Denikin, Anton Ivanovich°

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DENIKIN, ANTON IVANOVICH°

DENIKIN, ANTON IVANOVICH ° (1872–1947), one of the generals and organizers of the White Army in the Russian civil war of 1918–21. His name is associated with the savage pogroms perpetrated against the Jews by his officers and soldiers in Russia and the *Ukraine during these years. Made commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the White Army of south Russia in the spring of 1919, in the fall of that year Denikin embarked on a northward-bound campaign that brought his troops, with the pogroms accompanying them, to the town of Orel, approximately 180 mi. (300 km.) south of Moscow. This initial success was followed by military collapse and rapid retreat southward. The corruption and chaos which spread among Denikin's officers and soldiers as a result of the atrocities they committed against the Jews and the property they looted were among the reasons for the military collapse. In April 1920 the remnant of the White Army took to the Crimea. Denikin transferred his command to General Wrangel and left Russia.

According to available data, which is incomplete, Denikin's armies were responsible for 213 pogroms against 164 Jewish communities during their northward advance and subsequent retreat. The number of Jews massacred reached many thousands. Although outwardly expressing regret for the pogroms, mainly because of their adverse influence on the White cause, Denikin made no serious attempt to suppress the constant antisemitic agitation which was widely regarded by the political leaders of the White Army as their main propaganda weapon against the Soviet regime. When he received a delegation from the Jewish communities in the conquered territories in July 1919, Denikin claimed that he was unable to take any action against antisemitism since his "volunteer" army was composed of the "dregs of humanity" and he had to be satisfied that they at least obeyed his military orders.

bibliography:

J. Schechtman, Pogromy Dobrovolcheskoy armii na Ukraine (1932); W. Latzki-Bertoldi, Gzeyras Denikin (1922); Y. Wilensky, Perakim me-Ḥayyai ha-Ẓibburiyyim (1968), 185–93.

[Yehuda Slutsky]