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Haskalah and HistoryThe Emergence of a Modern Jewish Historical Consciousness$
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Shmuel Feiner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774433

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774433.001.0001

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The Manipulation of History in Nineteenth-Century Galicia

The Manipulation of History in Nineteenth-Century Galicia

(p.71) Two The Manipulation of History in Nineteenth-Century Galicia
Haskalah and History

Shmuel Feiner

, Chaya Naor, Sondra Silverston
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the Galician Haskalah, which may be viewed as one segment of a Haskalah network that encompassed the maskilim of the entire Austrian empire. In their development and activity, the Galician maskilim were closely allied to the Austrian Haskalah. The militant nature of the Galician Haskalah was determined by the very process of enlightenment. In personal testimonies and biographies, the experience of becoming enlightened is described as a revelation and conversion that occurred at a young age and engendered great excitement in the heart of the maskil. Indeed, young people were the target population of the Haskalah propagandists. The chapter then explains that hasidism was an obsession among the Galician maskilim, and they would resort to almost any means to block the expansion of the ‘sect’, which before their very eyes was sweeping up the Jewish masses, even spreading to the central urban communities. Nahman Krochmal (1749–1840) was the unacknowledged leader of the Galician maskilim.

Keywords:   Galician Haskalah, Galician maskilim, Austrian Haskalah, enlightenment, maskil, young people, Haskalah propagandists, hasidism, Nahman Krochmal

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