||Call to Jewish citizens male and female (Jüdische Mitbürger und Mitbürgerinnen) concerning the terrible aftermath and conditions of the jews after World War I by Das Hilfskomitee zur Unterstützung der Pogrompfer (The emergency committee for the support of the victims of the pogrom). It begins Noch klaffen die wunden, die der furchtbare krieg (Still the wounds, that gape from the terrible war). As terrible as the war was for all of Europe it was even worse for the Jews who not only suffered as did everyone else, but had to also deal with increased anti-Semitism and pograms in the wars aftermath. Under the organizational name of the Hilfskomitee is that of Oberrabbiner Dr. Brody and then several Jewish organizations.
Not only the Jews of Prague suffered considerably and had to deal with pogroms but the wave of pogroms that occurred during the years 1917–21, in scope and gravity far surpassing previous outbreaks. These attacks on the Jews were connected with the revolutions and the civil war which took place in Eastern Europe during this period. At the end of 1917, pogroms had already occurred in the townlets and towns within proximity of the war front. The riot was headed by groups of soldiers from the disintegrating czarist army, and consisted of unruly acts against Jews by drunkards and of looting. Many pogroms of this type occurred in the Ukraine after the declaration of its independence in 1918. The first pogroms to be accompanied by slaughter of Jews were, however, perpetrated by units of the Red Army which retreated from the Ukraine in the spring of 1918 before the German army. These pogroms took place under the slogan "Strike at the bourgeoisie and the Jews." The communities of Novgorod-Severski and Glukhov in northern Ukraine were the most severely affected. After a short period of confusion, the Soviets adopted stringent measures against pogromists found in the ranks of the Red Army. In addition to a fundamental and comprehensive information campaign, severe penalities were imposed not only on guilty individuals, who were executed, but also on complete army units, which were disbanded after their men had attacked Jews. Even though pogroms were still perpetrated after this, mainly by Ukrainian units of the Red Army at the time of its retreat from Poland (1920), in general, the Jews regarded the units of the Red Army as the only force which was able and willing to defend them.
In the spring of 1919, at the time of the retreat of the Ukrainian Army before the Red Army which occupied Kiev, units of the Ukrainian Army carried out organized military pogroms in Berdichev , Zhitomir, and other towns. These pogroms reached their climax in the massacre at Proskurov on Feb. 15, 1919, when 1,700 Jews were done to death within a few hours. On the following day, a further 600 victims fell in the neighboring townlet of Felshtin (Gvardeiskoye). Those responsible for these pogroms went unpunished, and henceforward the Ukrainian soldiers considered themselves free to spill Jewish blood. The Jews regarded Simon Petlyura , the prime minister of the Ukraine and commander of its forces, as responsible for these pogroms (in 1926 he was assassinated while in exile in Paris by Shalom Schwarzbard ). The general chaos which reigned in the Ukraine in 1919 resulted in the formation of large and small bands of peasants who fought against the Red Army. The commanders (atamans) of these bands occasionally gained control of whole regions. The Jews in the villages, townlets, and towns there were constantly terrorized by the peasants, who extorted money ("contributions") and supplies from them or robbed and murdered them. These atamans included Angell, Kazakov, Kozyr-Zyrko, Struk, Volynets, Zeleny, Tutunik, and Shepel. The ataman Grigoryev, who in May 1919 seceded from the Red Army with his men, was responsible for pogroms in 40 communities and the deaths of about 6,000 Jews in the summer of 1919. He was killed by Ataman Makhno, who led a peasant rebellion in eastern Ukraine and endeavored to restrain his men from attacking the Jews. One of the most notorious pogroms carried out by the peasant bands was that in Trostyanets in May 1919, when over 400 people lost their lives. During this period of pogroms, Jewish self-defense organizations were formed in many places throughout the Ukraine. The "Jewish Militia for War against Pogroms" of Odessa was renowned; it prevented pogroms in the largest community of Ukraine. Such groups were created in many towns and townlets but they were not always capable of withstanding military units or large armed bands. It was only after the consolidation of the Soviet regime that they received its support and played an important role in the suppression of the armed counter-revolutionary movement.
It is difficult to assess the scope of the pogroms during the civil war years and the number of victims they claimed. Partial data are available for 530 communities in which 887 major pogroms and 349 minor pogroms occurred; there were 60,000 dead and several times that number of wounded (according to S. Dubnow). The pogroms of 1917–21 shocked East European Jewry, as well as world Jewry. On the one hand, they rallied many Jews to the Red Army and the Soviet regime; on the other, they strengthened the desire for the creation of a homeland for the Jewish people and a powerful and independent Jewish force. This aspiration found its expression in the Zionist movement, the He-Ḥalutz movement, and the Haganah in Ereẓ Israel.