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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31Poland and Hungary: Jewish Realities Compared$
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François Guesnet, Howard Lupovitch, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764715

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764715.001.0001

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The Magnate-Jewish Symbiosis

The Magnate-Jewish Symbiosis

Hungarian and Polish Variations on a Theme

The Magnate-Jewish Symbiosis
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31

Howard Lupovitch

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the relationship between Jews and nobles in Poland and Hungary, where noble patronage was a critical part of Jewish life. In numerous European countries, and especially in Poland and Hungary, Jews forged a stable working relationship with nobles and, especially, with the magnates with whom they did business. In Hungary, however, this relationship progressed further than anywhere else, epitomized by the ennoblement of more than 300 Jewish families during the dual monarchy from 1867 to the end of the First World War. Given the similarities between the demographic and occupational patterns of Hungarian and Polish Jewry and a similarly decisive importance of noble–Jewish relations, why were so many Jews in Hungary ennobled and so few in Poland or, for that matter, anywhere else? More broadly, what did it mean to be an ennobled Jew in Hungary? Was there a substantive difference between a Jewish noble and a Jewish notable and between a Jewish noble and a non-Jewish noble? The answers to these questions lie in the similarities and differences of noble–Jewish relations in Poland and Hungary.

Keywords:   Jews, Jewish nobles, noble patronage, Poland, Hungary, magnates, ennoblement, Hungarian Jewry, Polish Jewry, noble–Jewish relations

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