The Status and Position of European Jews at the Beginning of the 20th Century
A Jew is a person belonging to the religion of the Jewish faith. At
the beginning of the 20th century many Jews occupied land in Europe.
The Jews had many different positions and status's depending on which
country they were living in, in some places Jews were welcomed as part
of the community but in other places there were always those who were
suspicious of them. Jews were discriminated (singled out) against by
many different ethnic groups before the 20th century, they were
especially discriminated against by Christians, as they believed Jews
were to blame for the death of Jesus. They were also discriminated
against because of their different traditions and beliefs.
An example of Anti-Semitism (prejudice against the Jews) happened
around the time of 1345AD, at this time they were accused of starting
the Black Death. Jews were also accused of sacrificing children during
certain celebrations. None of this was true but because of those
rumours they were from then on seen as outsiders. Hatred against the
Jews led to violence in England in 1189 and 1290, in Germany in 1345
and in Spain in1492.
A great amount of the Jewish population lived in Russia but many were
forced to live in a part of Russia known as The Pale (which is now in
Poland.) If a Jewish person wished to live outside of The Pale they
needed permission that was almost impossible to gain hold of. People
living in The Pale at this time often became very poor as business
owners could not compete with each other and bring in good enough
profits. Inside Russia Jews had a very low status and were still poor
compared to Gentiles (non-Jews.)
Jews whom lived in The Pale still continued to try and live their life
as normal, they continued to live their different lifestyles and keep
to their different traditions. Jews being different from other people
made them easy targets to persecute against. Jews were often taken to
court on false accusations and even given different laws to abide by,
if these laws were broken they were made to pay out hefty fines. Many
Jews found that bribing local authority and their gentile neighbours
was the only way to live a peaceful life.
Jewish children were discriminated against in their education, this
causing them to be less successful in later life. A Jewish child was
expected to take an entrance test for school at the age of nine, the
test was set out for a gentile the age of thirteen to take. Jewish
children were also sent to non-Jewish schools on very small numbers,
this also making them easy targets for discrimination.
Jews living in France were not sent to live in certain sectors of the
country but were still treated differently and also discriminated
against. They were discriminated against for looking...