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A People ApartA Political History of the Jews in Europe 1789–1939$
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David Vital

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246816

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199246816.001.0001

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(p.346) 5 Auto-Emancipation?
A People Apart

David Vital

Oxford University Press

Jewry in Europe was now divided. It was divided de facto and more than ever before in conscience. It was one thing to observe events in Russia from without and at the immense distance in space and mind separating the barbarities inflicted on the Pale of Settlement from the comparative order and civilization of central and western Europe. It was another to suffer, or even merely to observe, them at firsthand from within the empire itself. In August 1881 and again in April 1882, Baron Horace Guenzburg gathered two dozen carefully selected notables and rabbis in the privacy of his St Petersburg home to discuss how it might be best to proceed in the wake of the recent events. There was certainly no question at all, but that Guenzburg and his near equivalents were in every sense pillars of the established order and recognized and accepted as such by the autocracy at all levels.

Keywords:   Jewry, Russia, Pale of Settlement, empire, Horace Guenzburg, St Petersburg, autocracy

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