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Yevsektsiyas (alternative spelling: Evsektsiyas), Russian: Евсекция, the abbreviation of the phrase "Еврейская секция" or "Hebrew Section") were the Jewish sections of the Soviet Communist Party. These sections were established in fall of 1918 with consent of Vladimir Lenin to carry communist revolution to the Jewish masses.[1] The stated mission of these sections was "destruction of traditional Jewish life, the Zionist movement, and Hebrew culture".[2] The sections were staffed mostly by Jewish ex-members of the Bund, which joined Soviet Communist Party in 1921.[1] According to Richard Pipes, "in time, every Jewish cultural and social organization came under assault". However, main emphasis of Yevsektsii was the assault on Jewish religion. Acting together with local Soviet authorities, Evsektsii organized seizures of synagogues in Gomel, Minsk and Kharkov, which were subsequently converted to clubs or Communist centers.[1]

They particularly fought against the efforts of the sixth Chabad Rabbi R' Yosef Yitchak Schnersohn who urged his Chasidim to resist to their last drop of blood attempts to uproot Religion which went against Communist ideology, causing many of them to be arrested and sometimes killed, eventually causing the arrest of the Rebbe himself in 1927

The Yevsektsii were disbanded as no longer needed in 1929. Many leading members perished in the Great Purge. The Chairman, Semyon Dimanstein was arrested in 1938 and executed.[1] He was rehabilitated posthumously in 1955, 2 years after the death of Joseph Stalin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Richard Pipes, Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, New York: Vintage Books, Random House Inc., 1995, ISBN 0-394-50242-6, page 363
  2. ^ Pipes, page 363, quoted from book by Nora Levin, The Jews in the Soviet Union since 1917, New York, 1988, page 57
  3. ^ Leon, A., "The Jewish Question" 1970, Pathfinder Press, New York, p. 1 - 26
  4. ^ Trotsky, L., "The Russian Revolution," 1959, Doubleday, New York

Further reading[edit]

  • Gitelman, Zvi Jewish Nationality and Soviet Politics: The Jewish Sections of the CPSU, Princeton, 1972.
  • Dubnow, Simon History of the Jews in Russia and Poland from the earliest times until the present day in three volumes, updated by author in 1938.
  • Дубнов, Семён Маркович. Новейшая история еврейского народа (1789—1914) в 3х томах. (С эпилогом 1938 г.). Иерусалим-Москва, Мосты культуры, 2002. (in Russian)
  • Костырченко, Геннадий. Тайная политика Сталина. Власть и антисемитизм. Москва, 2001.
  • Евреи в Советской России (1917—1967). Иерусалим, Библиотека-Алия, 1975. (in Russian)

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