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By Heiko Haumann

The origins and lifetime of East ecu Jewry took on new ancient and political significance after the Holocaust. In Poland by myself ninety nine according to cent of Polish Jews 3 million in all have been killed; Yiddish as a spoken language roughly disappeared. This quantity provides a historical past of East eu Jewry from its beginnings to the interval after the Holocaust. It provides an summary of the demographic, political, socioeconomic, spiritual and cultural stipulations of Jewish groups in Poland, Russia, Bohemia and Moravia.Interesting issues comprise the tale of early settlers, the 'Golden Age', the impression of the Kabbalah and Hasidism. bright pics of Jewish family members lifestyles and spiritual customs make the ebook relaxing to learn.

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Furthermore, the Jews, when they collected taxes or served schnapps, were readily regarded as instruments of the lord of the manor. In this way they became involved in the social tensions which existed between the peasants and the feudal lords. When Catholic priests fanned the flames of religious conflict, pilloried Jewish inns as the refuge of the Devil, or even seized upon accusations of ritual murder—reproaches which hit their target because Jewish religious practice seemed secretive to the outsider—the otherwise good relations between peasants and Jews could quickly turn into aggression and violence.

Men capable of bearing arms elected a Hetman as leader and decisions were taken on all important matters at general assemblies. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Cossacks formed the nucleus of the great revolts against serfdom or the extension of state power. From this standpoint, the Dnieper or Zaporozhian Cossacks— the land 'beyond the rapids' in the bend of the Dnieper before its mouth in the Black Sea was called Zaporozhye—were defending themselves against the attempts of the Polish magnates to colonize Ukraine.

The Cossacks, ethnically mixed, warlike mounted nomads, had 36 A HISTORY OF EAST EUROPEAN JEWS probably settled from the fifteenth century in different regions of southern Russia, control over which was still not fully established. In the sixteenth century they were strongly Slavicized and considered themselves to be Russian Orthodox in matters of religion. Russian peasants ('runaways') who were fleeing from being bound to the land—a precondition of serfdom—in the Principality of Moscow, came to join them.

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