Separate peoples reveal the story of family life in the Kiev Oblast, Kiev and its outlying towns. The family was Ashkenazi, members of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. Ashkenazis made up the largest Jewish community, by World War I perhaps 80-90%, much larger than the Ladino speaking Sephardics transplanted from Spain to the Ottoman Empire; or those who never left the Middle East, once speaking Aramaic, later Arabic, French, English or Ladino. The Ashkenazis spoke Yiddish and lived mainly in larger cities throughout the German, Hapsburg and Lithuanian-Polish Empires in Central and Eastern Europe. However, in Russia, they generally lived in little towns and villages (shtetles). A few were periodically allowed to live in Kiev. Arranged marriages, trading alliances, sanctuary from persecution and religious training often caused them to cross Russian and national lines. As a rule, as one moved east, life became more religious, parochial, economically impoverished and politically deprived. Attachment #27 is a brief overview of the Ashkenazis.
A distinct group within that community was the Khazaris. Once a fierce Turkish tribe, they arguably (there are claims on behalf of Slavs, Romans and early Christians) founded Kiev and used it as the western center of their Eurasian empire. By the late 700s, the world was becoming increasingly monotheistic, from the recently Islamic Arabs across Europe to the newly Christian Danes. Under pressure to convert, rather than allying with either of their bitter enemies Ð the Moslems they were fighting from the south or the Christian warriors (often ironically named 'Templars') of the Holy Roman Empire to the west Ð they chose their trading partners, the Jews, particularly the local Rhadinite Jews of the Ukraine. They, like the Khazaris, were predominantly blond or red-headed, blue-gray eyed and the entrepreneurs dominant at the western Europe-Asia nexus of the Silk Road. Luba Radov was more-or-less pure Khazari. However, one might conjecture a broader family connection. The third son of a Radov and Mandiberg was Peter, whose Hebrew or given name was Pesach. It was the Khazars who primarily used Jewish festival names, particularly Pesach, for their children. Attachment #8 looks at what constitutes, by 4-8%, part of the Ashkenazi population.
Anti-Semitism was a grim way of life: jihads in the Middle East and the Balkans; the Inquisition throughout Spain, Germany, Italy and Austria, expulsions from England and Portugal, and pogroms in Russia. Russian pogroms were committed by loose gangs of criminals, thugs and local militia. They carried out savage bouts of rape, murder, arson and terror. The family history chronicles stories once told by Lena Radov Smith, Peter Radov and Cherna Radov Bass Thompson of two rapes, one murder, one stabbing torture and witness to unspeakable savagery. Cossacks and their pogroms are discussed in Attachment #11.
To see the full family history, please read the full Radov Chronicles, available in three sections: