September 1903).

Thus, the absurdly dramatic call for genocide from Hearst is a tad overdrawn. There was no slaughter and no “plague” that needed to be eradicated. However, this is the power of the press that had no ethics. The Press invented numbers without cause. Some said 5000 were killed, others 60,000. It did not matter. The truth was suppressed by the press and the monarchy did not see it as important to let the world know the truth. The crown’s failure was its inability to grasp the power of propaganda

Here is another example concerning a Jewish attack on Moscow: 

In the night of December 9, 1905 in Moscow in the garden “Aquarium” there was a huge rally attended by more than 10 thousand people and dozens of revolutionary militants, Jewish “combat squads” Its leaders have called for the arrest of the governor-general and to seize power. The operational actions of the authorities with the help of the Cossacks, Dragoons, Infantry soon isolated the rebels. . . Although most of the militants managed to escape, the troops were able to disarm a considerable number of bandits. In the morning in the garden there was found a few hundred revolvers, daggers and knives which were abandoned by militants (State Archive, f. 826 g. 47. n. 127).

There can be no denying that Jews were not unarmed victims. They were not victims at all. There were no “gun laws” in the Russian Empire at the time. Enforcement from the federal level was extremely difficult given the sheer size of the country and the distance of Petrograd from the provinces. Jewish areas were long preparing for violence. All was local. Jews not only were well armed, but also possessed heavy weapons in Odessa.

Jewish hatred of Russia was made all the worse due to the murder of Alexander II and later, the alleged “defeat” of Russia against Japan. Wherever they saw a chink in the armor, they attempted to overthrow the government. Even today, every report of Russian economic sluggishness is met with predictions of “imminent collapse.” The press of the time, both Jewish and gentile, assisted them in their efforts. More on Chisinau,

From the judicial investigation of the riots in Chisinau in 1903, the riots were proceeded by Jewish fanatics mocking the customs of Palm Sunday, throwing stones smashing icons. These actions were intended to undermine the respect for the sanctity of faith and to weaken religious feeling. Jews systematically at every opportunity tried to shake the authority of the clergy, carefully watching the lives of priests, spreading slander just to humiliate them in the eyes of the people. A striking example of this is represented by a smear campaign against the Jews against St. John of Kronstadt (From Platonov, 2005, citing Selyaninov). 

The campaign against the church was a purely Jewish phenomenon. Attacks on the church from Jewish terrorists were reported in the English press as “pogroms” against helpless Jews. The British newspapers refused to report on atrocities against the Orthodox church throughout the reign of the USSR. The resurrection of Russian piety from its 18th century decline under Peter I and his successors was seen by the shetl as a threat. This meant that well armed, elite and wealthy Jews and their servitors staged violent protests against any Orthodox presence in cities with large Jewish populations. The Jewish elite were gambling that the significance of these regions and the sharp eye of the western powers would make retaliation very difficult.

From the State Archives, we read these reports about the “pogroms” in different parts of Russia: 

In Moscow, especially rioters acted arrogantly. The so-called Executive Committee of Workers’ Deputies, which consisted mainly of Jewish revolutionary terrorists and agitators, declared an armed uprising at 6 pm on December 10, even instructing cabbies to finish their work at this time. The city was plunged into darkness: the lights are not lit, the streets were illuminated by searchlights. Jewish thugs, armed with numerous weapons, walked the streets, killing policemen and officers, as well as all any dissidents who refused to remain silent at the sight of these crimes (State Archive, f. 826, d. 47, n. 145)

In Kazan after the Manifesto [of 1906] the leftist, Jewish parties formed squads of thugs that completely controlled the city. The governor had become a plaything in the hands of these miscreants. They were not tolerated. On October 21 at the main square there were spontaneous gatherings of Russians with national flags and portraits of the King and icons that marched on the streets of Kazan. Meanwhile, in the City Council the Jewish thugs were issued weapons (ibid).

In Starodub and Chernigov province Jews organized armed groups to engage in a pogrom against Russian residents. Jews staged a demonstration which called for the overthrow of the Tsar and trampled a portrait of him. Outraged citizens tried to stop them but the mob started shooting and unarmed people scrambled to flee the city. Jewish detachments pursued them up to the city limits. . . . The peasants, leaving their horses in the pasture, came to the city armed with clubs, axes, crowbars and iron rods. They forced Jews to flee the city (ibid).

In Rostov-on-Don immediately after the announcement of the Manifesto of the extremists, mostly Jews, created a gang armed with rifles and revolvers, 30 of them were on horseback. These thugs attempted to seize power in the city. Patriotic demonstrations developed to protest against the excesses of the rioters, were attacked, forcing the rioters to flee the city. Many Jewish shops were destroyed and Jews beaten by the demonstrators while the local intelligentsia supported the Zionists. Against Jews armed with rifles and pistols the Russian people used crowbars, axes, sticks and metal rods. They left no survivors (ibid).

In Simferopol, about 300 thugs armed with guns ambushed a patriotic demonstration carrying royal portraits. When the column reached them, these terrorists, hiding behind trees, cried out: “Down with the Monarchy!” and began to shoot at the unarmed crowd. The first salvo wounded seven people and killed two, clearly aimed at those who carried the king’s portrait. But unarmed patriots were not afraid. They broke fences, took stones from the ground and rushed the thugs. In a few hours 47 Jews were killed (State Archive, f. 1467, d. 851, l. 28).

These have all gone down in history as “pogroms against unarmed and innocent Jews.” They led to continual calls for genocide against Russians and continue to color the pseudointellectual view of the world. Trusting blindly in the Russian press, swaggering, ignorant and arrogant Americans were calling for the deaths of millions of Russians. They stood silent when Lenin and Trotsky actually carried out this threat.

Jewish Ethnic Socialism 

The “socialist” movement was idealistic and often Christian for centuries. Only, in the words of Bakunin, when the Jews and the Rothschild family began financing Marx did suddenly, socialism become statist and materialist. In Russia, Jewish leftists were both ethnic nationalist and Marxist. None of these movements were about social egalitarianism, though some used the rhetoric. This was never the purpose, though a few naive souls believed it to be so. Western historians are yet again failing at their occupation when they take campaign literature as the deepest thoughts of the movement.

As socialism was in Russia a Jewish ethnic movement, the press gradually began to vaguely define these Jews as “socialist” or “anarchist” movements. Universally, Bolshevism was seen as Jewish and ethnic. More generic labels came to substitute for the Jewish ethnic label that served to discredit them. These were nationalist, not proletarian, ideas. The press soon began to drop these labels altogether and referred to them as “liberators” or “heroes.” Since there was no one who could refute their lies, reporters in the elite press could say what they wished.

The press reports of the time, taken as a whole, show the population remaining very proroyal and firmly patriotic. Much of the violence depicted above refer to Jewish assaults on the Russian population. As always, the church was a particularly potent cause of Jewish anger. There was never any good reason for socialism to become materialist or to hate the church. The Russian church was engaging in numerous social reform movements, such as the large the prosperous Labor Brotherhood of the Holy Cross, that were firmly socialist and egalitarian. They were smashed the moment the Soviets came to power. The church was attacked because Bolshevism was Jewish.

Virtually all cases of popular protest against the anti-Russian terrorist and Jewish parties are interpreted by the left-liberal writers as “pogroms.” It is a professional shame that today, over 100 years later, western historians continue to take the propaganda of the Russian muckrakers as historically accurate. The American historical establishment is horrifically corrupt. They refused to condemn Lenin and Trotsky, and sought to condemn Stalin only because he was a “nationalist” and “antisemitic.”

The Russian intelligentsia was silent when Russian revolutionaries killed thousands but soon screamed hysterically when the Russian people found their own way to deal with Jewish gangs when they encroached on their shrines. Never were they attacked as Jews, but as the instigators and participants of the anti-Russian movement, which was mostly Jewish (at least in the cities).

The Six Million Myth

The propaganda against Tsarist Russia reached its fever pitch at the turn of the 20th century. As always, the press did as it pleased and was repeated faithfully in English. Curiously, it was based around a recurring claim that “six million” Jews either had been killed or were about to be killed in Ukraine and other parts of western Russia. For the first time, the famed “six million” figure shows up in western history in reference to the pogroms.

The Russian Jewish Yearbook 1911 says, “Russia has since 1890 adopted a deliberate plan to expel or exterminate six million of its people.” The 10th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1902), we read on page 482: “While there are in Russia and Romania six millions of Jews who are being systematically degraded. . .” Over and again the “6 million” figure is repeated.

The New York Times wrote on January 29th, 1905 that “He declared that a free and a happy Russia, with its 6,000,000 Jews, would possibly mean the end of Zionism, since the abolition of the autocracy would practically eliminate the causes that brought Zionism into existence.” this chilling statement suggests that Jewish agitation must be crated or invented, if the causes for it are not in existence.

Later, in November, the Times said, “From 1800 to 1902 he caused 6,000,000 Jewish families to be expelled from Russia.” A few years later, The New York Times again, on October 31st, 1911, stated that “The 6,000,000 Jews of Russia are singled out for systematic oppression and for persecution due to process of law.” Further, The American-Jewish Yearbook reads: “Russia has since 1890 adopted a deliberate plan to expel or exterminate six millions of its people for no other reason than that they refuse to become members of the Greek Church, but prefer to remain Jews” (AJY, 5672, 308, covering the period from September 23 2011 to September 11 1912, pg. 308). This claim was entirely invented.

The Pittsburgh-based New Jewish Criterion wrote: “The annihilation of the six million Jews now congregated in the Russian domains goes on in a well defined and systematic manner” (June 25, 1915). The New York Tribune wrote: “What the Turks are doing to Armenians is child’s play compared to what Russia is doing to six million Jews, her own subjects” (October 14 1915).

Further, we read “[In Russia] where six million human beings guilty only of adherence to the Jewish faith are compelled to live out their lives in squalor and misery, in constant terror of massacre. . . [Russia is]a kind of prison with six million inmates.” (American Jewish Committee, 1916, “Jews in the Eastern War Zone”).

In 1918, the Jewish Criterion wrote: “Russia, where the bulk of the Jewish people to the number of well over six million still dwell, is a land of blood and midnight darkness” (Volume 50, 2 September 5 1918). All the talking points of the left, whether in the east or the left, could be found here. Not only was socialism in this respect a Jewish ethnic movement, but the antiRussian tenor of western politics was as well.

What is this obsession with the number six and “six million?” The letter “vav” is the equivalent of six, the hook or the nail. The Chabad movement sees six as the ultimately Jewish number since it signifies all truth in all dimensions. There are six points in the “star of David.” The basic theology is that “six million” Jews must be sacrificed so that the messiah can be induced to come. These do not refer to literal deaths, but it is the “purification” ritual so that Jews will come to recognize their mission in the world and, in fact, become their own Messiah.

Claims of mass extermination are a critical part of Judaism. Long separated from the prophets (loathed in the Talmud), the rabbis under the magical and alchemical thinking of Babylon, speaks of “four billion Jews” billed by the Romans at Bethar (Talmud, Gittin, 57b) and that “16 million Jewish children” were burned alive by Roman soldiers (ibid, 58a). The purification of Adolf Hitler eliminated the assimilationist Jews in favor of the Talmudic remnant that, now purified, will dominate the world and become its own messiah. The number six is that demonic power that links the remnant Jews together through the Talmud.

Odessa as the Jewish Capital of Russia

Domination, not egalitarianism, was the agenda then and now. These Jews had no interest in egalitarianism. While gentile socialists might have given it lip service, the Jewish parts were far wealthier and far more significant. There, inequality was to be defended so long as the wealth was Jewish. Solzhenitsyn writes in volume II of his Two Hundred Years Together:

It is interesting to note that almost none of the Jewish revolutionaries in these decades went into revolutionary politics to fight misery and poverty; the majority of them are from wealthy families. . . . From wealthy merchant families came Nathanson, Lev Deich, Joseph Aptekman (Talmudic lawers); A. Khotyn, Gurevich, Simon Lurie . . . the first Italian Marxist Anna Rosenstein (childhood surrounded by governesses, foreign languages), the tragic Moses Rabinovich Kamensky and Betty, Felicia Sheftel, J. Getsov, and many others. Even Christina (Khasya) Greenberg, “from an orthodox merchant family of great wealth” in 1880 joined the “People’s Will” . . . She ran the safe house. . . . Alexander Bibergal. Vladimir Bogoras, Solomon Aronson, Lazarus Goldenberg, Rabinovich, A. Khotyn, Solomon Chudnovsky, the Leventhal brothers all came from wealth.

In Odessa, Jewish parties formed a “provisional government” as the old urban system merely went over to armed Jewish thugs. The creation of the USSR was nothing other than the repetition of these local experiments. Jews almost always instigated the violence and were always better armed than their opponents. On the street there were armed Jewish militants and on the outskirts of the city Jewish guards ensuring no one passed without a search. They killed policemen standing at their posts. They killed, “usually at night, sneaking up in the dark and hitting the back of any innocent victims.”

Then unarmed people with portraits of the Emperor, icons and national flags held a service and went around the city past Jewish outposts, including armed Jewish “police.” Mobs have decided that these “insurgents and rebels under the national flag and emblem of royal power” needed to be destroyed. The Jewish “police” began shooting and one threw a bomb. (5)

After this, a mass Russian revolt occurred. This rise of Russians and Ukrainians in the city, forcing the gangsters to flee. Most of the rebels were unarmed or armed with primitive weapons. That evening of November 14 1905, the main Odessa hospital received Two Hundred wounded Russians and 70 wounded Jews.

VV Rozanov, who spent a summer in Bessarabia during these times, outlined a way of understanding how Jews went about provoking all around them. This was published in the New Time and reprinted in Literary Studies and edited by VG Sukach. He writes:

The economic power of the Jews is always greater than the force of the surrounding population. Even when a handful of Jews, five or six families, have money through Berdichev and Warsaw, and Hungary and Austria. In essence “the whole Jewish world” supports each settler. . . . They immediately call on relatives to help him. . . .They instantly formed syndicates and never allowed any stranger access to their world. . . In this way they have infinite credit for their enterprises (Kovinov, 1998) 

V. Levitsky reports in the pages of Russian Banner – the royalist paper – that the Black Hundreds and labor organized defense brigades against the Jews. Attacks on Red organizations were attacks on Jews, since they were identical. The Jews press in Petrograd responded with the “pogrom” legend. On November 10 Levitsky condemned the notion of “pogroms” in general, ordering that all peaceful Jews be left alone. DI Dubrovin said the same at the General Council of the Union of the Russian People stated that restraining Russians given the economic crimes of the Jews was a difficult task.

Writers such as DS Pasmanik gathered information on 660 riots in the area. Most of these were begun by well armed units of the “Jewish Self Defense Force.” Most people at the time, even from abroad, saw the Red forces as a Jewish ethnic movement. The average “pogrom” saw about 25% of the killed and injured Jews. The same statistics come from SM Dubnovy and GY Krasnya-Admony. In October 1905, Jewish Reds Israel Yankel and Pinkus Tarnopolsky called on “Israel” to destroy “Amalek.” (6)

Solzhenitsyn writes on the Jewish control over Odessa:

The main occupation of Odessa’s Jews in this period was the grain trade. Many Jews were small traders and middlemen (mainly between the landowners and the exporters), as well as agents of prominent foreign and local (mainly Greek) wheat trading companies. At the grain exchange, Jews worked as stockbrokers, appraisers, cashiers, scalers, and loaders; the Jews were in a dominant position in grain commerce: by 1870 most of grain export was in their hands. In 1910 89.2% of grain exports was under their control. (Chapter VIII). 

Thus, there was no “oppression” of Jews at all. The 19th century saw the explosive growth of Jewish students in all Russian universities. From ancient Rome to today, the complaints against the Jews have been identical: dominance in finance, corruption of the law and prostitution. It cannot be a coincidence that each and every era and locality had the same set of accusations each time the Jews were expelled. 

The “pale” restriction was a myth of absurd proportions. There was also no concern with equality or any of the traditional socialist or even liberal talking points. With this, both capitalist and socialist inequality has a Jewish root. Once the Tsar was overthrown, we read:

The events (of the March 1917 Revolution) coincided with the Jewish Passover. It looked like this was a second escape from Egypt. Such a long, long path of suffering and struggle has passed, and how quickly everything had happened. A large Jewish meeting was called at which Milyukov spoke: At last, a shameful spot has been washed away from Russia, which can now bravely step into the ranks of civilized nations. (Rosa Georgievna, from Solzhenitsyn, XIII)

Once the Provisional state was overthrown in turn, mass hunts for “anti-Semites” occurred. There were planted deliberate rumors of “pogroms” in the making so as to excuse further hunts for counter-revolutionaries, who, at the time, were considered identical to “antiSemites.” As if mocking the socialist idea, billionaire Jews were called “proletarians” while poor village clergy were called “bourgeois masters.” This continued under Trotsky as well. Since there was no Jewish proletariat to speak of in Russia, the entire ethnic aspect of socialism was a mockery itself.

Conclusions: 

As always, what the western man thinks is real is nothing but the delusions of those seeking or justifying power. Almost nothing taught in the lecture halls of America’s universities on these subjects is true. The problem is that those expert in this field know that it is not. Solzhenitsyn writes:

Immediately after the February Revolution, the Emergency Investigation Commission of The Provisional Government, and later the even more sympathetic Special Commission to Study the History of the Pogroms” along with the participation of reputable researchers, such as S. Dubnov and G Krasny-Admony, not only did not find any violence in Petersburg, nor in Chisinau, but no documents at all. A circular from the Interior Ministry suggested firing for any government worker committing violent action against Jews was found.

The notion of a “news media” was born in the liberal west and became the field of utter Jewish dominance. It was ignorant, controlling, muckraking and unethical. Its concern was to promote the destruction of Christian monarchies and replace them with republics dominated by money. The power of the Jewish elite is still seen today. It is bad enough that this garbage flooded the western press without criticism, but 100 years later it remains misunderstood, and deliberately so.

From Platonov, we read: 

In Tomsk, October 21 1905 saw a peaceful demonstration under the patriotic national flag and portraits of the King. The demonstrators stopped next to the residence of the bishop asking him to serve in the cathedral a prayer for the health of the Emperor. The procession went to the Cathedral Square, but there it was confronted by a group of Jews armed with rifles. The crowd was outraged and forced them to be barricaded in a theater and nearby houses. From the windows the rioters shot at the marchers. Then the raging mob set fire to the building under the cries of “Destroy the Revolutionaries!” Together with criminals they killed a lot of random people.

It is striking that such a small minority would have the arrogance to provoke their much more numerous neighbors to war. They were quite aware of the Cossack vengeance on the arrogance of their fathers in Poland several centuries before. Their arrogance seems irrational unless they were aware that powerful forces abroad were behind them. As the revolution and civil war were to show, this is precisely the case.

The pogroms were a crude set of stories invented for several reasons. First, they covered over for Jewish violence at the time as well as during the Soviet era. Second, it permitted Britain an excuse to demonize their main global rival. Third, it depicts the Tsar as a Jewish stereotype: a bloodthirsty, ignorant, hypocritical tyrant. Finally and most importantly, they cover over later violence in the Jewish USSR. The “pogroms” as depicted in the history texts never took place.


Bibliography 

  • Judge, E (1993) Easter in Kishinev: Anatomy of a Pogrom. New York University Press

  • Klier, J (2011) Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2. Cambridge University Press

  • Aronson, IM (1980) Geographical and Socioeconomic Factors in the 1881 Anti-Jewish Pogroms in Russia. Russian Review 39(1)

  • The Russo-Jewish Committee (1899) The Persecution of the Jews in Russia. London

  • Weinberg, R (1998) Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History. Jewish History 12: 71-93

  • Royce, A. Myth and the Russian Pogroms. The Occidental Observer. May 2012

  • Solzhenitsyn, A (2006) Two Hundred Years Together. Vagrius (in Russian)

  • Kovinov, Vadim (1998) The Black Hundreds and the Revolution. Russian Resurrection Network (in Russian)

  • Platonov, Oleg (2005) Myths and Truths about the Pogroms. Yauza Publishing (in Russian)

  • Praysman, L (1987) Pogroms and Self-Defense. The Literary Magazine of Jewish Intellectuals in the USSR and Israel. Tel Aviv, 51 (in Russian)

  • Encyclopaedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House 1971 (in Russian)

  • Pasmanik, DS (1978) What Did we Achieve? Russia and the Jews, vol I. Patriotic Union of Russian Jews Abroad. Paris: YMCA Press (in Russian)

  • Dinur, TS (1960) Religious and National Identity of Russian Jewry. The Book of Russian Jewry: From the 1860s to the Revolution of 1917. New York: Union of Russian Jews (in Russian)

  • Correspondence of VV Rozanov and MO Gershenson. New World, 1991, No 3 (in Russian)

  • The Documents on the Persecution of the Jews. Archive of the Russian Revolution. IV Gessen. Berlin: Word, 1922-1937, 19, 1928: 245-284 (in Russian)


  1. Solzhenitsyn cites The St. Petersburg Gazette of 1903 as his source.

  2. He cited this same paper November 17 1905 

  3. These citations are taken from Platonov

  4. From the Baltimore Sun, 1903

  5. Solzhenitsyn is the source for these facts.

  6. These are found both in Platonov as well as Solzhenitsyn.

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Jail for banned motorist from Limerick caught driving on Christmas shopping trip to Belfast

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A banned motorist from Limerick caught driving on a Christmas shopping trip to Belfast has been jailed for seven months.

Police also discovered three of Leeanne McCarthy’s children not wearing seat belts when her car was stopped on the Westlink dual carriageway.

The 41-year-old mother-of-eight initially gave officers a false identity, prosecutors said.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard a PSNI patrol car stopped the Ford Focus on November 26th last year.

McCarthy, with an address at Clonlough in Limerick, provided a different name and claimed she did not have her licence with her.

However, checks revealed that a month earlier she had been banned from driving for five years.

A Crown lawyer said: “Three young children were in the rear of the vehicle, none of them wearing seat belts.”

McCarthy initially claimed they only removed the safety restraints when the car came to a halt, the court heard.

Police were told that she took over driving duties from another daughter who had been tired and nearly crashed the vehicle.

McCarthy was convicted of driving while disqualified, having no insurance, obstructing police and three counts of carrying a child in the rear of a vehicle without a seat belt.

Her barrister, Turlough Madden, said she had travelled to Belfast for Christmas shopping.

Counsel told the court McCarthy spent the festive period in custody, missing out on sharing it with her eight children and four grandchildren.

“That’s been a wake-up call and significant punishment for her,” Mr Madden submitted.

“She is a mother who simply wants to go back to Limerick and not return to Northern Ireland.”

Sentencing McCarthy to five months imprisonment for the new offences, District Judge George Conner imposed a further two months by activating a previous suspended term.

Mr Conner also affirmed the five-year disqualification period and fined her £300 (€350) for the seat belt charges.

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Suspects in UK citing ‘inhuman’ Irish jails to try halt extradition

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Criminal suspects abroad who are wanted by the Irish authorities are attempting to prevent their extradition on grounds of “inhuman” prison conditions here.

A number of legal challenges have been taken in the UK on such grounds since the extradition system was overhauled last year as a result of Brexit.

Most of the challenges are based on reports of overcrowding and “slopping out” – the manual emptying of containers used as toilets in cells overnight – in the Irish prison system.

Although none have been successful to date, in at least one case the Irish authorities have been required to offer assurances that a prisoner would not be forced to “slop out” in order to secure their extradition.

The case, which was finalised in the Scottish High Court last week, concerned a man wanted in Ireland for several domestic abuse-type offences. The man objected to his extradition on the basis that he may be forced to “slop out” or have to use the toilet in open view in front of cell mates in an Irish prison.

He cited a 2020 Council of Europe report which found the “degrading” practice of “slopping out” was still present in some prisons despite efforts by the authorities to abolish it.

Toilet dignity

The report also found almost half of the prison population still have to use the toilet in the presence of other prisoners.

A Scottish judge said such a system would carry “at least a strong presumption” of a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

However, after receiving a letter from a senior official in the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) office that the suspect would not have to slop out during any prison sentence, the extradition was approved.

“The Irish Prison Service has confirmed that [the suspect] will not be placed in conditions where he is required to ‘slop out’ – either on remand or in the event that he is committed to a term of imprisonment,” the DPP official wrote.

The issue of prison conditions is one of a number of obstacles faced by the State in extraditing suspects to and from Ireland post-Brexit.

After the final withdrawal of the UK from the EU in January 2021, the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system, which allowed for the rapid and simplified extraditions of prisoners to and from the UK, was replaced by a new system laid out in the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) struck between the EU and UK.

Post-Brexit uncertainty

In recent times, there were about 90 outgoing extradition warrants issued by Ireland per year, with about 70 per cent of those going to the UK. In 2021, that figure dropped by about half amid legal uncertainties surrounding the new system.

Officials in the DPP’s office had anticipated such issues may arise under the new system and sought to fast track as many extraditions as possible before its implementation. In 2020, it applied for about 180 extradition warrants, double the usual figure, ahead of the final withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

The new TCA system has also been subject to objections by suspects in Ireland wanted by the UK authorities. Last year, the Supreme Court referred two cases to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) where the applicants claimed they could not be handed over the UK under the new system.

In November, the CJEU ruled the TCA system allows the men to be extradited. The ruling was a source of considerable relief to officials in the offices of the Attorney-General and the Chief State Solicitor as it was seen as a vindication of the new system.


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Isabel Allende: ‘There is a real war against women’ | USA

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The world’s best-selling Spanish-language author talks feminism and love in later life as she unveils Violeta, a novel about the world between two pandemics.

Isabel Allende published her debut novel at the age of 40, finding global success with The House of the Spirits, about the tangled history of a Chilean family leading up to the years of the country’s dictatorship. This was followed by almost 30 books that have sold around 70 million copies in 42 languages. Now on the verge of turning 80, Isabel Allende lives a semi-reclusive life in San Francisco and will publish the English-language version of Violeta, her latest novel, next week. This new tale begins in the 1920s with the havoc wreaked by the so-called Spanish flu, and ends 100 years later in the midst of our own pandemic.

This perfect ellipsis is used to pay homage to her mother’s generation, though it never neglects her usual themes: domination, power, women’s aspirations to enter forbidden spaces, freedom, loyalty and love. Allende believes that Chile has a new chance with the election of the youthful left-winger Gabriel Boric, and is proud to have become a passionate old woman. She speaks openly of her marriages and relationships, of the death of her daughter Paula, and the fear of love she sees in her grandchildren’s generation.

What follows is an edited version of her interview with EL PAÍS.

 Isabel Allende in the garden of her home.
Isabel Allende in the garden of her home.Lori Barra

Question. Your new novel, Violeta, begins with the wrongly-named Spanish flu and ends in the times of Covid-19. What a good tool literature is for tracing historical ellipses, don’t you think?

Answer. It was almost natural that it came out that way. The idea was born when my mother died, a year before the pandemic. If she had lived another year, she would have been 100 years old. She was born in a pandemic, because the flu arrived in Chile in 1920, and she would have died in another one. When she died, many people told me to write her story. We had an extraordinary relationship. But she was always submissive, first to her father and then to her husband. There is no self-fulfillment for a woman if she cannot support herself. If you depend on someone else to pay your bills, you have to bow down. And that was my mother’s fate, even though she was a very creative woman. As I wrote, not knowing what Violeta would become, I think that deep down she is the woman I would have liked my mother to be.

Q. Your mother was an artist, she painted?

A. She painted and had an eye for business. If her father and husband had listened to her, they would have ended up rich. She knew instinctively where to invest.

Q. What sets your generation apart from your mother’s? In a short time a big gap was created.

A. My generation went out on the streets, and many went to college, although I didn’t. They looked for work and they earned a living. But this is within a specific social class. The humblest and hardest workers have always supported their families; I am talking about that class of girls who were educated to be wives and mothers.

Q. You have always been interested in inventing women with grit and determination.

A. I am surrounded by them! Extraordinary women. Often I find a human model to develop as a character, but I’m overwhelmed by reality because they achieve things I would never have dreamed of.

Q. Reality itself is often an exaggeration… should we suppress that in fiction?

A. Exactly. When I wrote The Infinite Plan, based on my second husband William Gordon, there were critics who argued that no one could have all that happen to them, yet I had to cut some things out to make it believable. Fiction must be believable, and at times life is not.

Q. What are your work’s obsessions? What questions are still present and what answers have you not found?

A. They are always the same: love and death. Violence, the need for justice, loyalty and courage. And a subject that haunts me: power with impunity, both in the family and in society.

Q. You fail to mention feminism. You say that the key to that movement is not what women have between their legs, but between their ears.

If Boric manages to do half of what he intends to, it will already be a step forward

A. Of course, that has marked my whole life! We live in a patriarchy. Morals, laws, everything is mostly done by men. We women have to find loopholes to let our voices be heard. More and more often we are succeeding. But we are not there yet. There is a real war against women.

Q. The problem in the West is that there is a far right wing that maintains that the patriarchy is in danger and that the loopholes to which you allude are already too numerous. What do we do?

A. Didn’t I tell you that we live under a patriarchy? By that logic, they don’t like any gains from the other side. But women have been tearing bits and pieces out of the situation little by little. And they will succeed, but I will not be alive to see it. Even so, I feel the rumbling underground energy of young people. Look at what just happened in Chile.

Q. I was thinking that too.

A. A young man like Gabriel Boric, 35 years old, has won [a presidential election]. Who voted for him? 63% of women and three out of four young people too. I feel that energy, and that is why I am very optimistic about the future. They are not going to stand idly by as these old fogeys run the world.

Q. What do you think these elections crystallized?

A. What has been going on for many years. Inequality, discontent, corruption and impunity produced an outburst in 2019. They did not really know what they were demanding. It was not just the price of a subway ticket, although that served as an excuse: it was privatization, the state of education, the scandalously miserable pensions, the complete corruption of the whole system. They demanded a new constitution. Democratic, and not imposed from above as has happened with all of them since the beginning. The pandemic sent everyone home and it all seemed to be frozen, but the election came along and it had not been forgotten, far from it. Things are happening there.

Q. Of course.

A. If Boric manages to do half of what he intends to, it will already be a step forward. His acceptance speech summarized in 17 minutes the great aspirations I have for Chile: inclusion, equality, women, diversity, democracy, respect for nature. If he succeeds, it will be a huge step forward. If the CIA doesn’t get involved, of course.

Isabel Allende in her home in Sausalito, in the San Francisco Bay Area, in December 2021.
Isabel Allende in her home in Sausalito, in the San Francisco Bay Area, in December 2021.Lori Barra

Q. How has that young woman who you once were, going into exile, been stirred up during the months of campaigning?

A. It’s been a long time. We live in another country, in another world. I notice a little wink from Boric to Allende. But I never think about that girl anymore.

Q. Is she someone you have definitely left behind?

A. Yes, deep down, when I go to Chile, I feel like a foreigner. The dictatorship changed it completely. It’s another country. I feel Chilean if I talk to people, but if I go there, I feel as foreign as in the United States, where I live.

Q. So you define yourself as a foreigner and you’re not at all nostalgic?

A. I am nostalgic for that time when I felt I belonged somewhere. But it is a sentimental, romantic and very unrealistic nostalgia.

Q. A kind of nostalgia, on the other hand, that is good for your work?

A. Yes, because that’s where my roots nourish me. This last book, for example, although I never mention it, I could not have written it if I did not come from Chile. I carry it here, in my heart.

Q. Violeta also carries things in her heart. For example, when one does the formula “wife plus mother equals boredom,” it’s mathematics. Isn’t it the same equation that you confess to having experienced in your first marriage?

A. Yes, it certainly draws on personal experiences. My first husband, Miguel Frías, was like Violeta’s first husband: respectable and a good person. Then came the passion I experienced in Venezuela with an Argentinean. He made me leave that first husband and my children, but it didn’t last, and I quickly became disillusioned. When I feel that affection, mutual respect and admiration is over, that’s it. Ciao!

I think it takes more courage to stay in a relationship that doesn’t work than to leave

Q. Even so, you got married again.

A. Yes, to a fascinating, adventurous man who at first you weren’t sure if he was a criminal or not, and that was Willie Gordon. But that too ended when I noticed that on his side the affection had stopped. I could have gone on, but as soon as I realized it, it was “Ciao!” again. I got divorced at 74 and people said, “What? You are going to be all alone.” Well, I think it takes more courage to stay in a relationship that doesn’t work than to leave.

Q. And then Roger came into your life. Your third partner.

A. Roger gives me what I need: a lot of love. The rest I can get on my own. But I can’t allow myself that unless I get it as a gift. And he gives it to me!

Q. Does this fulfill your aspiration to become what you were looking for, a passionate old woman?

A. I’ve been training all my life for that. Don’t you think that you can just get to old age and be passionate, you have to train for it.

Q. How?

A. By taking risks. By throwing yourself into adventures, participating in life with curiosity about others and the world, not settling in where you feel good. I see young people my grandchildren’s age who have cautious relationships, who don’t want to suffer. What are you going to do with your life if you don’t want to suffer?

Q. They are often overprotected by their parents. Is that good or unrealistic? Shouldn’t they suffer a little more?

A. That’s what I say, let them suffer a little. Gentle neglect works well for children. That’s how I raised Paula and Nicolás. I held down three jobs simultaneously when I was raising them, I didn’t have time to keep an eye on what they were doing. I suppose they took a lot of risks and did stupid things, but they also grew up without me monitoring everything.

Q. The happiest moments of your life, you say, were when you held them in your arms for the first time, and the saddest, when you held Paula, who was dying. Have you been able to turn that grief into something positive?

A. Yes, into action. Writing the book about my daughter, Paula, helped me to put it into words, to understand what had happened. Her year-long agony was a very dark night. Everything was a haze of pain and anguish. When I started organizing it, based on things I had written to my mother and the notes I took, I realized that my daughter’s only way out was death. I had to accept it, understand it, try to get rid of the rage I had built up from that neglect that gave her severe brain damage. Nobody tried to hurt her on purpose; it was a series of circumstances. I received thousands of letters, as there was no internet. And by answering them, all of them, I was developing a communication process with people. Everyone has suffered losses and pain. That was extraordinary. I feel Paula everywhere. I won’t say I’m seeing ghosts, but it’s a very strong feeling. And the proceeds from that book went to a foundation that is dedicated to doing what she would be doing if she were alive, defending the fundamental rights of women and children.

Q. Which is more painful and which is celebratory, writing about one’s parents or one’s children?

A. I don’t know. I make use of them all: parents, grandparents, children, cousins… When I published The Sum of Our Days, my son Nicolás told me: “Please, mom, don’t ever write about me again. I have a private life and I don’t want to expose my family.” And I didn’t. It’s been 15 years since that memoir and no more.

Q. After Paula, in Aphrodite you paid tribute to aphrodisiacs. Did it work for you?

A. I was lucky that book was published four months before Viagra appeared. Otherwise, not a single copy would have been sold.

Q. Thank goodness!

A. After Paula was published, I couldn’t write anything. Everything came out flat, gray, boring, impossible. I remembered that I was a journalist and I looked for a subject that was as far away from grief as possible: love, gluttony, sex. And the bridge between these are aphrodisiacs, so when I researched and tested the recipes with friends…

Q. Tell me which ones really work.

A. None, the only thing that works is imagination.

Q. The same in men as in women?

A. Especially with women, we romanticize everything, we get sentimental, we make up stories because we find that much more stimulating than anything else. Men are very visual. I don’t know if Playboy magazine still exists. They have tried to make those magazines for women and they don’t work. They’re bought by homosexuals. We don’t get turned on by seeing a half-naked man, we get turned on by having something whispered in our ear. The G-spot is in the ear, you don’t need to look for it elsewhere.

Q. Wise advice at almost 80 years old!

A. I’m almost there!

Q. Do you plan your books much?

A. Nooooo! Except if they deal with historical episodes. I’ve learned after 40 years of writing to relax, to not try to force either the story or the characters with what I previously thought it should be. If I let myself go by instinct and enjoyment, discovering what happens, it usually works much better. There is a very intuitive part to writing.

Q. Many consider you to be one of the very few female voices of the Latin American Boom, a very masculine movement.

A. Well, that’s what they said when House of the Spirits appeared, that I was the only woman in that movement. But then they quickly erased me, I don’t know why, and labeled me as post-Boom. And you know what? Nobody likes to be considered “post” anything.

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