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The Impact of World War I and the Russian Revolution on the World of Russian and East European Jewry
Feb 19 2014

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2014 | 7pm
Click HERE to watch the video.

Richard Pipes, Baird Professor of History, Emeritus, Harvard University

For photos of this event, visit our Facebook album here.

The events that transpired in Eastern Europe between 1914 and 1917 were a direct prelude to the Holocaust. To right-wing Germans, the Jews were Bolsheviks; to the Bolsheviks they were pro-German bourgeois. In reality, the majority of East European Jews professed Zionism, but the charges leveled at them provided justification for persecutions that exceeded anything seen since the first century of the Christian era when the Romans destroyed the Temple and scattered the Jews worldwide. In consequence, Eastern Europe, which a century ago was home to the largest Jewish population, is today a more minor center of the Jewish population.


Richard Pipes was born in 1923 in Cieszyn, Poland. He left Poland in October, 1939, following the German invasion, and arrived in the US in July, 1940. From 1940-43 he studied at Muskingum College, Ohio and from 1943-46 served in the US Air Corps. Richard Pipes became a naturalized US citizen in April 1943. He received his BA from Cornell University (while on active service), and his PhD in History from Harvard University in1950. From 1958-1996, Professor Pipes served as the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of History at Harvard and from1968-73 as the Director of the Russian Research Center at Harvard. Since 1996, Professor Pipes has served as the Baird Professor of History, Emeritus, Harvard.

In 1976 Professor Pipes was hired as the Chairman of the CIA "Team B" to review Strategic Intelligence Estimates, and from 1981-82 served as the Director of East European and Soviet Affairs in President Reagan's National Security Council. He received the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and is an Honorary Doctor of, among other institutions, the University of Warsaw.

Professor Pipes is the author of twenty-two books, including Formation of the Soviet Union (Harvard University Press), Struve, 2 vols. (Harvard University Press), Russia under the Old Regime (Penguin), The Russian Revolution (Vintage), Russia under the Bolshevik Regime (Vintage), Property and Freedom (Vintage), Communism: A History (Modern Library), and Vixi: The Memoirs of a Non-Belonger (Yale University Press).