An Odessan Nationality? Local Patriotism and Jewish Nationalism in the Case of Vladimir Jabotinsky

Dmitry Shumsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is a commonplace that the effort to diffuse and disseminate a modern national identity in Europe and elsewhere in no way meant the complete abandonment of earlier local identities. Rather, the champions of the European national movements frequently integrated elements of a country-based patriotism (Landespatriotismus), enlightened regionalism, and localism. When it comes, however, to the origins of European Zionism, the widespread wisdom is that in this case the component of localism and regionalism in the lands of origin of Diaspora Jews was “out of the question,” for there were no concrete geographical or historical ties between their places of residence in the Diaspora and Palestine. The present article aims to contribute to revisiting this opinion, focusing on the Russian-Jewish author Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880–1940)–a prominent Zionist right-wing leader, who at one and the same time publicly and forcefully expressed positions of local patriotism regarding his native city of Odessa. Based on hitherto unexplored texts written by Jabotinsky, the article shows that the local attachment to the city of Odessa and to the Southern Ukrainian region of Czarist Empire played in Jabotinsky's Zionism a role comparable to the functioning of the localism and the regionalism in the European nationalisms.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)64-82
Number of pages19
JournalRussian Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

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