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  Pogrom   •  Harriet Cherry Cheney view larger image


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My Ukrainian Jewish grandmother, Bluma, talked about hiding in the fields from the Cossacks.  I wish I had asked her more questions. Maybe I did, and she chose not to answer.

Pogrom is a Russian word that means to demolish violently. Anti-Jewish riots swept through the Ukraine and southern Russia from 1881-1884. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Red Army soldiers, Ukrainian nationalists, and Polish officials raped, looted, and wreaked havoc, killing tens of thousands of Jews.

My grandfather, Morris, emigrated first. He worked eight years to raise passage money for Bluma and their two young sons. How did Bluma manage? I only know that she came by way of Cuba. Morris and Bluma reunited in Philadelphia and had one more child, my mom.

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