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October 12, 2007


You know what the saddest thing is? It's STILL going on today in Russia. Oh, they're not attacking the Jews much anymore, because there are so few left. It's immigrants that are being attacked. Foreign workers from Asian countries like Sri Lanka, that come to work and find a better life. The attacks are public, the police do nothing to stop them, the government looks the other way. It never changes in Russia. They seem to have a need to blame everyone else for their own problems.

My grandfather left at 14 by stowing away on a boat and then buying a dead child's identity on the ship. He talked about the pograms and the antisemitism, but he loved the communists. I could never figure out why, but he was so idealistic about communism and then socialism and believed that it would provide a better life for the poor.

And btw, there is PLENTY of antisemitism in modern Denmark. PLENTY.

What a post! Extremely interesting, deeply sad and horrific! I sent the URL to my son who is reading up about this stuff lately.

Danny, you should send this to the evil Anne Coulter.
Makes me really appreciate my grandparents journeys across Europe and then the Atlantic to get here and build a new life.
And that our small travails in life today are meaningless compared to what previous generations endured.
Your research was fascinating.

Danny, as nearly always; I'm left speachless. I truly am. What an amazing post!

Geez, Danny, I had no idea that it was as bad as all that before the Nazis. This is something that is beyond my comprehension. Aren't Jews human beings too? I will never understand, and it makes me very sad.

Back when I had a blog, I did a post on Social Darwinism. While surfing the net to find out more about it, I ran into this website:
It has all kinds of info about Nazi attitudes about Jews. It has even posted entire children's books filled with hatred and misinformation. Check it out if you want to, and thanks for this beautifully written entry.

Beautifully said. What with Ann Coulter chiming in now, it's starting to look like Anatevka all over again.

And people think that Ann Counter says rhe crap she does, just for attention and not from true belief! WRONG! (Have you ever heard that expression "peffected" before? What is that a euphamism for...Converted???)

This is a most illuminating post Danny...My Lord, the research you do is amazing and extrordinary...!
I have always heard about Denmark and their uncredible support of the Jews during World War 2, but to know that this support has been going on for centuries, is very heart warming and reassuring. If feels as if we are still living in a very anti-semetic world, right here in our country, and it was ever thus! OY!


I always found it strange that my daughters' Jewish great grandmother went to Mexico to escape religious persecution in Germany. If it was as bad there as it was in Russia, I'm sure almost anywhere else would have been better.

Danny, great research!

In light of the brutalities our ancestors faced in Russia, the father arranging his daughter's marriage seems like it was more than just a quaint old-fashioned custom.

Instead of just asking how the prospective bridegroom would support his new wife, a father would be asking, "If the Cossacks come in to rape your entire family, are you gonna hide under the bed like a big pussy or what?"

I loved this blog...even printed it out at work...but i have to be very careful, the last time i tried printing, i got 82 pages of your blog...
my grandparents on my father's side came from Galicia, or what was called Russia back then. I never got a chance to ask them about conditions there but the one time I asked my grandmother about her trip to America..all she would say was it was "horrible" and wouldn't say anything else.
Did you find any news about Romania where my mother's parents came from? I always wondered why my grandmother came to america with her 5 brothers, and i never heard anything about her parents. I think my father knew his grandmother because he compared me to her at one time. Thanks for your research.

Danny, others have said it, but I will echo: well done! I always look forward to your posts.


I wish I could say all this shocks me, but it doesn't. I took a number courses in college that revealed Russian behavior toward Jews. Don't forget, as bad as Hitler was, Stalin was just as cruel to Jews.

Later in life, I learned what happened to my grandma, who was born in one of those medium-sized Ukranian towns:

My grandma's dad, who was a Rabbi was drafted into the Russian army. He told them he'd serve as long as they provided Kosher food. No way, of course, so he fled to the United States. (I'm sure there is more to that story, but that's all we got out of grandma.)

Somewhere along the line, locals took the family home during a pogrom and forced my grandma, who was about 8 at the time, her mom and her grandma to live on a river bank.

First my grandma's mom died. Then her grandmother. In my grandma's version, they died of the Plague, which is certainly possible if they were forced to live outdoors at the river.

But my grandma never told the truth about nasty stuff and disliked revealing much about her true past. I never heard her speak fluent Russian until I was in my 20s.

Parentless, grandma's dad was finally able to get her and her sister to New York via France. Eventually they settled in Chicago.

So in my mind, whatever happened was probably a lot less pleasant than grandma revealed. The only good news was she came to the states long before the Holocaust.

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