Documenting the Pogroms in Ukraine, 1918-1920: Eliezer David Rosenthal's Megilat Hatevah

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In 1920-25, Rosenthal (1856-1932) collected testimonies of victims of pogroms perpetrated during the civil war in Ukraine (1918-20) by Denikin's White Army, Petlyura's Ukrainian nationalist army, various other anti-Bolshevik formations, and peasant militias. With these testimonies in hand, Rosenthal compiled an anthology, "Megilat ha-tevah" ("The Scroll of Slaughter"), in which he described events in 396 locations in Ukraine, and gave the names of ca. 10,000 murdered Jews that he managed to ascertain, a small portion of those actually killed. The murder sites in his manuscript were arranged alphabetically
the manuscript was smuggled from Odessa, Rosenthal's hometown, to the Land of Israel. Before 1934, part of it, covering the letters "aleph" to "tet", was published there. The manuscript is preserved in the Genazim Archive in Tel Aviv. Rosenthal's motivation in doing this research was different from those of others who wrote about the Civil War pogroms in Ukraine. The course of the war and the measure of responsibility of certain people or armies did not interest him
his only goal was to commemorate the victims, to save them from oblivion. Reflects on the value of "Megilat ha-tevah" for scholars. Pp. 88-102 contain tables which include estimates of the numbers of those killed in the various locations, and data on the victims.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-102
StatePublished - 2014


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