Database of Jewish Soldiers in the Russian Army Killed During the Russo-Japanese War

This is a great resource for people who want to learn about family members who were killed during the Russo-Japanese War. I commend Boris Feldblyum for the effort to make this information available.

Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905
Database of Russian Army Jewish soldiers
injured, killed, or missing in action

The Russo-Japanese War, which took place almost a century ago, had profound consequences on the conditions of the Jews in Russia and, subsequently, on their ever-increasing pace of emigration from that hostile country.

The war grew out of the misguided Russian foreign policy, and out of what was a seen as a necessity to boost Tsar Nicholas II’s regime internally by a “short, victorious war”, in words of Russia’s Interior Minister, V. Plehve. First, Russia broke the terms of its treaty with China by introducing military into Manchuria. Then, instead of negotiating with Japan over spheres of influence in the Far East, it annexed Manchuria. On February 8, 1904, the Japanese attacked Russian fleet in Port Arthur (now Lushun, in North-East China). The attack was successful and made headlines around the world. For the next year, Port Arthur became a battleground, which cost great many lives to both sides. The city surrendered to the Japanese in the end of December. 25,000 Russian troops were taken prisoners by the Japanese. Russia’s Pacific fleet, and the Baltic fleet that came to its rescue, were decimated by the Japanese as well. The result of the war was emergence of Japan as world power. For Russia, it was a major disaster, one which directly contributed to the civil unrest, the Revolution of 1905, the rise of nationalism and, of course, sharp increase in anti-Semitism and a wave of bloody pogroms that lasted for over two years.

As it happened too many times in history, Russian Jews fought in a war that was not theirs, for the country that treated them as sub-humans, against the backdrop of official persecutions, mob attacks, and a deep sense of despair. And yet, as it happened too many times in other wars, the history of the Russo-Japanese war is filled with stories of Jewish bravery and patriotism. The most notable and well known example is the heroic conduct of Yosef Trumpeldor, a 24 year old dentist. He lost one arm during a battle at Port Arthur, but refused to leave the front, asking for a sword and a gun. He continued fighting, was taken prisoner when Port Arthur fell, was awarded four times with the St. George Order, the highest Russian military award. Later he emigrated to Palestine and was killed in 1920 in a battle with Arabs.

Medical student Henryk Goldszmit, one of the first Jews, accepted to the Warsaw University to study medicine, served in field hospitals in Manchuria. He wanted to be a writer, while his family wanted him to become a doctor. He became both and was know to the world as Janusz Korczak. He ended his life in Treblinka gas chambers, comforting the children of the orphanage which he directed in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Many thousands of Jews, less known or totally unknown in the big world, fought, were injured, killed, or missing in the Russo-Japanese war. In the tradition of the times, many Russian papers printed the names of the soldiers killed or missing in action. The compilation of nearly three thousand Jewish names was prepared and translated into English from notices that first appeared in the Russkij Invalid newspaper in 1904-1905. The records provide information of considerable genealogical value to those with roots in the Russian Empire, as the examples show.

For the purpose of making it easy to search and browse the database on the Web, the records were sorted by two criteria: surname-town and town-surname. Only this, essential for research information, has been translated for the on-line database. The complete information about each person, in the format of the examples, will be translated on an as-needed basis, at a nominal charge of US$18.00 per record. The records can be ordered from FAST Genealogy Service, using the enclosed order form . To browse the database by names, please go to the surname-town page , to browse the database by towns, please go to the town-surname page. If you find a record of interest to you, write its number in the order form. We also accept payment by paypal using this e-mail address: boris@bfcollection.net. Original records are not available, only their exact translations.

The computerized database of these records was created in summer 1998 by Josh Feldblyum, at a considerable sacrifice of his summer vacation from school. This project would not have been possible if not for his dedication and diligence. He is also credited with the HTML design. Josh was happy to learn that commercial benefits, if any, from this project, will be directed to finance his rapidly approaching college years.

Copyright Boris Feldblyum © 1998

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Your 60-Second Guide to the Russo-Japanese War

It was the first modern war, yet it’s not something taught in schools

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The official website of BBC History Magazine

Your 60-second guide to the Russo-Japanese War

Generally considered to be the first great war of the 20th century, the conflict saw Russia and Japan – the two dominant nations in north-east Asia – battle for control over Korea and Manchuria.

But why did the war break out, and what is its historical significance? Here, Dr Philip Towle from the University of Cambridge tells you everything you need to know about the conflict.

Submitted by Emma McFarnon

Q: When and why did the Russo-Japanese War break out?

A: It broke out on 8 February 1904. The Russians and Japanese had been jostling for some years for control over Korea and Manchuria, which they both regarded as strategically and economically important.

At the start of the war, the Japanese navy launched a surprise attack on the Russian fleet moored outside Port Arthur in Manchuria, and also began landing troops at Chemulpo in Korea.

Q: Why is it so little remembered in Europe?

A: Its impact was blunted by the greater conflict that broke out in Europe 10 years later. But it is still remembered in Japan and, to a lesser extent, in Russia. It is certainly not because the war was unimportant politically or militarily.

Q: Who won the war?

A: The Japanese won every battle. The Russian naval forces based in Port Arthur were rattled by the losses they suffered in February 1904, and even more so by the death of their most charismatic commander, Admiral Stepan Makarov, when his flagship was blown up by a mine in April 1904.

Their ships spent much of the time in harbour before trying to escape on 10 August 1904 round the Korean peninsula to Vladivostok in Russia’s far eastern provinces. In the ensuing battle of the Yellow Sea, the flagship, Tsarevitch, was badly damaged, and the battle line fell into confusion before retreating to harbour.

Eventually the fleet was destroyed by the Japanese forces besieging Port Arthur from the landside, and the port itself surrendered in January 1905. The Russians sent another fleet to the far east to redeem the situation but, after an epic voyage, that too was obliterated by the Japanese at the battle of Tsushima in May 1905.

Q: Were the Japanese as successful on land?

A: Almost: they advanced from Korea across the Yalu river into Manchuria and, whenever the Russians tried to stand and fight, the Japanese outflanked them and forced them to retreat along their supply line, the railway to the north.

The two most important battles, at Liaoyang in August 1904 and Mukden in March 1905, were won by Japanese encircling movements, the quality of their artillery and the superior courage and training of their soldiers.

Q: What was the historical significance of the war, and what were the long-term effects?

A: The Japanese victory greatly encouraged nationalism in Asia and Africa. It was the first war in which a non-European nation had defeated a great European power using all the resources of modern technology.

Paradoxically, the war showed that Japan was bent on imperial expansion in Asia just when the European powers were starting to appreciate the nationalist threats to their empires. The Japanese were able to assert their control over Korea after the war, but only in the face of stiff guerrilla resistance by the Korean people, leading to bitter hatred that still poisons Japanese-Korean relations.

The war raised the international profile of the United States. It was President Theodore Roosevelt who convened the conference at Portsmouth in the USA that brought the war to a close in September 1905, and earned the president the Nobel Peace Prize.

In Russia the war led to revolts that presaged the revolution of 1917, and showed how politically destabilising defeat would be in future conflicts. The only part of the Russian state that had performed effectively was the Trans-Siberian Railway, which had kept hundreds of thousands of troops supplied thousands of miles from St Petersburg.

The war demonstrated the general weakness of old-fashioned autocracies, like Russia, which could not mobilise the support of the whole people – every European autocrat involved in the First World War was to be overthrown.

The war also showed some signs of bogging down in the sort of stalemate that bedevilled the fighting in the First World War, although this was not so obvious at the time because the armies involved were much smaller, and the Japanese were so superior to their Russian enemies.

The war was also a poor guide to future Japanese attitudes to the Law of War and humanitarianism. In 1904–05 they treated Russian prisoners and wounded with respect, but by the Second World War they no longer felt bound by such ‘western’ conventions.

Altogether then, the Russo-Japanese War was an ominous opening to the 20th century for the European powers, demonstrating how power was shifting to the United States and to other non-European nations, and how fragile many of the monarchies had become.

From: http://www.historyextra.com/feature/your-60-second-guide-russo-japanese-war

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