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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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Ethnic Triangles, Assimilation, and the Complexities of Acculturation in a Multi-ethnic Society

Ethnic Triangles, Assimilation, and the Complexities of Acculturation in a Multi-ethnic Society

Chapter:
(p.41) Ethnic Triangles, Assimilation, and the Complexities of Acculturation in a Multi-ethnic Society
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31
Author(s):

Kristian Gerner

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906764715.003.0003

This chapter examines how, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, two processes ran in parallel in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Polish lands: the emancipation and secularization of Jews and the growth of antisemitism. For Jews, there were different ways to overcome the negative consequences of antisemitism: 'exit', 'voice', or 'loyalty'. For the Jews in Germany, Poland, and Austria-Hungary, loyalty meant acculturation and assimilation into the majority nation. This often entailed conversion to Christianity. Voice meant organized political action in order to fight antisemitism, persecution, and discrimination and obtain recognition of Jews as a national minority with full rights as citizens and protection against discrimination. Exit meant migration: for a majority to the United States and for a minority to Palestine. In distinction to the other three options, an alternative option called 'tilt' could not be individual but had to be the result of collective action. At the beginning of the twentieth century the main force towards tilt was the branch of social democracy which subsequently became communism.

Keywords:   Jewish emancipation, secularization, Jews, antisemitism, acculturation, assimilation, religious conversion, political action, migration, communism

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