Essay on Jewish History

Essay on Jewish History

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Jewish History


Ever since the Jews were driven from their homeland (now known as
Israel) they have faced discrimination and prejudice, mainly due to
their beliefs and culture. They spread throughout the world and in
some countries they were welcomed and enjoyed periods of peace with
their neighbors, however in Europe the population was mainly Christian
and the Jews found themselves being branded as outsiders. The reason
Jewish and Christian populations couldn’t get along was due to
different religious beliefs and for many years the Church taught of
how it believed the Jews had killed Jesus, however in modern times
this view has been discredited by many historians.

In Russia there was a long history of anti-semitism in Eastern Europe
which where highlighted by the Chmielnicki massacres throughout an
eight year period, 1648-1656. More than 100,000 Jews were murdered
during the massacres and many more were tortured and wounded.

By the late Nineteenth century around four million Jews were living in
Russia. Many of them were in ‘The Pale of Settlement’, a specially
designated area to which the Jews had been restricted.

In the Jewish communities the Jews suffered from persecution and
violence, such as looting of belongings and smashing the windows of
Jewish owned shops. These ‘pogroms’, from a Russian word meaning a
violent mass attack on a section of the community, were often condoned
and encouraged by the Russian government who were more than happy to
see someone else get the blame for their economic failures. Waves of
pogroms broke out in 1881 and 1882, and once again between 1902 and
1905. This period in history was a testin...


... middle of paper ...


...mans and Austrians were alarmed by the
sudden rise in political power of the working class. They all searched
for a scapegoat and the Jewish population became the obvious choice as
it has so many times before in history, once again the Jews were being
resented, this time it was mainly due to religious tolerance being
replaced by ideas of racial superiority. The Jews were finding
themselves accused of dominating and polluting the culture and
business of Germany. They had to face being called an alien race and
being told why they should be removed from society on an increasing
basis. Famous figures in the public eye started to put forward ideas
that germans were racially superior to Jews and how they wanted them
to leave Germany for the good of the Germany race. One example of this
was the famous composer Richard Wagner.

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