New Book Announcement: Beyond the Steppe Frontier

NEW FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS—Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border by Sören Urbansky

Shedding critical new light on a pivotal geographical periphery, and expanding our understanding of how borders are determined. Enter discount code SU30 on the PUP website to get 30% off, through June 30, 2020. *Shipping charges and local import fees apply*

https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691181684/beyond-the-steppe-frontier

New Book Announcement: Beyond the Steppe Frontier

NEW FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS—Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border by Sören Urbansky

Shedding critical new light on a pivotal geographical periphery, and expanding our understanding of how borders are determined. Enter discount code SU30 on the PUP website to get 30% off, through June 30, 2020. *Shipping charges and local import fees apply*

https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691181684/beyond-the-steppe-frontier

Re: Research query:Maiming to Avoid Russian Draft?

Hello,

Myth?

I can only tell you that my maternal grandfather Izak Rosenkrantz, who was born in 1896, did not have the middle finger in his right hand. Instead of a finger there was just a short stump. It was not only the upper part that was cut off, it was the entire finger, i.e. both knuckles. He was born and raised, and married, and had his first daugther, my mother, in the little town (mostly Jewish, a real East European 'classic' shtetl) of Piusk, some 200 miles south of Warsaw. He left Piusk for South America in 1929.

Re: Research query:Maiming to Avoid Russian Draft?

Hello,

My father used to tell this family story, from Russia and during the Crimean War. When he received the citation for the Russian Army, one of my father's grandfathers, or perhaps an elder uncle, asked a dentist to flatten his teeth. Then he went to the physical check-up, and because of lack of teeth he got out of the draft. Later on he got dentures, moved to Argentina and begun a new life.

Hope it helps,
Ana Schaposchnik

Re: Research query:Maiming to Avoid Russian Draft?

In the late nineteenth century, my great grandfather Boruch Sanders had his eye removed to avoid conscription into the Russian army. He left Russian after WW1. My mother remembers how her grandfather would keep his glass eye in a jar by his bedside. I have family members who may know more of the details of this, should it be of interest. Rachel Frankel

Re: Research query:Maiming to Avoid Russian Draft?

My great grandfather Sol Katz was born Sol Godofsky but "adopted" by a childless couple, the Katz's. I am not certain
which area of the Pale they lived in but he would have been born ca. 1860. According to my grandfather, this was a common
practice in their shtetl to avoid the Russian army. I know that within the Jewish community it was known because his adoptive father was a kohen and he and his descendants never claimed to be kohanim but kept their status as "yisrael."

Meryll Levine Page
Minneapolis, MN

Re: Research query:Maiming to Avoid Russian Draft?

My grandfather, Udem Lejbowicz (later on transliterated in Argentina as “Leibowich”), was born in Siemiatycze, province of Bialystok, Eastern Poland, in 1896. The area was then part of the Russian Empire and, as such, he had Russian documents. In 1915, being 19 years old, was recruited to fight in the Czar army against Germany. During the war he was about to be sent to the front. To prevent that, he injected himself kerosene in the left knee. The knee got “the size of a watermelon”, as he described, and was sent to a military hospital for months.

Re: Research query:Maiming to Avoid Russian Draft?

In connection with your research on avoiding conscription into the Russian army, see the references in the index under "Draft evasion" in my edition of my grandfather's memoir: A Jewish Life on Three Continents: The Memoir of Menachem Mendel Frieden (Stanford Univ. Press, 2013).

Lee Shai Weissbach
Prof. Emeritus of History
Univ. of Louisville

Re: Research query:Maiming to Avoid Russian Draft?

"Mr. Kahn" at the Jewish Center of Unionport, Ellis Avenue, Bronx, NY, showed me his cut-off finger which, he said, was self-inflicted to avoid statist service. This was around 1959-60. I know this is not "academic documentation," but real life.
Zvi Gitelman
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Tisch Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies
University of Michigan

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