Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Jews in Russia, 1907: An Interview with Aleksey Suvorin

Aleksey Suvorin (1834-1912) was a very rich newspaper and book publisher and journalist who had a good deal of influence within the Russian Empire. His views were very nationalistic, as well as anti-Semitic. In 1874 he acquired a Russian newspaper in St. Petersburg called Novoye Vremya, which was in dire straits, and he made it profitable.

In this article, reprinted in the New-York Daily Tribune from an interview published in the "The American Hebrew," a weekly journal, Suvorin expounds on his views of the Jewish people, the pogroms and the Revolution. It is an interesting read, as it gives us a glimpse into the Russian nationalistic and anti-Semitic mind that existed at the time.

Here is one exchange between the interviewer for "The American Hebrew" and Suvorin:

Interviewer: "According to you, then, the Jew's love for his country should be expressed in kissing the knout with which he is being beaten, in embracing the Cossack or policeman who has violated his wife or his daughter?"

Suvorin: "Why should the authorities like the Jews, who are their enemies? The Jews are positively a troublesome element. They undermine the foundation of the church and the government....The Jews are to blame for the revolutionary movement in Russia. Pleveh once showed me the statistics of political criminals, and would you believe it, 72 per cent of them were Jews....Which government in the world would protect a nation which produces such an enormous percentage of enemies? Of course, the revolution is advantageous to the Jews. Seizing the reins of government in their hands, they would rule Russia as they please....Therefore the native Russian resists the Jews in the form of pogroms. The struggle is beyond question a savage one, but then our people are savages....And now, give freedom to such savages...."

The interview can be read at

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