International Labor and Working-Class History

Ekaterinoslav City in 1905: Workers, Jews, and Violence 1

Gerald Surh a1
a1 North Carolina State University


In all the upheaval of 1905 in Russia, one of the most violent and volatile areas was Ekaterinoslav Province, which included Donbass coal miners, militant railroaders, and heavy industrial factory workers in and around the mines, the towns, and the province's capital city. Although protest and upheaval were by no means new to the region, in 1905 the province witnessed not only a chain of strikes, meetings, and demonstrations throughout the year, but one of the largest and most militant armed uprisings in December and several destructive anti-Jewish pogroms among the hundreds that swept South Russia in October. 2


1 This article was made possible thanks to research travel grants from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University, to the able library and archival assistance of Molly Molloy and Diana Dzuba, and to Reginald Zelnik's astute editing suggestions.

2 This characterization of the region is most fully and persuasively outlined in Charters Wynn's important study, Workers, Strikes, and Pogroms: The Donbass-Dnepr Bend in Late Imperial Russia, 1870–1905 (Princeton, 1992). The present essay, though greatly indebted to Wynn's pioneering work, seeks to build on, critique, and modify some of its conclusions.