During the year 1907, German students rallied in Jena, Leipzig, Berlin, and Darmstadt to urge the exclusion of Russian or Russian Jewish students. Such stereotyping made it difficult for anyone to discuss the very real issues raised by Jewish migrants in a dispassionate fashion. In addition, Jews represented only a small contingent within the massive population of East Europeans in the Reich. In March 1902, Bavarian officials adopted the same policy, consciously modeling themselves after the Prussians and adding a new regulation that permitted foreigners to begin registration at the earliest two weeks after native students had completed selecting their courses. The minister acted in response to reports submitted by his underlings that made it amply clear that significant numbers of Russians were acquiring Prussian citizenship with relative ease.
Were Eastern Jews, in fact, victims of anti-Semitic discrimination? The Evolution of State Policies Prussia's drastic solution to the problem of Jewish mass migration, the expulsions of the 1880s, proved a palliative of only brief duration. This was the genesis of the so-called Ostjudenfrage that agitated Germans during and after World War I. When, for example, the Reichstag took up such a bill in 1909, only half the anti-Semitic deputies even bothered to attend the vote. Between May 28, 1881 the date of Puttkamer's original orders to his Oberprdsidenten , and October 1883, over 600 Russian refugees were expelled from the provice of East Prussia, especially from the city of Konigsberg. Defenders of Treitschke, then, recognized the true meaning of his emphasis on the Polishness of German Jews.
Replete with much new historical data, this compelling work is social history at its best; it is the best book on the subject. During the expulsion of Eastern Jews from Berlin in 1884 and the broader expulsions from Prussia in the ensuing two years, Hammerstein and his ultra-conservative newspaper, the Kreutzzeitung, defended the banishment of alien Jews. We shall now see that in subsequent decades German officials continued to wield their powers to curb Eastern Jews, and as time went on they formulated ever more differentiated policies to deal with Eastern Jews, as distinct from Christian Poles. The promise of toleration and opportunity, therefore, also attracted adventuresome Jews to seek their fortunes in new environments. Whereas in the summer semester of 1888 fewer than 60 Russian Jews matriculated at German universities, by the first years of the twentieth century this figure had risen to 600 students. In the middle and western parts of the state, the residence of foreign Jews should be rejected in general only in cases when the individual is to be expelled as troublesome.
Through their intemperate public remarks, government leaders fostered an air of hysteria, rather than calm. During the 1870s perhaps 40,000 to 50,000 Jews migrated westward. Prussia, to take the most important state first, imposed a numerus clausus. Others claim that political antiSemitism failed during the Kaiserreich and only achieved success with the crises brought on by World War I; the Nazi triumph therefore did not represent the culmination of earlier efforts, but a revolutionary break from the failed efforts of earlier political anti-Semites. Thus, Germany was forced to find other means to control the influx of Eastern Jews. He was a finalist in 2008 in the category of Education and for his edited volume Family Matters: Jewish Education in an Age of Choice.
Each state wielded wide discretionary powers to bestow citizenship as it saw fit. Brandeis University Press , an edited volume published in June 2009, contains portraits of 10 Jewish supplementary schools that work. The new law differed from its predecessor mainly in the veto power it granted to every German state over naturalizations issued in other states of the federation. At worst, German Jews harbored a profound antipathy toward their coreligionists that smacked of Jewish self-hatred, if not anti-Semitism. Rumanian Jews, too, made their way west after their country denied them citizenship and introduced blatantly anti-Jewish policies.
In reality, however, matters were more complex. Thanks to my happy working relationship with colleagues and students, the Seminary has been an ideal environment for research and reflection on the modern Jewish experience. At an early stage of my research, Dr. In short, the term Ostjuden is too subjective and anachronistic to serve our purposes. No doubt, the daily passage of several thousand transmigrants through Berlin lent added credence to the notion that a horde of Jewish immigrants was sweeping into the country. Though no political party was prepared to argue that Eastern Jews constituted a boon to Germany and therefore should be welcomed, some parties vigorously fought restrictionists and challenged governments to justify their harsh treatment of foreign Jews. Despite their alleged similarities in cultural outlook and political radicalism, they were assigned different economic roles: Poles, with their brute strength, deserved to be exploited as imported laborers.
A second significant contingent consisted of wellto-do businessmen or physicians whose annual incomes were duly noted in the Prussian compilations. Naturalization applications from all other categories could be processed locally. Almost from the onset of Jewish mass migration, authorities took steps to protect Germans from Jewish travelers from the East. In December of that year, the Reichsgericht fined synagogue elders in Beuthen for employing an Austrian subject who had failed to get a permit. In this manner, the Prussian Ministry of Interior circumvented the Reich's naturalization law, for by denying work permits to foreign Jews, bureaucrats also could keep in check the numbers of functionaries who had the right to apply for citizenship under Article 9. In one directive, Puttkamer set into motion a concerted policy to block immigration from Russia by exercising state prerogatives over border controls, the rights of residence, and the acquisition of citizenship. .
Essential for historians and students of history. The E-mail message field is required. This negative approach surely strengthened the hands of those who were empowered to cope with aliens in the Reich—officials in state ministries of interior who set the actual policies that determined the fate of Eastern Jews in Germany. Moreover, efforts to ameliorate the condition of Eastern Jews by challenging governments in parliamentary settings proved totally ineffective. Thus, wherever they settled in appreciable numbers, newly arrived Jews from the East sparked far-reaching and disruptive public controversies over attitudes and policies toward aliens. Liebknecht and Bebel collected survey information from Russian Jews in order to acquire hard data to refute government officials and document the existence of official discrimination against foreign Jews. In the face of economic boycotts and rising unemployment at the end of the nineteenth century, Jews emigrated from the Polish sectors of the Hapsburg Empire.
While originally confined to the four eastern provinces of Prussia, they quickly penetrated into western parts of the Reich. Within a decade and a half after German unification, Prussia ruthlessly expelled 20,000 Poles. According to a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, these agreements protected subjects of treaty states from wholesale or class discrimination. For precisely in the early years of Jewish emigration from Russia, the North German Confederation and, shortly thereafter, the newly unified German Empire granted Jews total legal equality. Feeling free to act with impunity against Jewish aliens, German officials betrayed their stereotypical and biased views of all Jews. Once they found work, newcomers moved to other sections of the city. Only after the number of Russians at Munich's university declined below the quota could authorities even consider admitting new students from Russia.
It is a mistake to assume that these efforts had no impact because restrictionism was mainly promoted by political anti-Semites who could not rally sufficient support to enact a comprehensive ban on Jewish immigration. A more vigorous Germanization policy was launched in 1885-86: after expelling 20,000 unnaturalized Poles, Prussia established a land purchase commission to buy up Polish-owned estates and then turn properties over to German settlers. This was particularly the case during the frequent mass expulsions of Eastern Jews that punctuated the history of the Second Empire. And the final irony was that the very Junkers and industrialists who displayed such pronounced anti-Polish and xenophobic tendencies lobbied hardest for the importation of foreign workers from the East. German states were forbidden to seal their borders to Russians or Austrians as a group; they could only prevent individuals from immigrating. Neither epithets nor stereotypes determined how foreigners in general, and Eastern Jews in particular, were treated.