The book focuses on the history, ethnography, and convoluted ethnic identity of the Karaites, an ethnoreligious group in Eastern Galicia (modern Ukraine). The small community of the Karaite Jews, a non-Talmudic Turkic-speaking minority, who had been living in Eastern Europe since the late Middle Ages, developed a unique ethnographic culture and religious tradition. The book offers the first comprehensive study of the Galician Karaite community from its earliest days until today with the main emphasis placed on the period from 1772 until 1945. Especially important is the analysis of the twentieth-century dejudaization (or Turkicization) of the community, which saved the Karaites from the horrors of the Holocaust.
Mikhail Kizilov, D.Phil (2007) in Modern History, University of Oxford, is a Kreitmann Fellow at Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Beer Sheva). He has more than 60 publications on Karaite, Crimean, Khazar, and Jewish history in the English, Russian, German, and Hebrew languages including
The Karaites Through the Travelers' Eyes (New York, 2003).
Table of contents
Chapter One - Introduction to the Study and the History of Karaism Chapter Two - The Karaites in Austrian Galicia: The Community as Seen from Outside Chapter Three - The Karaites in Austrian Galicia, Their History and Culture: The Community as Seen from Within Chapter Four - The Galician Karaites, Their Language, Customs, and Traditions: The Community as Seen from an Ethnographic Perspective Chapter Five - The Karaites and Their Neighbours: Relations with the Christian Population and with the Rabbanite Jews Chapter Six - Karaites in Polish Galicia between the Two World Wars Chapter Seven - Khazar Theory vs. Racial Anthropology: Interwar Turkicization of the Galician Karaites and Its Outcome during World War II Chapter Eight - The Galician Karaites after Conclusion - The Historical Fate, the Past, and the Future of the Karaite Community in Eastern Europe
All those interested in the history of Judaism, Jews and ethnic minorities in Eastern Europe, theories of nationalism, and the Khazars and problems of their Judaization.