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Jews in Poland and Russia: 1881-1914 v. 2$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113836

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113836.001.0001

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The Kingdom of Poland 1881–1914

The Kingdom of Poland 1881–1914

(p.87) Three The Kingdom of Poland 1881–1914
Jews in Poland and Russia: 1881-1914 v. 2

Antony Polonsky

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the Jews in the Kingdom of Poland in the years between 1881 and 1914. The integrationist view of the Jewish future—the belief that the Jews could and should be transformed into ‘Poles of the Mosaic faith’—which had been the vision both of the Positivists, who had dominated intellectual life in the Kingdom of Poland in the previous generation, and of the Polonized leadership of the Jewish community, had now lost most of its attraction. Among Poles, political antisemitism became increasingly widely accepted, as the view gained ground that the Jews had failed to respond to the call to ‘assimilate’ themselves. In Jewish circles, partly a cause and partly a consequence of these developments, the ‘assimilationists’ were now seen as pusillanimous in the face of the onslaught on the Jewish community, and autonomist concepts of Jewish self-understanding—primarily Zionism, territorialism, and Bundism—increasingly held sway on the Jewish street. So too did revolutionary socialism, with its argument that only the socialist millennium could ‘solve’ the ‘Jewish question’, bringing to an end the differences between Jew and non-Jew through the creation of a ‘new’ Socialist Man.

Keywords:   Jews, Kingdom of Poland, Positivists, Jewish community, political antisemitism, autonomism, Zionism, territorialism, Bundism, socialism

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