Re: Russian Website Jewish Roots #general #russia


Stephen Weinstein
 

about 80% of the world Jewish population lived within the Pale in Russian Empire in the 19th century, and almost every one of you had roots in the Russian Empire, it is surprising that no one  visits Russian-language forums
Elena, the percentage with roots anywhere that Russia is still the official language would be much lower.  Most of the Pale was farther west than modern-day Russia.  The "Russian Empire" included not only modern-day Russia, but also most of the rest of the former Soviet Union, and a substantial part of Poland.

Very few of the Jews who emigrated to the United States (or other western countries) 100-140 years ago had roots in what is now Russia.  Most of them were from what is now Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, or Latvia.

There was a small population of elite Jews who were allowed to live east of the Pale, but since they were in an extremely privileged (and somewhat protected) position (and they frequently had substantial wealth that they would not have been permitted to bring with them), they had less incentive to emigrate than poorer Jews in the Pale.

During the Holocaust, many Jews fled from the former Pale into the Russian SSR, but many Jews were not allowed to leave the Soviet Union until its collapse, so Jews over 40 years old who were not born there are relatively unlikely to have roots in the Russian SSR. 

Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, CA, USA

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