The Jews of Eastern Europe, 1772-1881 by Israel Bartal, Chaya Naor

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By Israel Bartal, Chaya Naor

In the 19th century, the most important Jewish group the trendy international had identified lived in hundreds and hundreds of cities and shtetls within the territory among the Prussian border of Poland and the Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea. The interval had all started with the partition of Poland and the absorption of its territories into the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires; it can finish with the 1st large-scale outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence and the imposition in Russia of sturdy anti-Semitic laws. within the years among, a conventional society conversant in an independent lifestyle will be remodeled into one even more open to its surrounding cultures, but even more convinced of its personal nationalist id. In The Jews of japanese Europe, Israel Bartal strains this alteration and unearths in it the roots of Jewish modernity.

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Chapter 3 Towns and Cities: Society and Economy, 1795–1863 What happened to Eastern European Jewish society after the huge kingdom that stretched from Germany to Russia fell apart and was swallowed up by three powers? What changed in the social and economic life of the Eastern European Jew after these partitions? The social and economic history of the Jews of Poland-Lithuania can be sharply divided into two distinct periods: the first, from the partitions to the midnineteenth century; the second, from the 1850s to the beginning of the mass immigration in the 1880s.

In any case, in the autumn of 1794, the Russian army, coming from the east, invaded the Polish areas that were still independent, attacked Warsaw from the northeast, and set upon Praga, then inhabited by many Jews. The Russian soldiers massacred the Jews, killing several hundred of them. More than any other event, Warsaw’s fall to the Russian empire symbolized the end of independent Poland. The role of the Jews in the last struggle for Polish independence, which in truth was marginal and insignificant, later was chosen as the symbol of the pro-Polish Jews’ trends of integration in the coming 150 years.

The best-known text of this kind is a work written in French published by the Maskil Mendel Lefin, whose patron was the magnate Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski. The aims of the Jewish lobbyists were not similar to those of the Polish reformers, at least not to those of the more radical among them. The Jewish representatives probably wanted, as far as possible, to preserve the existing political and economic system. The ideas of the Enlightenment and the influence of the French physiocratic school threatened their traditional way of life as well as the social and economic infrastructure that sustained it.

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