Jews in Eastern Europe Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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In Medieval Europe, Christianity was considered above Judaism. Its influence could be felt in almost every aspect of European life. Although the Christian church had its origin from the Jewish religion, Jews were harshly persecuted. Many Jews were forced to adopt Christianity and to a minor degree, practice their faith with limitations. Thus, the history of Jews in Europe is a history of persecution and discrimination. Jews in the Roman Empire Treated as unequal of the Romans, the Jews became the target of discrimination in the empire.

Although few works and writings showed that Jews were by nature criminally inclined, the bulk of accusations were hurled against them. Discrimination of all types were directed by the high society to the Jewish communities, which in general had diminished the latters perception of a good life. These discriminations and acts of unequal treatment became the ground of continued Jewish persecution for centuries to come. Jews in Medieval Europe In the 13th century, the expulsions of the Jews became eminent in the region.

Moreover, they were accused of crimes far removed from their influence or capability to commit. Moreover, Jews were even accused to have spread the plague that killed one-third of the whole Europes population. Many communities believed that the Jewish communities were exacting revenge from the forces that molded their social and economic conditions. Thus, most of Europes reigning monarchs issued special laws expelling the Jews from their countries. This forced many Jews to migrate to Eastern Europe where the power of both the Pope and the Western monarchs was relatively insignificant.

Jews in Eastern Europe The Jews found safety and protection in Eastern Europe. In Poland, they experienced more freedom in choosing their jobs and professions compare to what they had in Western Europe. On the other hand, the legal status and the treatment given to them in Lithuania are better. They practiced their rights as citizens like Christians in the country and they were able to join Christians in groups. This was mainly the beginning of the Jews Diaspora and the proliferation of their kind The population of the Jews constantly increased through the 16th and 18th century.

This increase in population dominated the nation of Poland and Lithuania. Also during this time, many developments in the Jewish religion were being attained. Among these were the creation of the Hebrew Bible and the clearer understanding of the Jewish religion. These brought the Enlightenment period in Europe that allowed Jews to be part of the community with equal rights and responsibility. The Jews Continued Fight In 1871, the liberation of the rights and the full citizenship of the Jews were given by the government of United States and France.

Likewise, in Germany and Russia, the full citizenship was given to the Jews who had improved based on their character and to what they portrayed in the community. The Jews took advantage of the opportunity they were given. They were involved in many new professions and careers, and entered many known colleges and universities. They also opted to enter the economic side of the nation but is prohibited and resisted. During the 19th century, the Jews discrimination was not only based on religious arguments alone. In both western and Eastern Europe, the Jews though given their respective rights were considered alien of the nation.

Their character was considered weak and has the low ability of achieving their goals. Their character is considered the negative of all the positive characteristics of a certain nation. Moreover, the political grounds are being mediocre of the anti-Semitism of most political parties. Most parties used anti-Semitism propaganda to fight the other political parties. During the reign of the Russian empire after the partition of Poland, the Russian government considered the involvement of the Jews in the Russian Empire as a big problem.

First problem was the pose of the Jewish people to build a nationalist government out of the Russian Empire. The second problem was the involvement of majority of the Jews in molding the village economy. This posed threats to the feudal order of the Russian Empire. This was because the rule of the Empire was not permitting the free townspeople to live in the villages where both land and the people were residing. Years later, the assimilation and expulsion of the Jews were formulated by Alexander I to give the Jews the right to nations economy and culture.

During this time, Jews have the right to be educated on public schools. Jews in the Pale of Settlement In April 1835, the Pale of Settlement was formed by a degree of Czar Nicholas I and was being maintained in the Russian Empire until its abolishment in 1917. The goal of the creation of the pale of settlement was to protect the less enlightened Russian people from the economic dependent mind of the Jews. But seemingly obvious, the main goal of the Russian government was to prevent the religious influence of the Russian people by the Jews.

During the succession of the throne by Czar Alexander II in 1855, exceptions were given to the Jews in the Pale of Settlement. This exception like permitting Jews with certain profession to build their homes outside the settlement was being effective to those Jews that have high educational background only. Few merchants had take advantage of these exceptions and suddenly it disappeared after the assassination of Alexander II. New laws prohibiting the settlement of the Jews outside the pale was enforced and those that had already build their homes outside the pale go back to the pale.

Moreover, the Jews were being suspected for the plotted assassination of Alexander II resulting to the violation of human rights. Many more unparalleled and unequal treatment was experienced by the Jews in the pale of Settlement until its abolishment in 1917. Jewish Revolution inside Russia The economic status of Russia during the late 19th century onward boomed and flourished. The Russian government became particular with the modernization of all aspects of economy. This modernization brought about the problem to Jew families.

During this time, the fathers were seen by their daughters and sons as an irrelevant part of the society. This was why their children rebelled from their own family. Moreover, the rise of nationalism takes a big part of the rebellious age of the Jews children. During those times the only thing that can not be protected by nationalism are the Jews. They saw their fathers as a material of capitalism and tradition that were not being prosperous in the society. Many of them chose to use other radical and modernized alternatives in their way of living.

They adopted the rising aspect of the new Russia and more generally the new Europe where modernization has reached its zenith. They believed that nationalism is the key to success through the future. Many of them adopted this to become more German than the German and more Russian than the Russian. In general, the Jews that adopted the nationalism way of life and have succeeded in their various fields have lost their grasps of their roots. Some have attained their success through forgetting their roots and even arguing with it. Marx is a good example who has Jewish roots but contradicted its own.

Nonetheless, still many successful natural Jews have their own admiring qualities that gave them their courage to fight against the repression and discrimination for such a long period of time.

Works Cited

Levine, Allan. Scattered Among the Peoples: The Jewish Diaspora in Ten Portraits. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. 2002. Slezkine, Yuri. The Jewish Century, Princeton University Press. 2004 The Koppelman Foundation (1991). Pale of Settlement. (2000). Retrieved 4 May 2008,

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