Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

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DavidFrankenberg
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Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 14 Mar 2020 00:10

Hi,

Some pretend that Jews in Poland were more mistreated during the interwar than in nazi Germany (1933-1939).

In what extent is that true ?

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Stephan » 29 Mar 2020 13:26

I wont give sources, but answer from a general knowledge.

Its in some part true, everything wasnt just fine, and there ARE many examples jews were oppressed, So one example. Jews, whom often were intellectually good, were limited to go to higher schools. Also, when at university, there they could get hindrances and extra problems. etc.
But there isnt no comparison with Hitlers Germany after, say, 1934. No comparison at all. Jews as whole, lived normal, OK lives in Poland. Even if many were poor, and the jews living in poor jewish willages the shtetls, had very limited possibilities....
But there were many poor Poles too, so their life wasnt really much worse.


One interesting example, as one old Jew living then told me several times. There were nationalistic polish organisations, whose main profile was to suppress Jews. so, they often send their fighting groups to beat up jews, and always - when jews were doing demonstrations - I suppose my jewish friend talked for example about the jewish socialist party Bund, whom would of course often do demonstrations, for example at 1 May, and most participants there would be Jews. Such happenings were typically attacked by these bands mentioned, and the state police pretended they didnt saw anything.

But the jews had their remedy. They organized self defence groups, and with each such a one, they had with them jewish carry-workers. (workers whom helped people to move heavy furnitures etc). Strong men, having with them their carrying strapes. And so, when necessary, they "struck horribly" with these strapes... So, these antisemitic bands, as soon they saw such a jewish self defence group had with them such a jewish carrier - they immediately fled...

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 30 Mar 2020 21:00

Stephan wrote:
29 Mar 2020 13:26
I wont give sources, but answer from a general knowledge.

Its in some part true, everything wasnt just fine, and there ARE many examples jews were oppressed, So one example. Jews, whom often were intellectually good, were limited to go to higher schools. Also, when at university, there they could get hindrances and extra problems. etc.
The only antisemitic rule i know was the quota policy in university.
But there isnt no comparison with Hitlers Germany after, say, 1934. No comparison at all. Jews as whole, lived normal, OK lives in Poland. Even if many were poor, and the jews living in poor jewish willages the shtetls, had very limited possibilities....
But there were many poor Poles too, so their life wasnt really much worse.
I agree with that.
But some people claims also that "shtetl" didnot exist except in nazi propaganda.
One interesting example, as one old Jew living then told me several times. There were nationalistic polish organisations, whose main profile was to suppress Jews. so, they often send their fighting groups to beat up jews, and always - when jews were doing demonstrations - I suppose my jewish friend talked for example about the jewish socialist party Bund, whom would of course often do demonstrations, for example at 1 May, and most participants there would be Jews. Such happenings were typically attacked by these bands mentioned, and the state police pretended they didnt saw anything.

But the jews had their remedy. They organized self defence groups, and with each such a one, they had with them jewish carry-workers. (workers whom helped people to move heavy furnitures etc). Strong men, having with them their carrying strapes. And so, when necessary, they "struck horribly" with these strapes... So, these antisemitic bands, as soon they saw such a jewish self defence group had with them such a jewish carrier - they immediately fled...
Sure, but it was not a state policy.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Stephan » 01 Apr 2020 12:34

DavidFrankenberg wrote:
30 Mar 2020 21:00


The only antisemitic rule i know was the quota policy in university.

There was also the inofficial but strong rule, forcing the jewish students to stand up during the lectures. And the lecturers didnt protested much.
As I understand, they werent really forced to stand. But they were inofficially?? forced to sit on places just for them "jewish places". And they refused to be put just there. So, in protest, they stood. Being de facto although not de jure, forced to stand up...



But some people claims also that "shtetl" didnot exist except in nazi propaganda.

I dont know who these people are. But we arent these people.
Shtetl is wellknown part in the jewish history and thus jiddis culture. Klezmer music comes from there too, The book and later on the musical, Fiddler on the roof, etc etc...

Interesting to observe, the jews in shtetl had often/ usually a working co-existence even a cooperation with the catholic peasants nearby, and catholic village dwellers (ie "ethnic poles").










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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 01 Apr 2020 13:32

Stephan wrote:
01 Apr 2020 12:34
There was also the inofficial but strong rule, forcing the jewish students to stand up during the lectures. And the lecturers didnt protested much.
As I understand, they werent really forced to stand. But they were inofficially?? forced to sit on places just for them "jewish places". And they refused to be put just there. So, in protest, they stood. Being de facto although not de jure, forced to stand up...
Stupid but funny :lol:

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Futurist » 22 Apr 2020 02:25

DavidFrankenberg wrote:
30 Mar 2020 21:00
Stephan wrote:
29 Mar 2020 13:26
I wont give sources, but answer from a general knowledge.

Its in some part true, everything wasnt just fine, and there ARE many examples jews were oppressed, So one example. Jews, whom often were intellectually good, were limited to go to higher schools. Also, when at university, there they could get hindrances and extra problems. etc.
The only antisemitic rule i know was the quota policy in university.
Interestingly enough, Jewish quotas could be viewed as being a form of affirmative action for non-Jewish Poles. Basically, the logic might have been that non-Jewish Poles couldn't compete with Polish Jews on an equal footing academically and thus needed some preferential treatment in order to get more spots for them at colleges and universities. It might be similar to anti-Asian affirmative action here in the US today.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 23 Apr 2020 12:59

Futurist wrote:
22 Apr 2020 02:25
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
30 Mar 2020 21:00
Stephan wrote:
29 Mar 2020 13:26
I wont give sources, but answer from a general knowledge.

Its in some part true, everything wasnt just fine, and there ARE many examples jews were oppressed, So one example. Jews, whom often were intellectually good, were limited to go to higher schools. Also, when at university, there they could get hindrances and extra problems. etc.
The only antisemitic rule i know was the quota policy in university.
Interestingly enough, Jewish quotas could be viewed as being a form of affirmative action for non-Jewish Poles. Basically, the logic might have been that non-Jewish Poles couldn't compete with Polish Jews on an equal footing academically and thus needed some preferential treatment in order to get more spots for them at colleges and universities. It might be similar to anti-Asian affirmative action here in the US today.
Difference is that non-jewish Poles was non a minority, Jews were a minority.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Steve » 23 Apr 2020 19:54

In pre war Poland Jews were represented in certain professions in much higher numbers than their share of the population which was about 10%. There were many countries in east central Europe where you would have found the same. The question is why. The answers would seem to be that Jews placed a greater value on education than many of the peoples they lived amongst. The Jewish education system turned out so many more people from 10% of the population qualified to go to university that they numbered over one third of university students (see link below) by the early 1920s. This no doubt was galling for many newly independent Poles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghetto_benches

Before 1914 there were only two Polish universities both in formerly Austrian Galicia that were allowed to function. In 1919 there were about 5,000 primary schools in Poland to which had been added more than 23,000 by 1939. About 18% of the Polish population was illiterate in1938 and it has been estimated that about a third of the population was illiterate in 1919. I am guessing that the Jewish school system was not set up after WW1 but had been functioning for some time so most Jewish children in 1919 were perhaps better educated than most Polish children. Hence the imbalance between the two groups in university admissions.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 24 Apr 2020 01:07

Steve wrote:
23 Apr 2020 19:54
In pre war Poland Jews were represented in certain professions in much higher numbers than their share of the population which was about 10%. There were many countries in east central Europe where you would have found the same. The question is why. The answers would seem to be that Jews placed a greater value on education than many of the peoples they lived amongst. The Jewish education system turned out so many more people from 10% of the population qualified to go to university that they numbered over one third of university students (see link below) by the early 1920s. This no doubt was galling for many newly independent Poles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghetto_benches

Before 1914 there were only two Polish universities both in formerly Austrian Galicia that were allowed to function. In 1919 there were about 5,000 primary schools in Poland to which had been added more than 23,000 by 1939. About 18% of the Polish population was illiterate in1938 and it has been estimated that about a third of the population was illiterate in 1919. I am guessing that the Jewish school system was not set up after WW1 but had been functioning for some time so most Jewish children in 1919 were perhaps better educated than most Polish children. Hence the imbalance between the two groups in university admissions.
Jews were still a minority.
Maybe you mean that since they already performed a lot at school they didnt need "positive discrimination" ? Thats' right.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Futurist » 24 Apr 2020 04:45

DavidFrankenberg wrote:
23 Apr 2020 12:59
Futurist wrote:
22 Apr 2020 02:25
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
30 Mar 2020 21:00
Stephan wrote:
29 Mar 2020 13:26
I wont give sources, but answer from a general knowledge.

Its in some part true, everything wasnt just fine, and there ARE many examples jews were oppressed, So one example. Jews, whom often were intellectually good, were limited to go to higher schools. Also, when at university, there they could get hindrances and extra problems. etc.
The only antisemitic rule i know was the quota policy in university.
Interestingly enough, Jewish quotas could be viewed as being a form of affirmative action for non-Jewish Poles. Basically, the logic might have been that non-Jewish Poles couldn't compete with Polish Jews on an equal footing academically and thus needed some preferential treatment in order to get more spots for them at colleges and universities. It might be similar to anti-Asian affirmative action here in the US today.
Difference is that non-jewish Poles was non a minority, Jews were a minority.
Asians are certainly a minority in the US and yet they're still being discriminated against.

Futurist
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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Futurist » 24 Apr 2020 04:50

Steve wrote:
23 Apr 2020 19:54
In pre war Poland Jews were represented in certain professions in much higher numbers than their share of the population which was about 10%. There were many countries in east central Europe where you would have found the same. The question is why. The answers would seem to be that Jews placed a greater value on education than many of the peoples they lived amongst. The Jewish education system turned out so many more people from 10% of the population qualified to go to university that they numbered over one third of university students (see link below) by the early 1920s. This no doubt was galling for many newly independent Poles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghetto_benches

Before 1914 there were only two Polish universities both in formerly Austrian Galicia that were allowed to function. In 1919 there were about 5,000 primary schools in Poland to which had been added more than 23,000 by 1939. About 18% of the Polish population was illiterate in1938 and it has been estimated that about a third of the population was illiterate in 1919. I am guessing that the Jewish school system was not set up after WW1 but had been functioning for some time so most Jewish children in 1919 were perhaps better educated than most Polish children. Hence the imbalance between the two groups in university admissions.
For what it's worth, it's possible that even with complete and total literacy among all ethnic and religious groups, Jews would have still had an advantage over gentiles in Eastern Europe in regards to things such as university enrollment and various cognitive professions if Jews would have still outperformed gentiles on IQ tests and/or on IQ-like tests.

Here is a 2005 paper speculating that Ashkenazi Jews experienced selection for a higher average IQ during the Middle Ages as a result of their smarter members allegedly consistently reproducing more than their less smart members did:

https://web.mit.edu/fustflum/documents/ ... socsci.pdf

It's fairly easy to see how this could work. A population has a bunch of people who have different abilities. If the more talented members of this population consistently reproduce more than the less talented members of this population, then this population should, on average, gradually become more and more talented (in this case, more and more intelligent) over time. Frankly, regardless of whether or not one actually thinks that this hypothesis is true, I certainly don't think that we should reject scientific hypotheses simply because they are or they sound offensive. After all, there's no guarantee that all of the truths that we will ultimately end up discovering are actually going to be non-offensive--just like the theory of evolution could have initially been very offensive to some or even many creationists.
Last edited by Futurist on 24 Apr 2020 04:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Futurist » 24 Apr 2020 04:50

Before one condemns this 2005 paper, I would highly advise one to at least take a look at this paper and its arguments beforehand.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 24 Apr 2020 15:47

Futurist wrote:
24 Apr 2020 04:45
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
23 Apr 2020 12:59
Futurist wrote:
22 Apr 2020 02:25
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
30 Mar 2020 21:00
Stephan wrote:
29 Mar 2020 13:26
I wont give sources, but answer from a general knowledge.

Its in some part true, everything wasnt just fine, and there ARE many examples jews were oppressed, So one example. Jews, whom often were intellectually good, were limited to go to higher schools. Also, when at university, there they could get hindrances and extra problems. etc.
The only antisemitic rule i know was the quota policy in university.
Interestingly enough, Jewish quotas could be viewed as being a form of affirmative action for non-Jewish Poles. Basically, the logic might have been that non-Jewish Poles couldn't compete with Polish Jews on an equal footing academically and thus needed some preferential treatment in order to get more spots for them at colleges and universities. It might be similar to anti-Asian affirmative action here in the US today.
Difference is that non-jewish Poles was non a minority, Jews were a minority.
Asians are certainly a minority in the US and yet they're still being discriminated against.
Asians are a minority, they perform very well at school. I dont understand what you mean indeed. I dont think Asians are discriminated against since they are more present in university than in whole society.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by gebhk » 24 Apr 2020 17:25

DavidFrankenberg - sorry, but i think you are missing the point about positive discrimination. It's not about who the minority is in the general population. It is about adjusting real or perceived imbalances in an organisation by recruiting more people with the desired qualities, whatever those might be.

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Re: Polish jews during the interwar (19-39)

Post by Futurist » 24 Apr 2020 18:32

DavidFrankenberg wrote:
24 Apr 2020 15:47
Futurist wrote:
24 Apr 2020 04:45
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
23 Apr 2020 12:59
Futurist wrote:
22 Apr 2020 02:25
DavidFrankenberg wrote:
30 Mar 2020 21:00


The only antisemitic rule i know was the quota policy in university.
Interestingly enough, Jewish quotas could be viewed as being a form of affirmative action for non-Jewish Poles. Basically, the logic might have been that non-Jewish Poles couldn't compete with Polish Jews on an equal footing academically and thus needed some preferential treatment in order to get more spots for them at colleges and universities. It might be similar to anti-Asian affirmative action here in the US today.
Difference is that non-jewish Poles was non a minority, Jews were a minority.
Asians are certainly a minority in the US and yet they're still being discriminated against.
Asians are a minority, they perform very well at school. I dont understand what you mean indeed. I dont think Asians are discriminated against since they are more present in university than in whole society.
They'd have even more representation in places such as the Ivy Leagues if they weren't being discriminated against. For instance, take a look at this article:

https://studentsforfairadmissions.org/u ... treatment/

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