web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Aftermath Of Armistice


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.

When the war initially broke out in August 1914, few thought it would become the destructive conflagration it did, taking millions of lives. Finally its end had arrived, but there would be many consequences.

Jews were devoted to their host nations and served in every army. On the Eastern front, Jewish civilians suffered enormous casualties due to pogroms and expulsions. In the Land of Israel, Jews suffered under the brutal rule of the Ottoman Turks who had joined the Central Powers a few months after the war’s outbreak.

The end of the war raised the hope among Jews that their patriotism and sacrifices would put an end to age-old anti-Jewish animosity. That hope, alas, would not be realized. Many Jews also hoped that after 2,000 years of exile they would achieve independence in their ancient homeland.

On March 15, 1917, as a direct consequence of the fighting on the Eastern front between the Russians and the Central Powers, Russia collapsed. The czar, who abdicated, was replaced by a provisional government under the leadership of Alexander Kerensky.

The new leader denounced anti-Semitism and granted emancipation to the Jews. Some Jews hailed the changes as the long-awaited moment of liberation for oppressed Russian Jewry. But Kerensky would not last, and the nightmare of Czarist Russia would soon reemerge under Soviet rule. With Russia’s transformation under Communism, anti-Semitism morphed into a brutal war against Judaism that would last for decades.

At the conclusion of World War I, the Ukraine, where well over one million Jews lived, was the scene of a bloody three-way civil war between Ukrainian nationalists, Bolshevik forces, and the anti-Bolshevik White Army under Anton Denikin. In the fighting, all parties committed atrocities against the Jews. The forces under Simon Petliura massacred tens of thousands.

Pogrom survivors fled their homes and many perished from starvation and disease. This catastrophe, comparable to that perpetrated by the Cossacks under Bogdan Chmielnicki in 1648-1649, was directly connected to the First World War and the fall of the Russian regime.

The war also played a role in the heightened level of xenophobia that swept the U.S. and other Western nations and contributed to the enactment of legislation drastically reducing immigration. Quotas imposed in America in 1921 and in the 1924 Johnson Reed Act would remain in effect even as Jewish refugees desperately sought asylum from Germany in the late 1930s.

The defeat of the Ottoman Turkish-German forces in the Middle East by British and Anzac troops paved the way for the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917. Excitement enveloped the Jewish world. Would this gesture mean the amelioration of Jewish suffering? Was the dream of a Jewish homeland in the Land of Israel to be realized in the immediate future?

After the war, attempts by the British to accommodate promises made to both Jews and Arabs were inevitably met by Arab opposition in the form of terror and violence. The British responded by imposing restrictions on Jews while still seeking some form of compromise until the final act of appeasement, the MacDonald White Paper of 1939, which essentially negated the original Balfour Declaration. High hopes became bitter disappointment – another catastrophic blow to Jewry at its great hour of need.

The First World War led to the Second World War: The Versailles Treaty infuriated the German people and helped damage the German economy – both key factors contributing to the rising tide of Nazism in Germany.

The same hyper-nationalism that drove Germany to prepare for World War One now drove the defeated and humiliated Germans to look hungrily for a strong leader who would restore the country’s lost glories. The international community turned a blind eye while Germany went about rebuilding its war machine in violation of the terms of Versailles.

The era following the First World War was an ominous one for Jewry. The Jews of Russia would enter another long era of persecution under Soviet rule. The horrific massacres of Jews in the Ukraine in 1919-1920 presaged the mass murder perpetrated by the Nazi regime. Nazism was already on the rise, threatening the Jews of Europe who would be denied sanctuary by the nations of the world, including the British who still held the mandate over the Land of Israel.

But adamant as the British were in backtracking on their promises to the Jewish people, the Balfour Declaration could not be expunged from the world’s consciousness; it had simply engendered too much international support for Jewish statehood. The Balfour Declaration may not have created a Jewish state as so many had fervently hoped, but it did make possible its inevitability.

Larry Domnitch is an educator and author.

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 “The Aftermath Of Armistice”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Larry Domnitch
Map_of_the_Continent_of_Europe

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.

Had Judge Richard Goldstone only issued a distorted litany of accusations against the Jewish state – dayenu.

Had the British government only issued an arrest warrant against Kadima leader and former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni – dayenu.

Last month, Israel lost a very close friend in Alexander Haig.

During his confirmation hearings in January 1981for the position of secretary of state, Haig reiterated his commitment to the existing U.S. policy of not dealing with the PLO or other Palestinians opposed to Israel’s existence.

● Had President Obama only given a speech in Cairo to the Arab world in “de-Nile” of the actual history of the region – dayenu.

Jerusalem, as it has so many times in the past, is today occupying center stage in the world theater. Once again the City of David is under siege. Not by an invading army, but by pressure exerted by nations to relinquish Israeli sovereignty over Jewry’s eternal capital.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-aftermath-of-armistice/2010/11/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: