Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten


Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation ❰Read❯ ➵ Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation Author Paul Kriwaczek – Thomashillier.co.uk Paul Kriwaczek begins this illuminating and immensely pleasurable chronicle of Yiddish civilization during the Roman empire, when Jewish culture first spread to Europe We see the burgeoning exile popu Paul Kriwaczek begins this illuminating The Rise eBook ☆ and immensely pleasurable chronicle of Yiddish civilization during Yiddish Civilisation: PDF/EPUB or the Roman empire, when Jewish culture first spread to Europe We see the burgeoning Civilisation: The Rise ePUB ☆ exile population disperse, as its notable diplomats, artists and thinkers make their mark in far flung cities and found a self governing Yiddish world By its late medieval heyday, this economically successful, intellectually adventurous, and self aware society stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea Kriwaczek traces, too, the slow decline of Yiddish culture in Europe and Russia, and highlights fresh offshoots in the New WorldCombining family anecdote, travelogue, original research, and a keen understanding of Yiddish art and literature, Kriwaczek gives us an exceptional portrait of a culture which, though nearly extinguished, has an influential radiance still.

    Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten far flung cities and found a self governing Yiddish world By its late medieval heyday, this economically successful, intellectually adventurous, and self aware society stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea Kriwaczek traces, too, the slow decline of Yiddish culture in Europe and Russia, and highlights fresh offshoots in the New WorldCombining family anecdote, travelogue, original research, and a keen understanding of Yiddish art and literature, Kriwaczek gives us an exceptional portrait of a culture which, though nearly extinguished, has an influential radiance still."/>
  • Paperback
  • 400 pages
  • Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation
  • Paul Kriwaczek
  • English
  • 03 March 2019
  • 1400033772

About the Author: Paul Kriwaczek

Paul Kriwaczek was a British The Rise eBook ☆ historian and television producer In he joined Yiddish Civilisation: PDF/EPUB or the BBC full time and wrote, produced and directed for twenty five years A Civilisation: The Rise ePUB ☆ former head of Central Asian Affairs at the BBC World Service, he was fluent in eight languages, including Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Hindi and Nepalese.



10 thoughts on “Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation

  1. Elliott Bignell Elliott Bignell says:

    Sheynere ligt man in drerd They bury better looking Isn t that a very London thing to say As a German and English speaker, I can read it, with a little thought As a Londoner well, estuary at least I can imagine hearing someone say it on the streets of my home city Or of New York Or of Berlin If you come from any of these places, you can only with difficulty remain unaware that Jews, and Yiddish speaking Jews in particular, are one of the foundational communities that lend the city is Sheynere ligt man in drerd They bury better looking Isn t that a very London thing to say As a German and English speaker, I can read it, with a little thought As a Londoner well, estuary at least I can imagine hearing someone say it on the streets of my home city Or of New York Or of Berlin If you come from any of these places, you can only with difficulty remain unaware that Jews, and Yiddish speaking Jews in particular, are one of the foundational communities that lend the city is characteristic, black humour So why is it that only New York still has much of a Yiddish speaking community Berlin requires no special explanation, but why not tolerant London Well, Kriwaczek offers an explanation Tolerant Britain, after the expulsion of 1290, had again developed a strong and well integrated English speaking community of native Jews The flow of Yiddish speakers from the mid 19th Century onwards was held to threaten their integration and draw potentially hostile attention British Jews made Eastern European Jews unwelcome So they either integrated and assimilated and lost their unique language, or they joined the flow heading West to the US, devoid of a surviving native culture to be forced to assimilate with.So Kriwaczek s rambling and charming tale is not entirely free of prejudice and discrimination, but it is not always where you expect it Primarily, this is a tale of a European foundational nation, its roots in the soil for centuries before the often very late Christianisation of the Slavic world started to grub them up To those who would say that Europe must be a Christian club and the religion a part of its constitution I would say read Kriwaczek The Jews were there first, not merely in the Roman world but suffusing the East to Lithuania, first fully Christian in the early modern age In fact, this book tells of a surprising tolerance even from Christianity in the East, as Jews, Muslims and Pagans all resisted assimilation for many centuries Some of the Eastern cities were almost majority Jewish communities, and until the tragedy of the Shoah derived much of their economic and cultural vibrancy from the contribution of the Jews For once, not merely a tale of tears.The Jews in the East underwent great disruptions, not least the Reformation and the wars which followed it, but prior to the Shoah there seems to have been no climacteric event such as the expulsions from ha Sefarad or England An exception appears to be Russia, where brutal measures were enacted in early modern times to try to erase non Russian identities Their nation in the East seems to have functioned almost as a discontiguous nation state, governing itself independent of the kingdoms, fiefdoms and dependencies whose physical territory it overlaid In any case, the expulsions rarely worked, as Christians rapidly discovered that without non Christians to practice usury the economy collapsed, and in any case the Jews were never as rapacious as the religiously dubious Christian money lenders that took their place The Jews had been forced into a niche in the West, but it was a niche without which society could not prosper The Eastern Yiddish speakers, on the other hand, were not forced into a small niche in the first place and played a role in the prosperity of the whole of society, from the trades and agriculture up to court advisory and diplomatic positions, mirroring thetypical situation in the Muslim world To this day, Orthodox Jews of various kinds signal their varied and subtle allegiances to their Jewish neighbours with clothing styles taken from the 16th and 17th Century Polish court.Ultimately, Kriwaczek s most jaw dropping contribution to my attempts at learning is a sense of the debt that we non Jews in the modern age owe to individuals stemming from this extraordinarily vibrant nation Mendelssohn, Einstein, Marx, Freud what would 20th Century history and culture have been without any one of these men, let alone all Kriwaczek writes with love and learning of a civilisation without which nothing would have been the same, and he does so without becoming maudlin at its murder Kriwaczek is no mere Oyster, dropping ostentatious yiddishisms to advertise his ethnicity, but a sympathetic and readable friend of the lost nation There is space to mourn, but there must also be space to celebrate This is what Kriwaczek gives us

  2. M A M A says:

    I picked up this book while traveling in Cracow and visiting their Galicia Jewish Museum As expected there dozens and dozens of books about WW2, but I wanted something that spoke to the thousand years before that tragedy There is much we don t know about the interplay of cultures in Eastern Europe, about the periods when people got along just fine, and about periods when demonization was the norm This book filled that void beautifully, coasting across the centuries both with the broad brush o I picked up this book while traveling in Cracow and visiting their Galicia Jewish Museum As expected there dozens and dozens of books about WW2, but I wanted something that spoke to the thousand years before that tragedy There is much we don t know about the interplay of cultures in Eastern Europe, about the periods when people got along just fine, and about periods when demonization was the norm This book filled that void beautifully, coasting across the centuries both with the broad brush outlining the major emigrations and with sufficient detail to gleam the details of daily life I highly recommend this read for anyone who is interested in the history of Eastern Europe

  3. Matthew Griffiths Matthew Griffiths says:

    An engaging discussion of the development of a fundamental and unique civilisation in Europe which as the title of this book aptly hints at is quite forgotten by most The author does an excellent job of tracking the movements across the continent of the Jewish peoples, starting from the fall of Rome and how these communities eventually met back up in Central Europe This book also charts in some detail the role that the Jewish people played in medieval Europe and particularly in Eastern Europe An engaging discussion of the development of a fundamental and unique civilisation in Europe which as the title of this book aptly hints at is quite forgotten by most The author does an excellent job of tracking the movements across the continent of the Jewish peoples, starting from the fall of Rome and how these communities eventually met back up in Central Europe This book also charts in some detail the role that the Jewish people played in medieval Europe and particularly in Eastern Europe For anyone interested in Jewish history I would happily recommend this work as being an interesting topic that is far less discussed than otherrecent aspects of their history yet is undoubtedly equally as important

  4. Andy Oram Andy Oram says:

    Every page of this book taught me something interesting and usuallysurprising not just about Jewish history, but about Europe andsurrounding parts of the world Kriwaczek has organized an enormousamount of information into a beautifully written and well flowingnarrative, and amply proves his thesis that the work and actions of the Jews were essential to thedevelopment of Europe from the age of the Roman Empire onward I m alittle less convinced that their intellectual contributions asimpressiv Every page of this book taught me something interesting and usuallysurprising not just about Jewish history, but about Europe andsurrounding parts of the world Kriwaczek has organized an enormousamount of information into a beautifully written and well flowingnarrative, and amply proves his thesis that the work and actions of the Jews were essential to thedevelopment of Europe from the age of the Roman Empire onward I m alittle less convinced that their intellectual contributions asimpressive as they are add up to a critical influence But this bookhas given me much to add to my understanding of the ancient and modernworld

  5. William William says:

    I was really impressed with the way Kriwaczek was able to weave together a story of several millennia of Jewish history, and how he pays off on themes introduced at the beginning of the book The book is a light read, meant for a popular audience, but he makes sure to include enough detail to satisfy the audience I believe.The author takes some small liberties with history, speculating about things that we have no evidence for or against e.g whether Judaism contributed to Wycliffe s heterodoxy I was really impressed with the way Kriwaczek was able to weave together a story of several millennia of Jewish history, and how he pays off on themes introduced at the beginning of the book The book is a light read, meant for a popular audience, but he makes sure to include enough detail to satisfy the audience I believe.The author takes some small liberties with history, speculating about things that we have no evidence for or against e.g whether Judaism contributed to Wycliffe s heterodoxy , but all within relatively acceptable bounds You have to remember that he s trying to tell a story, and a story that goes against centuries of established historiography, so he needs to make it captivating The narrative that he ends up weaving is quite effective, even if it might be selective as well.Given this purpose, we get a few characters, German versus Slavic Jews, Conservatives versus Enlightenment versus Chassidic Jews where the first is decisively German and the last decisively Slavic We also get various narrative signposts the reformation is told through three defenestrations in Prague The first half of the book is the story of two currents of Judaism, one that finds its way onto the steppe and the other to Spain, only to find their way to each other again in Eastern Europe It almost reads like a story of long lost lovers While it is not entirely false so told, it is as the author takes pains to explain, only one version of events and one told as much by omission of historical detail as inclusion.The author also has a political game they re playing, and one that ultimately might water down their intended historiographical lens We are treated to three chapters near the end that tell of the fall from grace of the Yiddish civilization He aims to throw in a different light contemporary revivals of Yiddish culture that focus on a very narrow band of Yiddish history in the 19th century which leads to an account of that period as a kind of pale reflection of an earlier, greater, society Perhaps even a contrary historiography cannot help but describe that time period somberly, but that might be worth discussing explicitly.Overall though, it is a good book We get an account of millennia that paints a new and refreshing picture of a civilization, the Yiddish civilization, among the other peoples of Europe

  6. Adam Glantz Adam Glantz says:

    The thesis here is that Yiddish speaking Jews formed a bona fide civilization, one not only of language and religion but also of political and legal authority, since Central and Eastern European rulers granted autonomy and self government to Jewish communities, ultimately culminating in the Council of the Four Lands With a critical mass of Jews living in historic Poland Lithuania, the Yiddish civilization waxed and then waned with the fate of that polity Though it was wealthy for a time and ev The thesis here is that Yiddish speaking Jews formed a bona fide civilization, one not only of language and religion but also of political and legal authority, since Central and Eastern European rulers granted autonomy and self government to Jewish communities, ultimately culminating in the Council of the Four Lands With a critical mass of Jews living in historic Poland Lithuania, the Yiddish civilization waxed and then waned with the fate of that polity Though it was wealthy for a time and even appeared poised to go through its own renaissance, it essentially collapsed when Poland Lithuania disappeared from the map in the late eighteenth century Thereafter, a fragmented and partly impoverished Yiddish culture survived for a time in Europe and America, achieving a late literary flowering before the Holocaust and assimilation took their toll, but this is distinct from the specific Yiddish civilization that preceded it.The dynamism of Yiddish civilization came from the incomplete fusion of its rationalist Germanic wing in the west and theheart driven Slavic portion in the east Kriwaczek seems to prefer the west, where Jews took part in the European Enlightenment, even if the historical balance sheet from Mendelssohn s Haskalah is mixed The east, by contrast, was the realm of irrational spiritualism, false messiahs, and strict conservatism.Kriwaczek is not a historian, but he has a gift for narrative and should be given some credit for telling an interesting story replete with fascinating details I doubt he considered his book the last word on the subject

  7. Jeffrey Jeffrey says:

    I cannot say what a truly scholarly work on Yiddish civilization looks like, but I very much enjoyed this overview Kriwaczek writes well and tells the story of this religious nation, now submerged under a rush of smaltzy nostalgia aka Fiddler on the Roof and tragedy.There are a lot of fun facts here The Yiddish language seems to have come from Regensburg in Bavaria, and I m still not certain how to square this thought with my general impressions of Munich when I was there Aside from German I cannot say what a truly scholarly work on Yiddish civilization looks like, but I very much enjoyed this overview Kriwaczek writes well and tells the story of this religious nation, now submerged under a rush of smaltzy nostalgia aka Fiddler on the Roof and tragedy.There are a lot of fun facts here The Yiddish language seems to have come from Regensburg in Bavaria, and I m still not certain how to square this thought with my general impressions of Munich when I was there Aside from German and Hebrew, Yiddish not only contains a variety of Slavic influences, but some Turkish ones, too What was also quite fascinating was discovering that contrary to the oppressed, poverty ridden image I had of the society, Yiddish society was quite well off in Poland until the 17th century, when the affluence and tolerance they had enjoyed unraveled with the decline of the Polish state.This is a good overview for anyone looking into the whys and wherefores of Jewish history, how things have come to pass I felt it had the right mix of scholarship and easy reading to bring life to this fascinating story

  8. David David says:

    A great start and a poignant finish but the central thesis makes too many generalized assumptions but it is loaded with fasinating facts A littleabout the late flowering in the 19th century would have helped but nevertheless I thought it all well worth the effort.

  9. Joanna Joanna says:

    For too long, students in the US and Western Northern Europe have been exposed only or primarily to the history of these two areas of the West Eastern Europe and its many populations have received short shrift Such attitudes combined with the effects of the Holocaust and the willful forgetfulness of waves of Jewish immigration to the United States, have served to virtually erase Yiddish Jewish East European civilization This book does a wonderful service in bringing this history to life and p For too long, students in the US and Western Northern Europe have been exposed only or primarily to the history of these two areas of the West Eastern Europe and its many populations have received short shrift Such attitudes combined with the effects of the Holocaust and the willful forgetfulness of waves of Jewish immigration to the United States, have served to virtually erase Yiddish Jewish East European civilization This book does a wonderful service in bringing this history to life and providing a background on where, when and how Jews migrated and on conversions to Judaism , what they achieved in the lands they came to call home and how they achieved it, as well as their varied responses to their singular and difficult status outside Christian society Other reviewers have commented on the fact that the book flows easily and that the author is not a historian as if this discredited it somewhat but to me the accessibility of the book is one of its greatest assets This is a story that needs to be known by a large audience And in the meantime, there is a great deal of research on Jewish history which those with strong interest in the subject can read Finally, as someone with roots in Eastern Europe, I also think that Kriwaczek s book should be required reading there in order to enhance an understanding and acceptance of the multiculturalism that has always characterized the region

  10. Ferda Nihat Koksoy Ferda Nihat Koksoy says:

    Roma mp nun g c , m kemmel askeri yap lanma, Yunan felsefesi ve demokrasisi ve Yahudi ticareti temelindedir Hazar T rkleri Yahudi olmakla v n rlerdi lk Musevi olan Kaan Bulan d 8 yy 300 y l sonra Rus istilas ile bu imp sona ermi tir Y ksek faizli tefecilikten dolay Yahudiler, 100 er arayla,1290 da Britanya dan, 1395 de Fransa dan ve 1492 de spanya dan kovulmu lard r Tarihten bug ne Yahudi medeniyetinin ok etkili oldu u kentler Ur, Babil, skenderiye, Roma, Kordoba, Granada, Roma mp nun g c , m kemmel askeri yap lanma, Yunan felsefesi ve demokrasisi ve Yahudi ticareti temelindedir Hazar T rkleri Yahudi olmakla v n rlerdi lk Musevi olan Kaan Bulan d 8 yy 300 y l sonra Rus istilas ile bu imp sona ermi tir Y ksek faizli tefecilikten dolay Yahudiler, 100 er arayla,1290 da Britanya dan, 1395 de Fransa dan ve 1492 de spanya dan kovulmu lard r Tarihten bug ne Yahudi medeniyetinin ok etkili oldu u kentler Ur, Babil, skenderiye, Roma, Kordoba, Granada, Sevilla, Toledo, Rouen, Regensburg Ratisbon , Krakow, Floransa, Amsterdam, Selanik, Londra, New York

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