This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook Page #yizkorbooks

Bruce Drake

One reality of life in the Jewish Pale was the grinding poverty. This excerpt, “Poverty and Hardship in Bobruisk (Belarus)” is from a longer section of its Yizkor book, titled “Bobruisk In the Nineteenth Century .”
“Here lived ‘in old cut-up pants porters and shoemakers and tailors — also beggars, hunchbacks, sick, coughing, and wives, which stood with their baskets in the market,’” writes the author of this chapter. People wandered to different places in southern Russia or to America “to find a piece of bread." Poverty also gave rise to youth gangs and a “Jewish underworld” and to brothels frequented by the great number of soldiers in the city. By the end of the 19th century, sparked by the Russian revolutionary movement, poverty was also a driving force in people joining the workers’ movement.
Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

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