Term Paper: Jewish-Russian Heritage. The Writer Details

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[. . .] heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I)."

During these years the Russian rulers and government continued to view the Jewish population as "the Jewish problem" and constantly discussed how to handle it. Once the Polish rule ended it spent five decades handling the Jews as they had been, largely by ignoring their existence and squeezing their ability to survive as tightly as possible.

A decree of 1791 confirmed the right of residence of the Jews in the territories annexed from Poland and permitted their settlement in the uninhabited steppes of the Black Sea shore, conquered from Turkey at the close of the 18th century, and in the provinces to the east of the R. Dnieper (Chernigov and Poltava) only (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I)."

By the early 1800's Nicholas was in control and decided he was going to handle the Jewish problem once and for all. He used suppression and cohesion to do his work and ordered thousands of Jewish youth into the army. The youths ranged from 12-25 years old. This move caused significant problems in the Jewish communities as it demoralized and angered those who were forced to give up their children for an army to defend a nation that treated them like second class citizens. It became a tug of war with the Jewish parents refusing to send their sons and the government sending in what were called "snatchers" to steal them away and make them join (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I).

The military obligations of the Jews in Russia brought no alleviation of their condition in other spheres, and the expulsions of Jews from the villages continued with regularity. The Jews were also expelled from Kiev, and any new settlement of Jews in the towns and townlets within a distance of 50 versts of the country's borders was prohibited in 1843. On the other hand, the government encouraged agricultural settlement among Jews. The settlers were exempted from military service. Many Jewish settlements were established on government and privately owned lands in southern Russia and other regions of the Pale of Settlement (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I)."

It was the mid-1800's that the government became concerned with the education of its Jewish population. It created a network of schools exclusively for the use of its Jewish residents and it mandated by law that all Jewish children who were not in the army would attend. The Jewish adults were told that they had to pay for the schools through an increased tax that would be imposed upon them. The government hand picked the teachers for the schools and mandated what the teachers were and were not allowed to teach to their young Jewish students.

In secret instructions which accompanied the decree it was declared that "the purpose of the education of the Jews is to bring them nearer to the Christians and to uproot their harmful beliefs which are influenced by the Talmud." Lilienthal became aware of the government's intentions and fled from Russia. The government established this network of schools which depended for instruction upon a handful of maskilim and at the head of which were the seminaries for rabbis and teachers of Vilna and Zhitomir. These institutions, to which the Jewish masses shrank from sending their children, served as the cradle for a class of Russian-speaking maskilim which was to play an important role in the lives of the Jews during the following generations (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I)."

In 1844 the government outlawed Polish Communities as well as outlawed the Jews from wearing their traditional hair style or clothing.

The final blow for that time period came when Nicholas divided Jews into what he called useful and non-useful. Those declared useful were wealthy merchants, or craftsmen or farmers. All other Jews were declared non-useful and they were threatened with going into the army to learn farming or crafts, or they could leave the nation. Western world Jews attempted to protest this latest insult to their fellow followers of the world faith but were unsuccessful (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I).

The Crimean War delayed its application but amplified the tragedy of military conscription. The quota was increased threefold and the "snatchers" were given a free hand to seize children, and travelers who did not possess documents, and hand them over to the army. The reign of Nicholas I came to an end with the memory of those days of intensified kidnapping (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I)."

In the late 1800's however things changed a bit. The government announced that any Jew with a post secondary Russian education could avoid going into the army. This was aimed at converting Jews to the Russian way of thinking and lifestyle through showing them if they gave u their heritage and life and became non-Jewish they would stop being persecuted (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I).

The year 1881 was a turning point in the history of the Jews of Russia. In March 1881 revolutionaries assassinated Alexander II. Confusion reigned throughout the country. The revolutionaries called on the people to rebel. The regime was compelled to protect itself, and the Russian government found a scapegoat: the notion was encouraged that the Jews were responsible for the misfortunes of the nation. Anti-Jewish riots (pogroms) broke out in a number of towns and townlets of southern Russia including Yelizavetgrad (Kirovograd) and Kiev. These disorders consisted of looting, while there were few acts of murder or rape (Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I)."

It was this and later events against the Jews that caused them to begin fleeing to the United States and settle where they could practice their faith freely and not be treated like second class citizens because of their religious beliefs. http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/slavic/jbib/home.html

Jews in Russia, the Countries of the Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe

Glasser Street, Vilna (Lithuania)

Art by Lionel S. Reiss. In A World At Twilight: A Portrait of the Jewish Communities of Eastern Europe Before the Holocaust. (New York: Macmillian, 1971)

REFERENCES

Messianic Jews gaining ground in Russia By Alexandra Alter http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/studentwork/cns/2003-04-27/233.asp

Jewish heritage in Russian children's literature Olga Maeots Russia (http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla66/papers/107-152e.htm)

The Fate of Jews immediately after the Russian Revolution http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/psn/oct97/0100.html

The revolutions across Europe

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/heritage/timeline6.html painting http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/slavic/jbib/home.html

Jewish History with the Russian Federation

http://www.heritagefilms.com/RUSSIA1.htm#WORLDWAR I [END OF PREVIEW]

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