This is the first study of the military experience of some one to one-and-a-half million Jews who served in the Russian Army between 1827, the onset of personal conscription of Jews in Russia, and 1917, the demise of the tsarist regime. The conscription integrated Jews into the state transforming the repressed Jewish victims of the draft into modern imperial Russian Jews. The book contextualizes the reasons underlying the decision to draft Jews, the communal responses to the draft, the missionary initiatives directed toward Jews in the army, alleged Jewish draft evasion and Jewish military performance, and the strategies Jews used to endure military service. It also explores the growing antisemitism of the upper echelons of the military toward the Jews on the eve of World War I and the rise of Russian-Jewish loyalty and patriotism.
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