Paper presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Slavists, 13- 15 June 1968, in Calgary, Alberta. Published in Ivan L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History, 1987.

Mykhailo Drahomanov and the Problem of Ukrainian-Jewish Relations

Ivan L. Rudnytsky

To Piotr Rawicz, friend of my youth

The outstanding Ukrainian political thinker of the second half of the nineteenth century, Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841-95), envisioned the problems of his native country within a broad international context. He combined specific Ukrainian national goals with a program for the reorganization of Eastern Europe as a whole.1

Among the issues which attracted Drahomanov's attention were those of the Jewish minority in Ukraine and of Ukrainian-Jewish relations generally. To these he dedicated a prominent place in his writings. Drahomanov's views on the Jewish problem contain both a sociological analysis of the condition of the Jewish people in Ukraine and a program for action. Drahomanov's attempts to implement this program in the course of his political life met with little immediate success. But his concepts had a long-range, formative impact on the development of Ukrainian political ideologies.

Drahomanov's first statement on the Jewish problem is his article, "Evrei i poliaki v Iugo-Zapadnom krae" (Jews and Poles in the Southwestern Land),2 written in 1875. "South-Western Land" (Iugo-Zapadnyi krai) was the administrative term for the three provinces of Kiev, Volhynia, and Podillia. This territory is more commonly known as Right-Bank Ukraine. It belonged to Poland until the Second Partition (1793), and was contained within the boundaries of the Russian Empire's Jewish Pale of Settlement. In the early 1870s, the South-Western Land counted some 750,000 Jewish inhabitants, or 13 per cent of the territory's total population.3

Drahomanov once observed that the stances he was taking as a political writer usually led him into polemics on two fronts simultaneously.4 This is confirmed by the article under consideration. It contains a vigorous refutation of two schools of thought, both of which Drahomanov regarded as erroneous: on the one hand, that of the supporters of the system of anti-Jewish discrimination as it existed in Russia at the time and, on the other hand, that of the advocates of Jewish emancipation who assumed that the problem would be solved by the granting of equal civil rights to the Jewish minority. As Drahomanov explained later, an equalization of rights was, of course, necessary, but "in itself it would change little the condition of the Jewish masses and their relations with the Christian masses"; an immediate improvement would accrue only to the minority of well-to-do and Western-educated Jews.5

In the article, "Jews and Poles in the South-Western Land," the author faced censorship, and so his criticism of current conditions had to be somewhat guarded. Even so, the drift of the argument is unmistakable. Drahomanov interpreted anti-Jewish discrimination in Russia as "a survival of medieval prejudices" and of "traditional notions about church-state relations. . . . But we no longer live in the Middle Ages."6 He expected that all men of democratic convictions "must settle for themselves once and for all, and as a matter of principle, the question of equal rights for Jews and Christians."7 Apologists for the status quo frequently rationalized the restrictions imposed on the Jews by the necessity to protect the peasants against usury and exploitation. Drahomanov rejected this argument as a fallacy. He demonstrated that the current Russian laws, while vexatious and humiliating to the Jews, did not safeguard the economic interests of the peasantry. Discriminatory laws and regulations were a breeding ground for graft. "Who but the lower ranks of the police benefited from the recent [forced] resettlement of the Jewish inhabitants of Kiev from one section of the city to another?"8

The partisans of Jewish emancipation also met with Drahomanov's criticism. The liberal Jewish press, he charged, "talks all the time about the oppression of the Jews by the Christians, but it does not apply any criticism to its own people, except for some indirect complaints against the orthodox members of their community, hardened in ritualistic observances."9 Drahomanov did not elaborate the point, but from what he said elsewhere it seems clear that he was thinking of the failure of the progressive, Westernized Jews to dissociate themselves from the exploitative practices which their small-town and village co-religionists often used in business dealings with the peasants. Drahomanov resented the attitude of the Jews who, invariably, regarded themselves as innocent victims and did not want to assume any responsibility for the difficulties of their situation and the hostilities which they encountered.

Drahomanov believed that a fruitful discussion of the Jewish problem required a consideration of all its essential aspects, and not an exclusive concentration on only one of them, such as the legal disabilities of the Jewish minority. He summarized his views on the condition of the Jews in Ukraine in the following way: a) the Jews are predominantly concentrated in certain mercantile occupations; b) these traders and middlemen perform an important economic function, "especially now, at a time of transition from a natural to a monetary economy,"10 but they are proportionally too numerous; c) the long-standing tradition of segregation has strengthened the cohesion of the Jewish community, whose members tend to close their ranks against outsiders and act in a monopolistic fashion; d) the Jewish community is internally divided into rich and poor, exploiters and exploited.11

On the basis of these theoretical considerations, Drahomanov adumbrated a program of practical reforms "beneficial to the majority of both Christians and Jews"12 which, he hoped, would do justice to all the major aspects of the Jewish problem. This implied three areas of action: a) raising the educational and socio-economic standards of the Ukrainian common people, and their emancipation from exploitation by Jewish merchants and middlemen; b) "the emancipation of the Jewish masses from superstitions and from exploitation by their own zaddikim ("righteous men") and wealthy bosses";13 c) finally, the easiest part, the emancipation of the Jewish people from legal discrimination, "until the time comes, which has already been reached in other European countries, when persons of all religious denominations possess equal rights."14

As a result of the tsarist government's repressive measures against the Ukrainian national movement, Drahomanov left his homeland in 1876, and never returned. The secret organization of which he was a leading member, the Kiev Hromada (Community), authorized him to act as its representative abroad and as a spokesman for Ukrainian interests in Western Europe. Drahomanov settled in Geneva, where he developed an impressive range of activities as publisher, journalist, and political theorist. In his writings of the Geneva period Drahomanov repeatedly returned to the Ukrainian-Jewish problem, especially in the pages of the Russian-language journal Volnoe slovo (The Free Word), which he edited in 1881-3. His pronouncements in exile are concerned with the same themes that we encountered in the article written in 1875. But there is evidence that his thinking had developed and matured. Now, of course, he could express himself freely, without any regard for censorship.

Of major importance is the article "Evreiskii vopros na Ukraine" (The Jewish Question in Ukraine), which appeared in 1882.15 This was Drahomanov's response to the wave of anti-Jewish riots in Ukraine in 1881-2. The first part of the article contains a survey of Russian policies toward the Jewish minority since the annexation of the Right Bank in 1793. "The differences in the measures applied by the Russian government toward the Jews in the Ukrainian and the Great Russian regions re- spectively are truly amazing, particularly during the reign of Catherine II, the destroyer of all autonomous institutions in Ukraine."16 Drahomanov contended that the Pale of Settlement was chiefly responsible for the excessive concentration of Jews in Ukraine, and that the Russian state should be held responsible for Ukrainian-Jewish tensions. He expressed his indignation against those spokesmen of the Ukrainian movement who "supported the sophisms of Suvorin and Aksakov [reactionary Russian journalists] in favour of the restriction of the Jews' right to live everywhere in Russia."17 Drahomanov regarded the preservation of the Pale of Settlement as contrary not only to humanitarian principles, but also to Ukrainian national interests, which called for a dispersal of part of Ukrainian Jewry to other areas of the Russian Empire.

Next, Drahomanov addressed himself to the proclamation which the Executive Committee of the revolutionary Narodnaia volia (People's Will) party had issued to the Ukrainian people on the subject of the anti-Jewish riots. The proclamation, which was written in Ukrainian, pointed to the exploitation of the Ukrainian masses by the "Jewish kulaks," approved of the pogroms, but advised the peasants to revolt not only against the Jews, but also against the landowners, the officials, and the tsar. Drahomanov commented that some of the facts mentioned in the proclamation were "basically correct," but that "the altogether inexcusable side of the proclamation was its complete disregard of the fact that among the victims of the riots there were also poor people, and that in many places, particularly in the towns, they were the only ones to suffer. These were people engaged in the same productive physical labour as the Christian peasants and craftsmen."18

We may add that, in another article written at about the same time and dealing with general issues of revolutionary strategy, Drahomanov called the proclamation of the Executive Committee "ill-considered." He also pointed out that spontaneous popular revolts were bound to be "of purely negative significance" owing to the low educational and civic level of the masses.19

The second half of the article, "The Jewish Question in Ukraine," contains sociological and psychological observations about Ukrainian-Jewish relations. According to Drahomanov, "the Jews in Ukraine represent [simultaneously] a nation, a religion, and a social class" (soslovie, literally "estate").20 As a nationality, they were differentiated from the rest of the population by certain characteristic traits in their physical and mental make-up and by a separate language, Yiddish. Their national identity was bolstered by Judaism as their religion. Moreover, "the Jews, including those who live in the countryside, belong here [in Ukraine] almost exclusively to the so-called urban classes, and among the latter predominantly to those not directly engaged in the production of goods."21 Using various statistical data, Drahomanov demonstrated that the majority of Ukrainian Jews were occupied as petty tradesmen, innkeepers, pedlars, middlemen, etc. He concluded that "the Jewish nation in Ukraine . . . forms, to a large extent, a parasitic class. ... In those regions the terms 'exploiter' and 'Jew' have become synonymous in the people's speech."22 In another article, written in the same period, Drahomanov somewhat modified this harsh judgment to the effect that only about one-third of Ukrainian Jewry should be considered "exploiters," a second third "workingmen," and the remaining third an undetermined, intermediary group.23

Drahomanov was well aware of the fact that most Jews in Ukraine were poor, many of them living in abject poverty. But he asserted that even Jewish paupers had no feeling of solidarity with their working-class, gentile neighbours and tended rather to identify themselves with their wealthy co-religionists, whom they served as agents and operatives. "All Jews in Ukraine look upon themselves as a class superior to the Ukrainian peasants. I have myself heard extremely poor Jews say: 'The peasant is an idiot, a reptile, a pig.' I have heard expressions which indicate that the Jews consider themselves as belonging to the ruling class, together with the gentry, as distinct from the peasantry."24

Ukrainian-Jewish relations were fraught with reciprocal resentments. The memory of the massacres that accompanied Cossack and peasant the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, combined with present discrimination, had made the Jews hypersensitive, clannish, and often tactless and arrogant. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, remembered that the Jews had served as instruments of social and national oppression under the former rule of the Polish aristocracy. Ukrainian folk songs often referred to abuses inflicted upon the Cossacks by the Polish lords and their Jewish stewards. At present, they served another system of oppression. "As leaseholders of inns and collectors of tax arrears, the Jews are nowadays agents of the fisc."25

The article, "The Jewish Question in Ukraine," was to have had a third, concluding part, which was to have offered practical remedies, but it remained unwritten. Drahomanov's ideas on how to approach the solution of the Ukrainian-Jewish problem can be gleaned from numerous passages scattered in his writings.26

Drahomanov noted that many participants in Russian and Polish socialist movements were of Jewish origin. But these were assimilated Jews who had lost touch with the mass of their own people, and who, therefore, were unable to influence and guide them. "This is why Ukrainian socialists consider it a matter of major importance that a propaganda campaign be organized with a double task: first, to separate Jewish workers from Jewish capitalists, and, second, to bring together Jewish workers with workers of other nationalities."27 This called for the formation of Jewish socialist organizations, and, first of all, of a socialist and progressive press in Yiddish, the Jewish vernacular.

As for the long-range perspective, Drahomanov assumed that although emigration might ease tensions, the majority of the Jewish people in Ukraine would remain permanently in the country.28 It is also obvious that he did not believe that the Jewish problem would be solved by assimilation. The solution which he envisioned was closely connected with his general political philosophy. Drahomanov was an ardent federalist, and the federalist idea was the cornerstone of his programme for the future development of Ukraine and Eastern Europe.29 He believed that the liberty of the Ukrainian nation would be secured either by a federalization of the existing empires, Russia and Austria-Hungary, or, a less likely alternative, by the formation of an independent Ukrainian republic, organized as a federation of autonomous communities and regions.30 It was Drahomanov's strong conviction that the national minorities living on Ukrainian soil -- the Russians, Poles, Germans, Moldavians (Romanians), and, of course, the Jews -- should enjoy not only equal civil rights, but also cultural autonomy. In those communities and districts where the minority nationalities formed local majorities, or constituted a sizeable portion of the population, their respective languages should have official standing. "Their [national minorities'] societies and communities ought to be free from any compulsion toward [conformity with] the customs and language of the Ukrainian people. They must have the right to establish their own schools—elementary, secondary, and institutions of higher learning—and to associate freely with those nations [outside Ukraine] whence they came. These labouring people of foreign extraction will serve as the link between the Ukrainians and their neighbours, with whom the Ukrainians ought to join in a great international federation."31 Drahomanov hoped that this program would win the support of a large segment of Ukrainian Jewry. He was convinced that the Jews, as members of a religion which, in traditional Christian societies, was at best tolerated, were bound to favour the separation of church and state. For Drahomanov, a lifelong opponent of clericalism, this postulate was an essential part of his political program, and he assumed that, by their support of the secularization of the country's public life, Ukrainian Jews would make a valuable contribution to the common cause of liberty.32

Having reviewed Drahomanov's ideas about Ukrainian-Jewish relations, I shall now report briefly on his attempts to implement these theoretical convictions in practice.

From Drahomanov's printing shop in Geneva there appeared, in 1880, a small pamphlet entitled Ot gruppy sotsialistov-evreev (On Behalf of a Group of Jewish Socialists).33 The tract appealed for the creation of a free Jewish press which would publish socialist literature in Yiddish; it also contained a questionnaire for the collection of data about the condition of the Jewish people in Russia and Galicia. The tract was signed: "On behalf of the initiators of the project: Rodin." We do not know the identity of the members of this group, but it has been suggested that the pseudonymous "Rodin" might have been a certain Aron Weiler, who shortly afterwards returned from Switzerland to Russia, organized the first Jewish labour circles in Minsk, and later committed suicide.34 It is, however, certain that the author, or authors, of the pamphlet were familiar with Drahomanov's ideas, and it seems probable that the latter helped to edit the text. Particularly Drahomanovian in flavour is the strong rebuke to the Russified socialists of Jewish extraction who did not wish to work among their own people. A postscript, signed by Drahomanov and two collaborators, Antin Liakhotsky and Mykhailo Pavlyk, called upon Ukrainian socialists to render all possible aid to their Jewish comrades.

Drahomanov's favourite idea was the creation of an international association of representatives of various East European ethnic groups with the purpose of publishing socialist literature in all the vernacular languages of Russia, including Yiddish. In 1880 he published a leaflet to this effect addressed to political exiles from the Russian Empire resident in Western Europe.35 This proposal was discussed at a public meeting of the emigre community in Geneva and was overwhelmingly rejected. Drahomanov later commented on this episode: "One might have been surprised that the idea of publishing the very same Khitraia mekhanika (A Clever Device), a well-known populist pamphlet of the 1870s, in yet another language, or even 'jargon,' met with any objections. As a matter of fact, however, it was due only to the extraordinary efforts and tact of the chairman of the meeting that a large scandal was avoided. The speakers belonging to Russian and Polish socialist parties, and particularly those of Jewish origin, treated the proposal with scorn."36

Some years later, Chaim Weizmann, the future first president of Israel, was to have a similar experience. In 1898 he organized a meeting among Russian-Jewish students in Berne, Switzerland. The Zionist resolution, proposed by Weizmann and his friends, met with furious resistance and was finally adopted only after a debate which lasted two days and three nights. Weizmann noted in his memoirs: "Jewish students . . . could not become part of the revolutionary movement unless they did violence to their affections and affiliations by pretending that they had no special emotional and cultural relationship to their own people. It was an ukase from above."37

This seems the proper place to introduce a few critical observations. Drahomanov's greatest failure in his treatment of the Jewish problem was, perhaps, his total lack of appreciation of Judaism as a living spiritual force, despite the fact that the survival and the very existence of the Jewish national community is inseparable from its religious tradition. Martin Buber has shown to the gentile world the rich spirituality of the Hasidic movement that originated on Ukrainian soil, had its main support among the Jews of Ukraine, and, in many ways, showed the unmistakable imprint of its Ukrainian milieu.38 But, for Drahomanov, all this was only a tissue of superstitions. This blind spot in his thinking is to be explained by the circumstance that, intellectually, he was a typical son of the positivist age.

Another of Drahomanov's shortcomings was his inclination to speak in much too sweeping terms about "Jewish parasitism," despite occasional attempts to qualify his judgment. This caused certain writers to accuse him of anti-Semitism, a charge refuted by more judicious Jewish scholars.39 Drahomanov was, on the whole, a sharp critic of the populist philosophy prevalent among the radical Russian and Ukrainian intelligentsia of his time. He was, however, tainted by the populist prejudice that only physical labour was economically productive and morally unexceptionable, and it seems that this bias influenced his approach to the Jewish problem. A more sophisticated view would have to acknowledge that management, trade, and credit, as much as farming and labour, are necessary elements of the economic process. By fulfilling these functions, Ukrainian Jews contributed to the economic welfare of the country. The well-known Russian philosopher and political scientist, Boris Chicherin, who had first-hand experience of conditions in both central Russia and Ukraine in the second half of the nineteenth century, observed in his memoirs: "Everyone who has been in touch with local life knows that the Russian kulak is ten times worse than any Jew. . . . I can bear witness that the business activities of the Jews not only do not ruin the peasantry, but, quite to the contrary, contribute substantially to their prosperity. Although the Great Russian is, in general, more active, smart, and enterprising than the Little Russians, the latter have more cash in hand, and are better able to pay their rents," thanks to the presence of Jewish money-lenders in the country.40 On the other hand, it cannot be denied that the dominant position taken in certain leading branches of the national economy by the members of a minority group could not be considered a normal and healthy state of affairs. It was bound to provoke a reaction on the part of the native population once the latter had begun the struggle for social and national liberation. One is reminded of conditions in modern south-east Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.), where, during the period of colonial rule, the Chinese occupied a position similar to that of the Jews in nineteenth-century Ukraine under the domination of the Russian Empire. In both cases, the minority nationality played the role of an intermediary between an economically backward and politically disenfranchised, predominantly rural, native population and an alien imperial superstructure. Such an intermediary position between conflicting social forces exposed the Jewish minority to serious danger, and Drahomanov was sincerely apprehensive that popular revolts against the existing system "might be accompanied by bloody anti-Jewish massacres, which [at present] would be even more unjust than similar scenes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries."41

Drahomanov's limitations are amply compensated by his humane, democratic disposition and by the intellectual courage with which he faced certain aspects of the Jewish problem commonly overlooked by political thinkers of his time. Golda Patz, a student of Russian federalism, says: "Drahomanov tried earnestly to fathom the Jewish question, and it is apparent that, at times, he was capable of grasping the tragedy of that people in its most essential point. The greatest trouble of the Jewish masses in Ukraine was the fact.. . that state laws severely limited their right to honest, productive work. Drahomanov searched for a humane solution to the Jewish question."42 David Zaslavsky, the Soviet biographer of Drahomanov, hails him as a precursor of Jewish socialist and labour movements: "It is hardly necessary to stress the profundity of these observations [of Drahomanov's on the Jewish problem]. Drahomanov perceived phenomena and processes in the life of the Jewish people which the Jewish socialist intelligentsia began to see only ten or fifteen years later. . . . It would be impossible to formulate more clearly and precisely the tasks which subsequently became the foundation of the first Jewish labour groups, and still later of the Bund, and of the other socialist and communist organizations working among the Jewish proletariat."43

Drahomanov's originality consisted in his conviction that the solution of the Jewish problem in Ukraine would require not only a social and occupational restructuring of the Jewish community, but also granting it a corporate existence and self-government, at least in cultural matters. This view ran counter to the assumption shared by most nineteenth-century European liberals, who believed that the assurance of equal individual rights would smooth the road for the absorption of Jewish minorities by the respective host nations. It was no accident that the program of Jewish national-cultural autonomy was formulated by a Ukrainian political thinker. The strength of Drahomanov's formula lay in the fact that it was more than a clever invention of an individual theorist. It was rooted in certain objective factors found in Ukrainian life.

The policy which most European nations, in the wake of the French Revolution and rising liberalism, had adopted toward their Jewish minorities was one of emancipation and assimilation. It worked success- fully, despite occasional setbacks, in the countries of Western Europe. It met with added obstacles in Eastern Europe, where the large and compact Jewish groups could not, even had they wished to do so, easily merge with the host nations. A student of nineteenth-century Polish history says: "The great majority of Jews remained outside Polish society. . . . Those families of the Jewish intelligentsia who had enjoyed a Polish education became quickly assimilated. . . . The masses, however, remained almost untouched by these ideas."44

In the case of Ukraine, an assimilationist approach to the Jewish problem was altogether inapplicable. Ukraine did not possess a national bourgeoisie, and so there was no Ukrainian social class with which the Jews might possibly have assimilated. The small-town or village Jew lived in close symbiosis with the Ukrainian peasantry, but there was no question of his becoming a peasant himself. Any conceivable assimilation could only take place to the profit of the Russian and Russified (or, in the western sections of Ukraine, Polish and Polonized) urban population -- a development which Ukrainian patriots could hardly look upon with favour. Ukrainian political thought was, therefore, faced with the challenge of formulating an answer to the question of Ukrainian-Jewish relations on different, non-assimilationist lines. We have seen that the program evolved by Drahomanov implied a co-ordination between the Ukrainian and Jewish communities, without any thought of merging the latter into the former. This pluralistic approach was bound to appeal to Jewish groups, such as the Zionists and related currents, which rejected assimilation and were concerned with the preservation of their national identity. On this platform political co-operation between Ukrainians and Jews became possible. This, of course, did not apply to all Ukrainians and all Jews. Incapable of co-operation were, on the one side, adherents of anti-democratic, chauvinistic Ukrainian trends (particularly those which, in Western Ukrainian territories during the inter-war period, modelled themselves on the example of European fascist-type regimes), and, on the other side, the stratum of assimilated Jews who had espoused Russian culture and Russian political attitudes. Drahomanov's unpleasant experiences in 1880 served as an indication that Ukrainian patriots could expect no sympathy for their aspirations from Russified Jews.

The scope of this paper precludes any broad discussion of the history of Ukrainian-Jewish relations over the last three-quarters of a century since Drahomanov's death. I shall limit myself to a few hints which suggest how the Drahomanovian leaven continued to activate Ukrainian thinking on that issue. I do not imply that the examples I am going to cite have been directly inspired by Drahomanov's writings. It would probably be more correct to say that it was the very logic of reality which induced democratic Ukrainian thinkers and statesmen who were grappling with the Jewish problem to follow in Drahomanov's footsteps.

In 1907 the first election took place to the Austrian Reichsrat (parliament) on the basis of universal suffrage. The Ukrainians in Galicia took advantage of this democratization of Austria's constitutional structure to attack the traditional Polish hegemony in the province. A Galician Ukrainian politician later wrote about this memorable election: "We established contacts with the Jewish Zionist party. Our purpose was to prevent the co-operation of the majority of the Jews with the Poles. We made clear to the Jews the alternative: the ally of my enemy is my enemy too, but the enemy of my enemy is my ally! The Zionists decided to join forces with us."45 The governor of Galicia, Count Andrzej Potocki, intervened with the Ukrainian leaders, trying to induce them to abandon the alliance with the Zionists, but to no avail. In urban constituencies, where the Ukrainians had no hope of winning seats, Ukrainian votes were given to Zionist candidates, while in rural districts the Jews supported Ukrainian candidates. Thanks to Ukrainian aid, the first two Zionist deputies were elected to the Vienna parliament.

The Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-21 confirmed Drahomanov's forebodings of possible anti-Jewish disturbances; in the spring of 1919, the Right Bank became the scene of cruel pogroms. On the other hand, "Ukraine was the first country of the world to introduce extra-territorial cultural autonomy for minority nationalities."46 A solemn promise of self-government for minorities was incorporated in the Third Universal (Manifesto) of 20 November 1917, by which the revolutionary parliament of Ukraine, the Central Rada, proclaimed the creation of the Ukrainian People's Republic. This pledge was redeemed by the Law on National-Personal Autonomy of 22 January 1918.47 An eminent student of Ukrainian-Jewish relations describes the effects of the autonomy law as follows: "Here [in Ukraine] Jewish national life was characterized by especially great achievements. The ideal of national autonomy, common to all Jewish groups, here found its realization. A Minister for Jewish Affairs participated in the government of the country as the official spokesman for the Jewish population and the advocate of its national rights and interests. Representatives of five Jewish parties sat in the country's revolutionary parliament. Hundreds of local Jewish municipal governments were created through democratic elections. These communities then elected a Provisional Jewish National Assembly."48

The Law on National-Personal Autonomy, and the institutions based on it, were swept away by the fall of the independent Ukrainian Republic. Much of what had been achieved, however, survived during the first decade or so of Soviet rule. "Minorities in Ukraine continued through the 1920s to enjoy broad legal rights in the fields of education, local government, and the administration of justice; and everyday practice largely conformed with the letter of the law."49 A student of Soviet affairs has stressed recently that this liberal attitude toward national minorities, and especially toward the Jews, as implemented by Mykola Skrypnyk and other Ukrainian communist leaders of the early period, actually represented a deliberate continuation, in Soviet forms, of the policy initiated in 1917 by the Central Rada.50

It is not necessary to dwell here on the tragic events of the 1930s and 1940s -- the famine of 1933, Stalin's purges, the Nazi occupation with its attendant horrors -- which brought to both the Jewish and the Ukrainian peoples terrible physical losses and cultural setbacks. While a limited improvement in the position of the Ukrainian nation can be noticed in the course of the last fifteen years, since the post-Stalin "thaw," the Soviet regime continues to refuse any concessions to Jewish demands for national self-expression and cultural autonomy. In view of this, special value must be attached to the programmatic speech of the literary critic Ivan Dziuba, who is looked upon by many as the spokesman of the rising generation of Ukrainian intellectuals. This speech was delivered on 29 September 1966 at Babyn Iar in Kiev, at a meeting commemorating the victims of the Nazi massacre of Kiev's Jewish population, and it took place at the very location of the tragedy. "The way to true fraternity lies not in self-betrayal, but in self-knowledge; not in renunciation of one's identity and adaptation to others, but in being one's own self, and respecting others. Jews have the right to be Jews; Ukrainians have the right to be Ukrainians, in the fullest and deepest sense of these words. Let Jews know their history, culture, and language, and take pride in them. Let Ukrainians know their history, culture, and language, and take pride in them. Let them know the history and the culture of each other, and of other nations, and let them value each other, and others, as brothers."51

A historian of social thought will have no difficulty in finding in this statement an echo of the ideas formulated by Mykhailo Drahomanov nearly a century ago.


1. The original draft of this paper was written before I became acquainted with the article of E. Hornowa, "Problem zydowski w tworczosci Dragomanowa," Biuletyn Zydowskiego Instytutu History'cznego, no. 57 (January-March 1966):3-37. Mrs. Hornowa's account is more detailed than mine, but it does not try to place the subject within the framework of the evolution of Ukrainian social thought. One can also detect a certain tendency toward playing down those aspects of Drahomanov's ideas which are patently incompatible with contemporary Poland's official philosophy.

2. "Evrei i poliaki v Iugo-Zapadnom krae," in M. P. Dragomanov, Politicheskiia sochineniia, ed. I. M. Grevs and B. A. Kistiakovsky (Moscow 1908), v. 1 (all published): 217-67. I used the book edition. It may be noted that Drahomanov's article was occasioned by the Trudy etnografichesko-statisticheskoi ekspeditsii v Zapadno-Russkii krai, ed. P. P. Chubynsky, 7 vols. (St. Petersburg, 1871-8). Drahomanov wrote an extensive review of v. 7 of the Chubynsky collection dealing with the Polish and Jewish minorities in Right-Bank Ukraine. He used the data which he found in Chubynsky, but the interpretation and conclusions were completely his own.

3. Drahomanov, "Evrei i poliaki" in Politicheskiia sochineniia, 219.

4. Arkhiv Mykhaila Drahomanova (Warsaw 1937), 1:320.

5. "Evreiskii vopros v slavianskom kruzhke v Londone," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii M. P. Dragomanova, ed. B. A. Kistiakovsky, 2 vols. (Paris 1905-6), 2:542.

6. Drahomanov, "Evrei i poliaki" in Politicheskiia sochineniia, 224-5.

7. Ibid., 227.

8. Ibid., 225.

9. Ibid., 224.

10. Ibid., 227.

11. Ibid., 223-4.

12. Ibid., 226.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid., 226-7.

15. M. P. Drahomanov, "Evreiskii vopros na Ukraine," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii M. P. Dragomanova, 2:525-40.

16. Ibid., 2:527.

17. Ibid., 529.

18. Ibid., 531.

19. Drahomanov, " 'Narodnaia volia' o tsentralizatsii revoliutsionnoi borby v Rossii," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:394, n. 1, and 399.

20. Drahomanov, "Evreiskii vopros na Ukraine," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:540. This statement, which is the cornerstone of Drahomanov's view of the Jewish problem, can already be found in the 1875 article. See Politicheskiia sochineniia, 218.

21. Drahomanov, "Evreiskii vopros na Ukraine," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:534.

22. Ibid., 534 and 537.

23. Drahomanov, "Ot gruppy sotsialistov-evreev," ibid., 327.

24. Drahomanov, "Evreiskii vopros na Ukraine," 539.

25. Ibid.

26. Two pieces are particularly significant: Drahomanov's editorial postscript to the pamphlet Ot gruppy sotsialistov-evreev in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:328, and the short article, "Evreiskii vopros v slavianskom kruzhke v Londone," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:541-2.

27. Drahomanov, "Ot gruppy sotsialistov-evreev," Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:328.

28. "Evreiskii vopros na Ukraine," 529.

29. For a general discussion of Drahomanov's political philosophy, with special reference to his federalist and constitutional ideas, see my article, "Drahomanov as a Political Theorist," pp. 203-53 of this volume; also le. Pyziur, "Konstytutsiina prohrama i teoriia M. Drahomanova," Journal of Ukrainian Studies 6, no. 2 (Fall 1981):28-42. For a contemporary Soviet treatment of this subject, see V. G. Sokurenko, Demokraticheskie ucheniia o gosudarstve i prave na Ukraine vo vtoroi polovine XIX veka (Lviv 1966).

30. Drahomanov's detailed proposals for the reconstruction of the Russian Empire on federalist lines are contained in his treatise "Volnyi soiuz -- Vilna spilka: Opyt ukrainskoi politiko-sotsialnoi programmy," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:273-375. A translation of the central core of this work -- the constitutional proposals themselves, without the author's extensive commentary -- is included in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S. 2, no. 1 (Spring 1952):193-205. The alternative concept of an independent Ukraine, organized as a federation of self-governing communities and regions, is expressed in "Prohrama," which appeared, under the signatures of Drahomanov and his two collaborators, M. Pavlyk and S. Podolynsky, in the journal Hromada, no. 1 (1880); reprinted in M. P. Drahomanov, Vybrani tvory (Prague 1937), v. 1 (all published): 148-51.

31. "Prohrama," ibid., 149.

32. Drahomanov, "Volnyi soiuz -- Vilna spilka," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:309.

33. See n. 26 above.

34. D. Zaslavsky, Mikhail Petrovich Dragomanov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk (Kiev 1924), 112, n. 1.

35. "Vnimaniiu sotsialistov-emigrantov iz Rossii," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii 2:315-19.

36. M. P. Drahomanov, "Istoricheskaia Polsha i velikorusskaia demokratiia" in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:179.

37. Trial and Error: The Autobiography of Chaim Weizmann (New York 1949), 35.

38. Cf. Stanislav de Vincenz, "Begegnung mit Chassidim," Kairos, Zeitschrift fur Religionswissenschaft und Theologie, no. 1 (Salzburg 1961):20-31.

39. Drahomanov is, for instance, depicted as an anti-Semite by L. Greenberg, The Jews in Russia, 2 vols. (New Haven 1946-51), 2:57. In his review of the second volume of this work J. Schatzky commented: "To label the Ukrainian scholar Drahomaniw as anti-Semite is unjust and entirely baseless." Circle in Jewish Bookland, ed. Jewish Book Council of America (New York 1952), 2.

40. Vospominaniia Borisa Nikolaevicha Chicherina: Zemstvo i moskovskaia duma (Moscow 1934), 288 ff.

41. Drahomanov, "Ot gruppy sotsialistov-evreev," in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:328.

42. G. Patz, "Die Entwicklung des foderativen Gedankens in Russland im Zeichen des Liberalismus Ende der 70er und Anfang der 80er Jahre des 19 Jahrhunderts," Ph.D. diss., Friedrich Wilhelm University (Berlin 1930), 31.

43. Zaslavsky, Mikhail Petrovich Dragomanov, 111 and 112—13.

44. W. Feldman, Geschichte der politischen ldeen in Polen seit dessen Teilungen (1795-1914), a reprint of the 1917 edition (Osnabruck 1964), 423.

45. K. Levytsky, Istoriia politychnoi dumky halytskykh ukraintsiv 1848-1914 (Lviv 1926), 440.

46. S.M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union (Syracuse, N.Y. 1951), 88, n. 27.

47. For the texts of the Third Universal and the Law on National-Personal Autonomy, see la. Zozulia, ed., Velyka ukrainska revoliutsiia: Kalendar istorychnykh podii za liutyi 1917 roku -- berezen 1918 roku (New York 1967), 70-73 and 85-6.

48. S. Goldelman, "Zur Frage der Assimilierung und Denationalisierung der Juden in der Sowjetunion," Sowjet Studien, no. 10 (1961):41 -2. The same author has also written an indispensable contribution to the history of Ukrainian-Jewish relations: S. I. Goldelman, Jewish National Autonomy in Ukraine, 1917 -1920 (Chicago 1968); this is a translation of Zhydivska natsionalna avtonomiia v Ukraini 1917 -1920 (Munich 1967). For comparative purposes, an earlier work on the parallel issue of the Polish minority should also be taken into account: H. Jablonski, Polska autonomia narodowa na Ukrainie 1917 -1918 (Warsaw 1948).

49. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, 84.

50. "Do problemy ievreiv na Ukraini," Suchasnist 1, no. 8 (August 1961): 116-21. This is a resume of a paper by Vsevolod Holubnychy read at a meeting of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States, New York, on 10 June 1961.

51. The text of Dziuba's speech, which in the Ukrainian SSR circulates clandestinely, has been published in several Ukrainian emigre periodicals. See, for instance, I. Dziuba, "U 25 rokovyny rozstriliv u Babynomu iaru," Suchasnist 7, no. 11 (November 1967), 31-5. An English translation appeared in The Chornovil Papers, comp. V. Chornovil (New York, Toronto, and London 1968), 222-6.