web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


August 1, 2014: The Centennial of World War One

Map_of_the_Continent_of_Europe

A prayer for the Russian czar found in a Siddur, Otzar HaTefillot, Vilna 1914, read, “May nations surrender under his feat, and may his enemies fall before him, and wherever he turns, may he find success.”

Many Russian Jews lived with hope that the Russian Czar would finally grant them emancipation. They hoped their hour of freedom was forthcoming. By the middle of 1917, over 60,000 Jews were decorated for heroism and 26,000 were promoted to higher ranks.

Yet, despite all manifestations of patriotism by Russian Jews, as in Germany, Jews would be blamed for failures in the war. Russian Jewry would also be the targets of widely publicized accusations of treason and spying for the Germans, despite their vehement denials and displays of patriotism.  For Jews living under the yoke of the Russian empire, pogroms, and forced evacuations, would devastate much of Polish and Russian Jewry.

And when the Czar was forced to abdicate in the wake of the Russian Revolution in March, 1917, the initial euphoria expressed in the secular Jewish media would be replaced by fear with the rise of the Bolsheviks in November of that year. The horrors that awaited humanity under the rule of communist dictatorships were unimaginable. Russian Jewry as well, faced a new dark chapter in its history.  Their hopes turned to nightmares.

In a small Galitzian town over the Russian border within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, news of the war was received not much differently from the small towns of the Pale Settlement within the rival Russian empire. War brings upheaval and trouble, its’ outcome is unpredictable.  An author, Manes Sperber wrote, “For us this war is a terrible disaster.” “Why a disaster?” Someone asked, “Our Kaiser will be victorious and the Czar will be defeated and will never oppress his subjects again.” He replied, “For us every war is a disaster, no one in this room can be sure of his survival.”

It was a war of unprecedented horrors. For Jewry it was a war of immense suffering along with broken dreams.

In 1913, the following poem penned by the writer Zalman Schneur entitled “The Middle Ages Draw Near,” foresaw the modern day catastrophe emerging from the new post  ‘enlightenment’, world in which hatred and anti-Semitism was on the rise. Zalman Shneur foresaw the horrorswhich awaited Jewry in Europe during this ill fated era, and exhorted his fellow Jews to awaken and see the imminent dangers facing the Jewish people.  His words were a warning to Jewry of the coming storm.

Mighty is the approaching winter for summer tarried in the land.

The middle ages draw near!

Like a cloud in the distance

Open wide your eyes and ears, ancient people!

The wheel is…the turning wheel:

and a wild wind before it.

 

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “August 1, 2014: The Centennial of World War One”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
PA/PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas addresses Central Committee convention in Ramallah.
Abbas Underscores PLO’s ’3 NO’s’ in Ramallah Rant
Latest Indepth Stories
Mordechai on the King's horse, being led by Haman

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites

Obama’s real problem is that he knows Netanyahu has more credibility on the Iran issue than he does.

Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”

More Articles from Larry Domnitch
Red Line Obama

UN inspectors were flabbergasted when Iran allowed them full unfettered access to All nuclear sites

Europe_1918

Expulsions perpetrated by the Russians during WWI were the worst against the Jews since Roman times.

Arab opposition to a Jewish State of any size was made known by word and deed in the form of terror

Rav Kook offered recognition to the British but not thanks; the British merely fulfilled its destiny

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

Nearly two decades into the 20th century, Jews were suffering the horrors of pogroms, mass expulsions, starvation and disease in Eastern Europe while Jewish soldiers in various armies were enduring the carnage of the battlefield. Amid the horrors, however, a glimmer of hope appeared.

On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., an agreement signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiegne France, ended hostilities on the Western front and signaled the end of the First World War.

On the eve of the Six-Day War, Israel stood alone.

The events of June 1967 came just a decade after the 1956 Sinai Campaign waged by Israel, France and Great Britain to protect international passage through the Suez Canal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/august-1-2014-the-centennial-of-world-war-one/2014/07/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: