"But the Revolution changed everything. Impoverished Jews, including my father, threw themselves into the Revolution. Why did they throw themselves into the Revolution? Jews were deprived of any rights. There was the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire: a Jew could not stay at Petersburg or Moscow for more than 24 hours without a special permit. Jews could not also live in big cities. In 5, they began to expel Jews from villages as well. In the classic series Tevye the Dairyman [by Sholem Aleichem], we see how they expelled Jews from there. So, - why I’m talking about it, - Jews threw themselves into the Revolution. They did not also have a right for education. Only some of them, those who were rich, merchants of the first guild, could get an education, but most Jews did not have any rights and privileges. That’s why Jews threw themselves into the Revolution, including my father. When the Revolution began, he was the first one who climbed up and tore off a portrait of Czar Nicolas from a distillery [wall]."
Boris Markhovskii was born in 1935 in Bershad’, then Soviet Union (today Ukraine). In 1941, he was incarcerated in Bershad’ ghetto and was liberated in 1944. Boris discusses the reasons why impoverished Jews supported the Revolution and his father’s participation in the February Revolution. Particularly, he talks about discrimination against Jewish and the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire.