History | D300 2827 The Jews of East Europe 2:30-3:45 TR BH217 Veidlinger
D300 | 2827 | Veidlinger


Shtetl: History, Politics and Culture.
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Graduate students register for Hist T500

For centuries, the largest and most influential center of Jewish
civilization was housed in the shtetls of Eastern Europe. Not only did the
Jewish community of Eastern Europe play a formative role in the history of
the region as a whole, but its influence on Jewish culture and identity
can still be felt today. Through an examination of the history, culture
and politics of the Jews in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia, we will
see how the "Jews' paradise" of the sixteenth century gradually became the
"prison of nations" in the nineteenth century. Some of the topics to be
covered include Jewish communal organization, messianic movements, the
development and spread of Hasidism, daily life in the shtetl, Yiddish
secular culture, and Jewish responses to radical politics.