Mob attack, condoned by authorities, against persons and property of a religious, racial, or national minority. The term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II (1881), false rumours associating Jews with the murder aroused Russian mobs in more than 200 cities and towns to attack Jews and destroy their property. Mob attacks diminished in the 1890s, but they again became common in 1903–06. Although the government did not organize pogroms, its anti-Semitic policy (1881–1917) and reluctance to stop the attacks led many anti-Semites to believe that their violence was legitimate. Pogroms also occurred in Poland and in Germany during Adolf Hitler's regime.
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