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MIDDLE AGES

The Jews of Lithuania and Poland, cont.


Characteristic Polish-Jewish...



Viennese Jews leave...



Bogdan Chmielnicki...



A Hasid and his wife...

Jews in Poland enjoy greater freedom in the choice of their professions, but their legal status remains the same as in the West. In Lithuania, however, Jews practically enjoy equality with the Christian population and begin to form - together with Christian townspeople - a "third estate," a class of craftsmen and merchants.

Jews in Poland and Lithuania work as craftsmen or moneylenders in villages and small towns, lease businesses for collecting taxes, for the sale of salt and alcohol or administer estates belonging to the state or the nobility.

In the 16th through 18th centuries the Jewish population increases steadily. In 1764, on the eve of the first Polish partition and the annexation of territories by Russia, there are 0.75 million Jews in Poland-Lithuania, forming 20 to 30 percent of the population in the larger cities and 70 to 90 percent in smaller towns.


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