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In 1881, a wave of pogroms swept 166 towns in southern Russia, after Jews were blamed for the assassination of Czar Alexander II. In these pogroms, thousands of Jewish homes were destroyed, and hundreds of Jews were killed and injured. The new czar, Alexander III, blamed the Jews for the riots and issued a series of harsh restrictions against the Jewish community. In the wake of these pogroms, some 2 million Jews fled Russia, many settling in the United States.