Sources on Jewish Self-Government in the Polish Lands from Its Inception to the Present

This source-reader invites you to encounter the world of one thousand years of Jewish self-government in eastern Europe. It tells about the beginnings in the Middle Ages, delves into the unfolding of communal hierarchies and supra-communal representation in the early modern period, and reflects on the impact of the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and of growing state interference, as well as on the communist and post-communist periods. Translated into English from Hebrew, Latin, Yiddish, Polish, Russian, German, and other languages, in most cases for the first time, the sources illustrate communal life, the interdependence of civil and religious leadership, the impact of state legislation, Jewish-non-Jewish encounters, reform projects and political movements, but also Jewish resilience during the Holocaust.

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François Guesnet, Dr.phil., Freiburg im Breisgau, is Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London. His publications include Polnische Juden im 19. Jahrhundert (Böhlau, 1998), and, as co-editor, Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis (Brill 2015, paperback 2017). He is co-chair of the editorial board of Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry.

Jerzy Tomaszewski (1930-2014) was professor of History at the University of Warsaw and for many years the director of its Mordecai Anieliewicz Center for the Study of the History and Culture of Polish Jews. Among his publications are Z dziejów Polesia 1921-1939: Zarys stosunków społeczno-ekonomycznych (Warsaw, 1963) and Ojczyzna nie tylko Polaków: Mniejszości narodowe w Polsce w latach 1918-1939 (Warsaw, 1985).

1 The Medieval Period
Hanna Zaremska

2 Early Modern Poland-Lithuania, 1507–1795
Adam Teller

3 The Partitions of Poland-Lithuania, 1772–1815
Cornelia Aust

4 The Prussian Partition, 1815–1914
Michał Szulc

5 Jewish Self-Government in Galicia, 1815–1914
Wacław Wierzbieniec

6 The Kingdom of Poland, 1815–1915
Artur Markowski

7 Imperial Russia’s North-Western and South-Western Provinces, 1815–1914
Andrei Zamoiski

8 World War One and Independent Poland, 1914–1939
Piotr Kendziorek

9 Poland after the Second World War, 1944–2020
August Grabski with Piotr Grudka

10 Epilogue: Refractions of Jewish Self-Government under German Occupation in the Second World War
Marcin Urynowicz


Those interested in Jewish History (medieval, early modern, modern, contemporary); Eastern Central and Eastern European History (Poland-Lithuania/Poland/Lithuania; Russian Empire; Prussia/German Empire; Habsburg Empire/Galicia); history of the rabbinate; history of political systems, of political movements.
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