By Benjamin Nathans

For many of the final 4 centuries, the wide expanse of territory among the Baltic and the Black Seas, recognized because the Enlightenment as "Eastern Europe," has been domestic to the world's greatest Jewish inhabitants. The Jews of Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Galicia, Romania, and Ukraine have been prodigious turbines of contemporary Jewish tradition. Their risky combination of spiritual traditionalism and precocious quests for collective self-emancipation lies on the center of Culture Front.

This quantity brings jointly contributions via either historians and literary students to take readers on a trip around the cultural heritage of East eu Jewry from the mid-seventeenth century to the current. The articles gathered right here discover how Jews and their Slavic friends produced and fed on creative representations of Jewish existence in chronicles, performs, novels, poetry, memoirs, museums, and more.

The e-book places tradition on the leading edge of study, treating verbal artistry itself as one of those frontier during which Jews and Slavs imagined, skilled, and negotiated with themselves and every different. The 4 sections examine the particular subject matters of that frontier: violence and civility; pop culture; politics and aesthetics; and reminiscence. the result's a clean exploration of principles and activities that helped swap the panorama of recent Jewish history.

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Extra resources for Culture Front: Representing Jews in Eastern Europe

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Shmeruk, ‘‘An Outline of Yiddish Literature in Poland and Lithuania until the Decrees of 1648–1649’’ (Hebrew), in Yiddish Literature in Poland (Jerusalem, 1981), 13–73, esp. 14–25. 19. ’’ Quoted in M. Balaban, ‘‘Die Krakauer Judengemeinde-Ordnung von 1595 und ihre Nachtraege,’’ Jahrbuch der juedisch-literarischen Gesellschaft 10 (1912): 296–360; 11 (1916): 88– 114. Quotation from 10 (1912): 309. 20. E. Reiner, ‘‘The Rise of an Urban Community: Some Insights on the Transition from the Medieval Ashkenazi to the 16th Century Jewish Community in Poland,’’ Kwartalnik Historii Zydow 3–207 (September 2003): 363–72, esp.

2 (2003): 207–27. Though the thrust of Stampfer’s article is to scale down estimates of the actual number of deaths, his research also shows that earlier estimates of the Jewish population in the Ukraine were exaggerated. Thus, even if the absolute number of victims needs to be reduced further, as Stampfer suggests, the proportion of those lost still remains at about 30 percent of the total. These are, of course, huge losses in relative terms. 3. I. Halperin, Jews and Judaism in Eastern Europe (Hebrew) (Jerusalem, 1968), 212–62; D.

For those who had genuine knowledge of the events, these poems must have acted as a reminder of what had actually happened, but for those who did not (Jews outside Poland and later generations), the descriptions imparted little detailed understanding. Of course, giving historical knowledge in the modern sense was not the poems’ goal. They aimed to call the Jewish people to penitence by reminding them of their sufferings, and in this regard, what had happened in 1648 was not significantly different from what had come before.

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