As is generally known, the anti-Semitic propaganda actively uses two myths: “All the Jews are exploiters” and “All the Jews are revolutionaries” and both of the abstracts are often used simultaneously. The less logic there is, the more readily people believe in it– something of the kind was used by Goebbels’ propaganda. However, this device was used long before Goebbels and is still used.
Particularly stable is the stereotype about “the Jews-revolutionaries”, speaking about the period of so-called “Russian revolutions” (1905-1917). The project of the virtual catalogue “The Jews of Odessa and Russian revolutions”, supported by the Rothschild Foundation Europe, makes it possible to more objectively assess the place of the Jews in these historic events. Since this spring the material is available at: http://migdal.ru/migdal/museum/catalog.
The collection of our museum doesn’t pretend to be exhaustive, but even it says that the majority of Odessa Jews, especially belonging to the middle-class, not to mention wealthy ones, weren’t among the radical revolutionaries. The most influential in the Jewish environment of Odessa were Zionists, not Bolsheviks and even not members of Bund.
One may state that the intensification of the Jewish political movements started after Odessa Pogroms of the last third of 19th century as the kind of reaction to the accusations of “revolutionary activity”.
Placing some of the catalogue materials, related to the period of 1870-1920es, we are planning not only to continually replenish this virtual catalogue, but also to expand its chronological frame.
We hope, that the virtual catalogue of the most valuable units of our museum collection will be interesting not only to the specialists, but to everyone who is interested in history of Odessa and Odessa Jews. We also hope for additions and comments of readers of the catalogue and we are grateful for new information and new exhibits, related to the subject of our museum.