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Ukrainian Evangelicals and Russian Jews in Russian Revolutionary Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  peasants. Rather than following a peasant diet, they ate more sweets, candies and chocolate, and they drank tea and “other non-peasant beverages.” They changed their manner of speaking, trying to avoid peasant words and imitate the language of the literate elite. 60 Members of investigating committee discovered in May of 1892 that followers of Maliovannyi had expensive food in their houses and were dressed in fashionable European dresses. A community of the Maliovantsy paid a large sum of 140 rubles to Jewish merchants for a set of expensive clothes for their community. As Vasilii Skvortsov, one of the members of the investigating committee, noted, “The dissenters threw away their national costumes as peasant emblems of their former slavery and labor; their new dresses served as the symbols of their anticipated new forms of the better social life and of their expected privileged position in the kingdom of their “Redeemer,” which will be established for them here on the Earth rather than in the Heaven.” 61 Ukrainian dissenters rejected both their peasant and Ukrainian identities because they were associated with exploitation and humiliation. Denying the national principle in the construction of their identity, they admitted Jews as “Christian converts” into their community. By doing so, the dissenters invoked one of the conditions for the Advent of Jesus Christ – the conversion of Jews to Christianity. Some Jewish intellectuals responded to the invitation of the Ukrainian evangelicals and joined their Christian movement. The Orthodox authors always pointed to “the Jews who exploited our countryside and our peasants in particular.” These authors argued that Jews incited the Stundist peasants against Russian Church and Russian state, and pushed them in the direction of “communist revolution.” 62 But police documents show a different picture of the relations between Stundist peasants and the 60 See I. Sikorskii, Op. cit., 52-54 (A description of 1892), and RGIA report of the Kiev General Governor (of 1895). 61 Vasilii Skvortsov, “Novoshtundism,” Moskovskie vedomosti, 1892, No. 227. 62 P. Petrushevsky, “O shtundizme..,” Trudy Kievskoi dukhovnoi akademii (Kiev, 1884), vol. 1, 187. See also: I. Strel'bitskii, Kratkii ocherk shtundizma i svod tekstov, napravlennykh k ego oblicheniyu (Odessa, 1893),17,22,198; Compare with other publications: "Kommunisticheskaya propaganda v Rossii," Moskovskie vedomosti,, 1890, No. 106, 2; "Sotsialisticheskaya propaganda shtundizma," ibid., 1890, No. 183, 2; "Stunda i eya protivogosudarstvennyi kharakter," Russkoe slovo, 1895, No. 107, 1-2. 25

Authors: Zhuk, Sergei.
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peasants. Rather than following a peasant diet, they ate more sweets, candies and chocolate, and
they drank tea and “other non-peasant beverages.” They changed their manner of speaking,
trying to avoid peasant words and imitate the language of the literate elite.
Members of
investigating committee discovered in May of 1892 that followers of Maliovannyi had expensive
food in their houses and were dressed in fashionable European dresses. A community of the
Maliovantsy paid a large sum of 140 rubles to Jewish merchants for a set of expensive clothes
for their community. As Vasilii Skvortsov, one of the members of the investigating committee,
noted, “The dissenters threw away their national costumes as peasant emblems of their former
slavery and labor; their new dresses served as the symbols of their anticipated new forms of the
better social life and of their expected privileged position in the kingdom of their “Redeemer,”
which will be established for them here on the Earth rather than in the Heaven.”
Ukrainian dissenters rejected both their peasant and Ukrainian identities because they
were associated with exploitation and humiliation. Denying the national principle in the
construction of their identity, they admitted Jews as “Christian converts” into their community.
By doing so, the dissenters invoked one of the conditions for the Advent of Jesus Christ – the
conversion of Jews to Christianity. Some Jewish intellectuals responded to the invitation of the
Ukrainian evangelicals and joined their Christian movement.
The Orthodox authors always pointed to “the Jews who exploited our countryside and our
peasants in particular.” These authors argued that Jews incited the Stundist peasants against
Russian Church and Russian state, and pushed them in the direction of “communist revolution.”
But police documents show a different picture of the relations between Stundist peasants and the
60
See I. Sikorskii, Op. cit., 52-54 (A description of 1892), and RGIA report of the Kiev General Governor (of 1895).
61
Vasilii Skvortsov, “Novoshtundism,” Moskovskie vedomosti, 1892, No. 227.
62
P. Petrushevsky, “O shtundizme..,” Trudy Kievskoi dukhovnoi akademii (Kiev, 1884), vol. 1, 187. See also: I.
Strel'bitskii, Kratkii ocherk shtundizma i svod tekstov, napravlennykh k ego oblicheniyu (Odessa, 1893),17,22,198;
Compare with other publications: "Kommunisticheskaya propaganda v Rossii," Moskovskie vedomosti,, 1890, No.
106, 2; "Sotsialisticheskaya propaganda shtundizma," ibid., 1890, No. 183, 2; "Stunda i eya
protivogosudarstvennyi kharakter," Russkoe slovo, 1895, No. 107, 1-2.
25


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