In the process of researching Abraham Manievich, I also looked into the reasons behind the amount of Jewish immigration from Russia to Eastern Europe, eventually followed by the United States. There were numerous factors encouraging Jewish emigration from Russia to Eastern Europe in the late 19th to early 20th century. The rising population and increasing failures of the government in politics and the economy were the primary factors in pushing Jews to leave. Anti-Semitism also played a role in the dispersion of Jews. In 1881, a wave of pogroms, which are series of violent riots against a specific group, spread across southern Russia. Manievich’s son was killed in a pogrom which prompted him to create the painting entitled “Destruction of the ghetto”. In the following decades, Anti-Jewish violence was a huge threat throughout czarists Russia. Pogroms in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe were perpetrated by the anti-Jewish residents but often instigated and provoked by police and government officials.
In response, many Jews immigrated to the West. The development of railroad lines and steamships allowed for more convenient travel. Prospective immigrants could get from their Eastern European towns to New York Harbor in as little as a couple of weeks. Abraham Manievich was one of many seeking to escape the wrath of the pogroms by fleeing to the United States. I found this information very vital to my research. From the information gathered, I was able to actually see another side of Abraham Manievich’s life: the life before America.