Jews in Russia - How Jewish Capital Was Created in Russia

How Jewish Capital Was Created in Russia

An exhaustive and documented answer as to how Jewish capital was created in Russia is given by the same Mr. Dizhura, an expert and investigator of this question.

"An accumulation of capital was the result of Jewish activity during the first half of the Nineteenth Century as tax-collectors, operators of wholesale liquor storehouses and tavern operators".

Besides this, many Jews used to lease distilleries from the big landowners.

In Kiev alone, there were several wholesale liquor storehouses and many taverns in Jewish hands. For example, Veinstein had a storehouse and seventy two taverns. In Mernery he also had a storehouse and ten taverns. In Cherkassy, Mr. Sklovsky had a storehouse and twenty three taverns. Generally speaking, the vodka trade in the "Jewish Pale" was almost without exception in Jewish hands.

As is known, at that time the activity of the tavern operators, who traded in vodka, was tied up and closely interwoven with the activity of loan-credit which was not subjected to any control whatsoever. Simply speaking; there were no control and no regulations over usury, the victims of which were not only peasants who used to mortgage their miserable possessions and bring the money away in the taverns, but also landlords who resorted to such loans. The banking business at that time was only in its initial stage, and this is why people who were in need of credit had to turn to private businessmen who had the money. Quite a few representatives of the administration, officials and officers, also resorted to loans operated by tavern-owners and tax-collectors. Being hooked by loan operators, these officials inevitably fell into dependence upon the loan operators, and the resulting circumstances hindered the government's struggle against dishonest usurers.

Thus having accumulated capital in this manner, at the beginning of the second half of the Nineteenth Century, Jews began to invest in the rapidly developing sugar industry, in railway transportation and in other sectors of the trade and industry of Russia, and especially in the banking business.

As a result of this before the revolution Russia had many dozens, if not hundreds, of Jewish millionaires and their influence and share in the economic life of the country grew quickly and steadfastly.

In a parallel manner, their influence grew not only in the economic life of the country, but also in the cultural, political and moral life of the whole of Russia.

The feeling of tribal solidarity, characteristic to all tribes and nationalities in general, was always, and still is, strongly developed in the Jews. This fact attracted the attention of Tacitus who, even at that time, said that the Jews had a special love for their tribes.

And, motivated and directed by such feelings, the Jews continually endeavored not only to help, but also to promote the interests of their tribesmen, by contributing to their success and counteracting the promotion and success of their potential competitors, the non-Jews.

Possessing the finances and being tightly bound by their race and religion, Jews were extremely successful in this direction.