1st Edition

A Social and Economic History of Central European Jewry

By Yehuda Don Copyright 1990

    This volume is a pioneering effort to examine the social, demographic, and economic changes that befell the Jewish communities of Central Europe after the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire. It consists of studies researched and written especially for this volume by historians, sociologists, and economists, all specialists in modern Central European Jewish affairs.The era of national rivalry, economic crises, and political confusion between the two World Wars has been preceded by a pre-World War I epoch of Jewish emancipation and assimilation. During that period, Jewish minorities had been harbored from violent anti-Semitism by the Empire, and they became torchbearers of industrialization and modernization. This common destiny encouraged certain common characteristics in the three major components of the Empire, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech territories, despite the very different origins of the well over one million Jews in those three lands.The disintegration of the Habsburg Empire created three small, economically marginal national states, inimical to each other and at liberty to create their own policies toward Jews in accord with the preferences of their respective ruling classes. Active and openly discriminatory anti-Semitic measures resulted in Austria and Hungary. The only liberal heir country of the Empire was Czechoslovakia, although simmering anti-Semitism and below surface discrimination were widespread in Slovakia. While one might have expected Jewish communities to return to their pre-World War I tendencies to go their independent ways after the introduction of these policies, social and economic patterns which had evolved in the Habsburg era persisted until the Anschluss in Austria, German occupation in Czechoslovakia, and World War II in Hungary. Studies in this volume attest to continuing similarities among the three Jewish communities, testifying to the depth of the Empire's long lasting impact on the behavior of Jews in Central Europe.

    Introduction, John Hawkesworth, An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and Successively Performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour (1773), James Cook, A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, Performed in His Majesty’s Ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the Years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775 (1777), George Forster, A Voyage Round the World in His Britannic Majesty’s Sloop, Resolution, Commanded by Captain James Cook, During the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5 (1777), Johann Reinhold Forster, Observations Made During a Voyage Round the World, on Physical Geography, Natural History, and Ethic Philosophy (1778), James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by Command of His Majesty, for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere (1784), David Samwell, A Narrative of the Death of Captain James Cook (1786), George Keate, An Account of the Pelew Islands, Situated in the Western Part of the Pacific Ocean (1788), William Bligh, A Voyage to the South Sea, Undertaken by Command of His Majesty, for the Purpose of Conveying the Breadfruit Tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty’s Ship the Bounty (1792), George Hamilton, A Voyage Round the World in His Majesty’s Frigate Pandora. Performed under the Direction of Captain Edwards in the Years 1790, 1791, and 1792 (1793), David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales: with Remarks on the Dispositions, Customs, Manners, &c. of the Native Inhabitants of that Country (1798–1802), Mary Ann Parker, A Voyage Round the World in the Gorgon Man of War: Captain John Parker (1795), Robert Southey, review of Transactions of the Missionary Society in the South Sea Islands (1809), George Vason, An Authentic Narrative of Four Years’ Residence at Tongataboo, one of the Friendly Islands, in the South Sea (1810), Matthew Flinders, A Voyage to Terra Australis, Undertaken for the Purpose of Completing the Discovery of that Vast Country, and Prosecuted in the Years 1801, 1802 and 1803, in His Majesty’s Ship the Investigator, and Subsequently in the Armed Vessel Porpoise and Cumberland Schooner (1814), John Martin, An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean, with an Original Vocabulary of their Language (1817), Robert Southey, review of Polynesian Researches, During a Residence of Nearly Six Years, in the South Sea Islands (1830)


    Peter J. Kitson