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[Page 11]

Under Austrian Administration

by Dr. N. M. Gelber (Jerusalem)

Translated by Jerome Silverbush



1772 in which year Austria together with Russia and Prussia carried out the first division of Poland, as a result of which Galicia fell to Austria, the goal of Austria's foreign policy became the acquisition of the lands bordering on Galicia, Moldau {Moldau or Moldavia eventually united with Walachia in 1861 to form modern Romania}., in order to have direct connection from Galicia to Siebenbuergen . In this year, Turkey, at war with Russia since 1768, which with the help of the traitorous Moldau Prince Grigori Kalimach already possessed a large piece of Moldau. Austria which feared an all to great weakening of Turkey concluded on July 1771 a defensive pact with Turkey, in which it obligated itself to help Turkey maintain control of Moldau and Walache.

When on July 21, 1774 the peace treaty of Kutschuk Kainardschi between Russia and Turkey was ratified , Russian troops left Moldau and Austrian troops without giving any reason, moved into their place. On August 31, 1774 the Austrian General Gabriel Freiher von Spleny marched into Czernowitz .On October 10, 1774, all of Bukovina was occupied by Austrian troops under the supreme command of General Spleny and became in accordance with the terms of the May 7, 1775 treaty signed in Constantinople by Austria and Turkey an official possession of Austria. With this action of giving up possession of Bukovina and giving sovereignty to Austria Turkey demonstrated it's friendship, gratitude and good will for Austria. With this event, the direct connection between Galicia and Siebenbuergen desired by Austria since it's acquisition of Galicia became reality.

The new province at first had a military administration under the leadership of a general, who stood under the Military Over Command in Lemberg. whose top officials however, because of the character of the military administration of the new province reported to the Minister of War {Hoffkriegsrat} in Vienna.

The military commander was at the same time chief of the entire civilian administration, almost all the civil government positions. Almost all positions with the exception of the village posts and the ambassadorial service were filled by military personnel.

The first chief of the entire administration (civilian and military) was General Spleny Barron of Michaldy. He administered the province from Fall, 1774 until spring of 1778. He immediately initiated a of the province and he was naturally interested in the “Jewish question”. According to the results of this census, in 1769 at the beginning of the Russian Turkish war, there were 206 Jewish families in the entire province with a total of 906 souls.

Until the conclusion f the Austrian Turkish convention on May 7, 1775, the administration submitted reform proposals, the implementation of which were held up by the Royal War Office. In the proposals submitted by Genera l Spleny and the supreme commander of Galicia, General Ellhausen, it was recommended to Vienna to allow the Jews of the cities and market towns to maintain their inner government which was based on the Keliloth and their own justice system administered by Jewish judges. On the other hand, the village Jews would be administered by authorities to be appointed for that purpose. The “Jewish tax” was to be raised from 5 fl. To 10 fl. Yearly and the venitulMetropolitului was to be annulled.

The Royal Minister of War disagreed with these proposals and decided to leave the “status-quo” as it was. On November 8, 1775, Joseph II told the General Commandant of Galicia to change nothing and to make only the most necessary moves. By preserving the status quo, was hoped to keep the unresolved negotiations with Turkey on track.

After Spleny was removed from the region where the Bayrisch war of succession took place, he was replaced by Karl Freiherr von Enzenberg who led the administration until 1786. He was particularly concerned with setting up a military administration that was similar to those of other conquered territories bordering Austria. Already in 1783 Kaiser Joseph II wrote in a letter concerning his planned trip to Bukovina to Graf Hadik, the president of the Royal war Cabinet – in which he expressed his full and complete belief in the superiority of a military administration. For a long time, authorities in Galicia had been agitating for the assimilation of Bukovina by Galicia1. This agitation only caused the powers in Vienna to distance themselves more and more from Enzenberg's plan for a military administration in Bukovina. Gradually, the Royal War Council began to place the administration of Bukovina under the government of Galicia and to replace the military administrators with civilian ones. In 1786,while Kaiser Joseph II was visiting Lemberg he gave in to the requests of the civilian authorities and a short time later declared the annexation of Bukovina to Galicia. With the Royal Chancellery decree of August 6, 1786 to the High Royal Chancellor, Bukovina became “in politicis et came et ralibus” a special district of Galicia under the control of the present Galician administration, with the military to hand over all power to the civilian an officials at the latest by November 1, 1786 on which day the authority of the Royal War Council for this province was to be terminated. This political administrative union of Bukovina and Galicia lasted until the beginning of the year 1850, when on the basis of the Austrian constitution of 1849, Bukovina was declared an independent crown land of the Austrian empire with its own constitution and its own government



When Austrian troops marched into Bukovina in October, 1774, according to Spleny's census there were 17,047 families in Bukovina, among them 526 Jewish families giving a ratio of 38 Jewish families per 1000 families of all religions, who were distributed over the entire land. The cities that Spleny found were Suceava , Czernowitz, Sereth and Wiznitz. The best houses of the Jews were in Czernowitz. The rest of the houses, about 200 were miserable affairs of wood and clay. In 1776 Spleny carried out a census of the population which was finished in mid-December,1776.

According to the results of tis count there were 650 Jewish families with 2906 members (1482 males and 1424 females. According to this assessment, of these 206 families consisting of 986 members (502 males and 484 females) who were already resident in the lad before 1769, 299 families with a count of 1346 souls (695 males and 651 females) entered the land during the Russian Turkish war and 146 families with 574 souls (285males and 289 females) had entered Bukovina since the start of the Austrian occupation.

Spleny in his first report, Description of the Bukovina District (in 1775) stated that in Czernowitz there were 178 Christian families and 112 Jewish families, in Sadagura there were 180 Christian families and 45 Jewish families, in Suceava the earlier residence city of the Moldau princes there were 76 Christian and 55 Jewish families and in Wiznitz there were 65 Christian and 60 Jewish families. These figures are summarized as follows:

Czernowitz: 112 Jewish families with 495 souls.
Sadagura: 55 Jewish families with 218 souls.
Wiznitz: 660 Jewish families with 208 souls who mostly came from Poland
Sereth: 15 Jewish families with 73 souls who came with one rabbi.

In 1776 there were a total of 650 Jewish families with 2906 souls as compared to 526 families in 1775.

The following table gives us figures on the Jewish population in 13cities and towns in the years 1774 and 1776:


  1774 1776
Town Families Males Females Total Families Males Females Total
Czernowitz 104 228 240 468 112 243 252 405
Suceava 50 108 95 200 55 115 103 218
Wiznitz 55 98 93 101 60 108 100 208
Sadagura 21 51 52 103 45 84 102 186
Waschkoutz 2 6 4 10 3 8 7 15
Kimpolung 9 20 25 45 9 21 25 46
Banila 7 35 32 67 7 35 35 67
Willawcze 10 23 23 46 13 29 30 59
Ob. Stanestie 7 12 18 30 7 12 18 30
Zastawna 2 8 9 17 7 17 16 33
Ispas 5 9 12 21 6 10 14 24
Rohozna 3 5 5 13 7 10 12 22

In the view of the authorities, this rapid increase in the number of Jews called for steps to be taken to reduce their numbers.

In 1778 the Jews were even warned not to build any more houses. The authorities even went further by making the Jews pay extremely high taxes and they took measures to make sure the Jews would find no opportunity to obtain funds to pay these increased taxes. With the taking over of Bukovina by Austria, the Jews, due to a yearly levy paid very high taxes which were introduced by the earlier Moldavian princes. At the same time, Jewish farmers had to pay taxes at the same rate as the Christian farmers.

In addition, both Jewish and non-Jewish farmers who owned animals, paid 5 kreuzer for each sheep and 69 1/2 kreuzer for every head of cattle they owned. For every barrel of brandy they produced, a tax of 5 fl. 30 kr.was levied. In contrast, city residents had to pay 15 kreuzer for every head of cattle slaughtered and 2 1/2 kreuzer for every sheep slaughtered. Furthermore for wine, brandy and wax, a tax ranging from 1 fl. To 5 fl. 30 kr. Was charged depending o the type of product. In Czernowitz one still paid “Salarit” (salt money) at a rate of 500 fl. to which the Jews contributed 150fl.

In addition to these taxes one paid fees to the “Starost of Ispravnik” (officials) at the rate 1 to 15 kreuzer for every head of cattle exported, 10 kr. for every wagon of goods brought in, for 1 wagon of wine and salt 2 to 15 kreuzer, and in addition for every large gewoeb 3 fl. and 1fl. 30 kreuzer for every small gewoelb.

In addition to these taxes the Jews had to pay a special Jew tax (Venitul Metropolitului) of 17 fl. per community. Furthermore, the Jews paid a tax to maintain the High Judge. Also special Christmas and New Year's “presents” were demanded of the Jews.

After assuming power Spleny often described to the officials in Vienna, his plans for the form that the new government of Bukovina should take. In putting forth these suggestions, he also spoke about the Jews and their status.

Up until then the Jews had their own internal “self-government” - the Kahal with their own system of justice under Jewish judges (starost). In Czernowitz and Suceava there were higher levels of government (oberkahale) with chief judges at the helm. These functionaries held their office for life.

In Czernowitz at that time Lazar Israel was the chief judge. He had held this position leading the Kahal for 30 years starting before the Austrian occupation until his death in 1782 .

In accordance with Spleny's proposals as well as those of the supreme commander of Galicia, General Ellrichhausen, the Jew's inner autonomy was to be preserved. However, Jews who lived in villages were to be placed under the magisterial jurisdiction of the authorities in the city in whose administrative district the village was situated. The magistrates were to consist of one city judge, one notary, and six senators. One Jewish judge was to be added to this group. Moreover he demanded that the residents were to be grouped in four classes: merchants, hand workers, Jews and farmers. The oldest of the Jews was to collect the taxes (contribution), which had been raised from 5 fl. to 10 fl. per year) from his fellow Jews. On the other hand, the “venitul Metropolitului” (a kind of “Jew tolerance” tax) was to be abolished. The minister of war didn't agree with some of Spleny's proposals and well as the proposals regarding administration made by General Ellrichhausen on December 10, 1774 and preferred, because of the negotiations with Turkey which were still in flux to make no changes for the time being. This was also the viewpoint expressed by Joseph II in his letter of February 8, 1775 to the minister of war.

The Jewish residents of the newly acquired province were hardly different in their business structure/practices from those of the other provinces. Their chief activity was commerce and taverns. They imported many barrels of brandy daily from the Ukraine which caused almost 100,000 gulden to flow out of Bukovina yearly. The commercial activities of the old established Jewish businessmen which in addition to dealing in imported goods included buying raw agricultural products from the farmers at favorable prices even extended outside of Bukovina as far as Constantinople, Venice, Lemberg, Krakow and the German port cities Breslau, Leipzig Frankfurt a. Main.

Along with the Armenian wholesalers Jewish merchants exported horses and wool to Poland, cows and wool to Siebenburgen, oxen, cows and wool to Breslau, oxen, oxen and goat hides to Galicia, sheep, butter and honey to Turkey, to Venice, wax and to Hungary, raw hides.

The following products were imported to Bukovina: ironwork from Hungary, leather and pelts from Moscow, from Galicia glass, leather and pelts, cooking salt and copper ware, from Moldau stone salt and wine (from Fokschany) from Steiermark scythes, from Frankfurt am Main. saws, scissors, knives and silk, from Breslau manufactured (galanteriewaren colonial waren goods, from Turkey weapons, iron products, copper ware, from Poland glass, from the Ukraine glass and Brandy.

In the cities and on the flat lands there were many Jewish handworkers such as tailors, shoemakers, bakers, butchers, wagon drivers, brandy makers, glaziers, copper smiths, plumbers, painters and goldsmiths, who in the year 1783 came to a total of 101 family fathers.

In general, the newly acquired territory was not very well developed in the area of agriculture. Very little wheat, barley or corn was planted. Even the quantities of grain needed by the Jews for manufacturing brandy was not grown by the local farmers and had to be imported from nearby podilia {areas in western Ukraine}. The immigration of Jews from Russia and Galicia concerned the authorities and even the Jews, since these mostly poor Jews settled in the cities and chiefly ran bars. To be sure Jews also lived, in rural areas where there were 284 villages and there they ran bars and leased land to peasant farmers. Because of its geographical features Bukovina was chiefly an agricultural area in which there was a minimum of commerce and absolutely no industry.

In the agriculture, the Jews leased not only estates but also mills, forests, fish ponds, and vineyards. They also had their own ships and rafts manned by Christian sailors on the rivers: Pruth, Sereth and Czeremosch carrying grain, timber, lumber, agricultural products and even cattle out of the Carpathian region. {This entire concept of leasing plays a main part in this document but it is a little unclear. In the end I came to the conclusion that the Jews didn't own any land, mills, bars, etc. They were the “lessees”, not the “lessors”.} They also transported goods to the farm people. Jewish peddlers traveled to the most remote villages, bringing goods and buying the farmer's agricultural products which they brought back to the cities.

Since according to Moldau law, the estate owners had the right to name the village judges, this right was also given to Jews to who estates were leased. Concerned about this situation, Spleny in his letter of February 10, 1776 to the Minister of war describing conditions in Bukovina stressed that steps must be taken to limit the growth of the Jewish population. Shortly after a border treaty was signed with Turkey in Palamutke ( July 2, 1776) it was decreed that no more Jews were to be allowed onto estates or communities, to say nothing of the actually settling down there. This included entire villages. Also they couldn't lease bars or mills and they were forbidden to build new houses. The leases that were in the hands of the Jews who had “sneaked” in since the Russian war were to be considered null and void by May, 1777 and to be put in the hands of long time Jewish residents or the actual owners. Already in 1778, the authorities were flooded with declarations that stated the Jewish leasors were driving the citizens of Bukovina into poverty. These declarations requested that the occupation authorities devote special attention to this problem.

Also, measures were taken to forbid Jews who had sneaked in from loaning money to the locals which would establish a “connection” between them making it more difficult to make any future contract invalid. On December 31 1777 the supreme commander in Lemberg at the request of the Minister of War questioned Spleny, saying “if it becomes advisable to remove the Jews who sneaked in during the war and further if it seems that the district should be “ameliorated”, when does he (Spleny) think this should happen and within what time frame should it occur.”

Spleny was in no hurry to start the process of removing the Jews.

He valued he importance of the Jews for the commerce of the new land, no less than their political value because in the first yeas of the occupation, the Jews had proven of great value to the Austrian intelligence service . As Spleny realized that the forbidding would make leasing (pachtungen) and managing of estates (Guetter) unusually difficult, a change to the order was made allowing “old” Jews with good records to pachten village Revenuen according to old usage.

With the increase in the number of the Jews who had sneaked in, the number of “beggar” Jews also increased. Neither the orders of the General Command nor the efforts of the local authorities seemed to be doing much to remove the Jews who had sneaked in (including the beggar Jews) from Bukovina.

Also, the “old timers” were unhappy about the inflow of new Jews, perhaps because of fears of business competition. Even the senior member of the Czernowitz Jewish community, Lazar Israel felt impelled in December 1777 to write to the General Command asking that the new Jews who had settled in big and little cities be removed. The General Command forwarded his request to the Bukovina District Administration and the same time used the opportunity demand that the previously mentioned “declarations” be withdrawn.

Even the longtime residents were not spared. Gradually, their rights were removed and restrictions were placed on them.. Marriage was only allowed between couples who were longtime residents and they had to pay a tax of 20 ducats. If the bride or he groom was a newcomer, the marriage was strictly forbidden. Yes, even longtime residents of Suceava {a town in Bukovina} whose synagogue burnt own in 1771 had to have their wedding service in a miserable shack and when this structure collapsed, they were forbidden to rebuild it.

On October 12, 1777, both Jewish and Christian residents had to take an oath of loyalty.

In March of 1779 Spleny was recalled. He left Bukovina and with his departure, all his changes to the status-quo and any laws enacted to disrupt the state of things were made null and void.



Only with the arrival of Spleny's successor, General Karl Freiherr von Enzenberg at the beginning of April 1778 was serious attention to be given to the problem of the steadily increasing number of Jews coming into Bukovina.

His first efforts after coming into office were devoted to completing the installation of the administrative operation. The land was divided into two districts, the Suceava district and the Czernowitz district.

He was aided by the Presidential Cabinet. First Lieutenant Beddens functioned as adjutant and chairman of the cabinet. Since 1781, at the suggestion of the Minister of War, Basilius Balsch, the Bojar of Moldau, served as advisor. He was also chosen by the Christian Consortium to serve as Secular Assessor.

In addition to the above named, the following also belonged to the presidential cabinet: Field War Commissioner von Loppitsch, the Moldau secretary Michalaki, the Registrar Vogel, the builder von Ehrendorf, Brodowski, Joseph Lenz, the treasurer 2nd Lieutenant Casedi, translator for the Romanian language J. Predetitz and a second translator Aaron, two recorders Ballady for the Romanian and Wojeikowicz for the Polish language.

Furthurmore Orlandini, the legal person directed the staff and was the chief auditor. He was assisted by two district auditors, one in Czernowitz and one in Suceava, Captain Von Algey and Captain Dorbath von Heidinsfeld.

Enzenberg upon taking office seemed favorably inclined to listen to the request that the Jews be allowed to rebuild the prayer house in Suceava and that the kosher butchers and candle making in Suceava, Sereth, Czernowitz and Sadagura under the control of the chief judge of Czernowitz Lazar Israel who whom he had personally signed a contract on July 14, 1778 be allowed to continue. For the moment at least, this was true, but it soon became obvious, that not only did he dislike the Jews, but that he was a bitter enemy of theirs.

Already in his main report of October 29, 1779 about the new order in Bukovina in which he also described the situation of the Jews he strongly expressed his dislike of the Jews.

The Jews make themselves rich from the sweat of the working Christian.There are as many as 800 Jewish families in Bukovina and since they increase their numbers faster than the gypsies, one can only imagine how quickly their population will grow. They run all the business in the three cities, Czernowitz, Suceava and Sereth. They sell wine, beer and brandy to the Christians and lease {land?} to them and practically have them as their subjects. They don't pay the proper land taxes and pay only 5 fl per year per family and since the Jews have more freedom than in any other land and pay so little, that Jews from all lands what to settle in Bukovina which I will in no way allow and I will make short work of stopping the inflow.

The growth of the Jewish population filled him with unease and he made a firm decision to use all possible means to stop this increase. In this spirit, from the beginning of his office he directed his policies against the Jews. Above all, he was concerned, as he told the General Command of Galicia on August 9, 1778, with getting the Jews who had sneaked in out of the land. In addition, he was going to deny the longtime Jewish inhabitants their “so-called” rights and freedoms and in that way to drive them too out of the land.

Like Spleny he forbid the settling of new Jewish inhabitants. At the same time, he forbid the longtime Jewish inhabitants from engaging in village leasing against the will of the Lemberg General Command which took the viewpoint that “all subjects, be they Christians or Jews are allowed to lease because it is inhumane and runs counter to the principals of Christianity to make Christians subservient to Jews.”

Enzenberg went ahead, however and forbid the Jewish leasers from naming village judges and forbid Jewish bar owners from selling drinks to farmers on credit over a pre-set limit and forbid some Jews from crossing the Dniester by Zaleszezyki. He was informed by his spies about secret marriages performed to avoid obtaining a license and about other Jewish “goings on”. He rewarded his spies with corresponding positions as demonstrated by the naming of Josel Schmul Pultawer as chief judge in Czernowitz.

After the death of the Czernowitz Jewish chief judge Lazar Israel, the first election of a new chief judge took place. Two candidates were being considered: Mendel Isak and Josef Schmul Pultawer. The former was preferred by Enzenberg because of the spying services Pultawer had performed for him. For appearances sake, Enzenberg let a “legitimate” election take place. He, however laid a trap for Mendel Isak and demanded a present from him as has been the custom in the Moldau for many years. Mendel sent him 30 ducats. After Mendel won the election, Enzenberg directed Captain Auditor Johann Franz Sigowski to put the sealed package of money in a public place in the Synagogue with the remark that Enzenberg wouldn't consider him (Mendel) for the position because of the attempted bribe, since he was not worthy of the position of Jewish chief judge and therefore the second candidate Josel Schmul Pultawer would be awarded the position.

The followers of Mendel Isak protested to the Minister of War about this outcome and tried to unite the Jews of Bukovina to take a position in connection with this election as well as in connection with other Jewish concerns the same as that of Jews in the other territories of the original Romania. Enzenberg reacted to these complaints in the following letter to the minister of war:

Elections of this sort were unknown here. In as much as the laws governing Jewish life in Galicia are also unknown here and the question is if they can be applied here. More precisely, Josef merely because of the death of his predecessor, Lazar Israel won the position of chief judge. To be sure, it is true that Mendel Isack had a majority of votes in the election, but he offered a bribe of 30 ducats. But he (Joseph Schmul) is a good man who has made enemies because he exposed many secret weddings.

Entzenberg wanted in this way - as he had explained to combat the misdeeds of the officials - bribery, which in the pre-Austrian times had almost been considered a right.

This didn't prevent him from collecting 100 ducats from the residents of Czernowitz to install a city clock.

When in the previously mentioned process against Sigowski the charge was leveled at Entzenberg that he had forced the Jews to make the contribution for the clock, he explained in writing to the oldest member of the community that the Jews had spontaneously and of their own free will asked for the city clock.

Enzenberg wasn't satisfied with merely raising taxes, but introduced new onerous taxes in the amount of 6 fl.

Enzenberg, however saw his main problem as the reduction of the Jewish population.

In the above mentioned memorandum of October 29, 1779 which Enzenberg sent to the Minister of War containing his suggestions about the final regulation and condition and the organization of the Bukovina government, he asked the minister what kind of measures could be taken to reduce the Jewish population of Bukovina which had through immigration more than doubled.

In contrast to Enzenberg, the minister of war's only concern was that of the Jews who had sneaked in since the Russian occupation, was that the “beggar Jews be removed.”

The conference called by the minister of war and chaired by Graf Hadik in Vienna from 4 to 15 April concerned itself exclusively with this question and other suggestions made in Enzenberg previously mentioned memorandum. Enzenberg also attended this conference.

Before this conference, there was a “pre” conference in March 1780 in Lemberg attended by the Commanding General of Galicia, Field Marshal Lieutenant Schroeder, General Enzenberg and Supreme War Commissioner Wagmuth The purpose of the conference was to discuss the position of Bukovina in the Austrian Empire and the reforms that were to be introduced. In the conference 14 questions were to be discussed. Question 8 is reproduces as follows: There were 400 Jewish families in Bukovina before the Russian occupation and now there are 800 Jewish families in Bukovina. How can this number be reduced?

The answer to this question stressed that orders already existed stating that all Jewish families who had sneaked into Bukovina since the Russian occupation were to be removed from the land. In order to remove the Jews who had sneaked in since 1769, the following measure was proposed: A committee should be formed to determine which Families already lived in the land before the Russian occupation and which came in after the occupation. If these families {who sneaked in} have a good reputation, are rich, have a good business, they should be allowed to stay and should receive a letter of protection. The remaining families were to be removed. Of the new families, no more than 12 qualified to remain in Bukovina. “Old Jews”, {the author says old, but I wonder if he means new} around 16, in consideration of their small business in grain and vegetables will be allowed to remain. The Jews who in the years 1776 to 1778, in defiance of the ban built or purchased houses, entered into contracts will have a three month grace period from the posting of the new regulation to amortize their property and then they will be removed. If the new Jews have villages in arenda {arenda is a type of leasing system, this case a Jew being the lessee} they can't sell them to other Jews, only to Christians or “lords of the manor”.

If Jews have contracted in arenda for the lease of brandy bars or taverns and have paid for a period in advance, they can pass this lease on to another Jew for the period that was paid for. These rights can only be transferred to a Jew living in the same district. { Aremda is a Polish term designating the lease of fixed assets or of prerogatives, such as land, mills, inns, breweries, distilleries, or of special rights, such as the collection of customs duties and taxes}. In order to make them {Jews} distinguishable from other everyone else they were to wear a yellow band 2 fingers. wide around their hats.

Beggar Jews are to be allowed in no village or town. Whoever meets them will be subject to a fine of 2 ducats {doesn't make sense}. Unknown peddler Jews must have a license from the administration. After the prescribed period, the peddler must pay 30 kreuzer per day. If he doesn't have a peddler's license, he must pay 1 ducat per day.

In order to reduce the number of Jews and to eventually drive them completely out of Bukovina, according to Enzenberg they should be burdened with high taxes, but the administration should be careful that the Jews don't squeeze the extra taxes out of other inhabitants of the land.

To reduce the number of Jews General Enzenberg made the following proposals:

  1. If a Jewish family is not current on its tax payments, they shall be punished in duplo {double}, 1/3 going to the person who denounced them, 1/3 to the Catholic church and 1/3 to the state.
  2. Forbid forever the taking of entire villages in Aarenda and the making of Christians into subjects.
  3. Forbid the dealing with bread and bakeries.
  4. The Jews will be subject to a fine of 20 fl. if they take a Christian woman into service and on Saturdays they are not permitted to employ a woman les than 40 years of age for household service.
  5. Since they must earn money to pay taxes, they can be the lessees of bars where they can sell wine, beer and brandy. They can also deal in meat and dry goods where they have to pay a 15 percent acquisition tax.
  6. he chief Kahal {head of Jewish self-government} in Czernowitz to which the Kahals of Suceava, Sereth, Sadagura and Wiznetz reported was to have in addition to the Jewish judge, a rabbi and German Jewish clerk as is the rule in Galicia. The rabbi should be freed from the details. All contracts, certificates of indebtedness and wills should be considered invalid unless they have official government approval.

Every Jewish family father, married or widower shall pay 15 fl. yearly plus 5 fl. for street building, 2 fl. 10 kr. for the Kaiser Heurelution {not in dictionary}, 2 fl. 45 kr. For support of the state government and 2 fl. for building of army bases and barracks, totaling 26 fl. 55 kr. Instead of the former 12 fl. 40 kr.

The Jews who have a business or rental properties shall pay 15% of their income. Lessees of villages or mills shall pay 5%.

Single Jews and those that are servants shall pay 5 fl. for “contribution”, 2 fl. 30 kr. for street building, 2 fl. 30 kr. for the other state {I use “state” to signify Bukovina} needs, for a total of 10 fl.

Mari age licenses will cost 20 ducats. Young Jewish men and women who are married in a foreign country must pay 20 ducats as fa “departure” fee.

In addition to these fees, there will be “home” {country} taxes and taxes for the Kahal {Jewish community}

The measures proposed by Enzenberg were to severe even for the minister of war, above all the “yellow mark” in the form of a yellow band. Never the less, they were adopted.

The result of the negotiations which were to lay the corner stone for the new reforms of the state did not satisfy the Kaiser.

On April 21, 1780 - four days after the minister of war gave him the all-encompassing protocol of the Vienna conference, the Kaiser issued a decree in which the decision concerning the proposals of the commission was reversed since the Kaiser wanted to visit Bukovina and during his stay personally be convinced of the possible success of the proposed measures.

This delay in no way hindered Enzenberg in moving ahead with his solution to the Jewish problem, all the more so since together with General Supreme Commander Field Marshal Baron von Schroeder he held the opinion that: “Regulation and reduction of the Jewish population was in no way tied to the restructuring of the bureaucracy and regulation of Bukovina. Actually, as long as the Jews were present, they would be detrimental to good order and the wellbeing of the state.

When, however, against expectation, the Kaiser decided not to come to Bukovina, he sent from Zamoso which at that time belonged to Galicia a hand written note to Field Marshal Baron von Schroeder in which he described the best way to combine Bukovina with Galicia.

Meanwhile Enzenberg found a most favorable ally in the person of the Bojar {land owner} and member of parliament of Bukovina, Basilius Balsch who on November 13, 1780 - as a result of a request from the from the Bishop of Radautz received an assignment for the introduction of a system which preferably included the perpetuation of the military jurisdiction - gave the minister of war a memorandum to be sent to the Kaiser.

It can be assumed that Balsch at whose side Enzenberg stood was strongly influenced by the latter's opinions.

The memorandum to the Kaiser contained a description of Bukovina and its internal conditions and endorsed the retention of the military jurisdiction. The Jewish question was touched upon in the eighth paragraph which dealt with the “decline of commerce”.

In his opinion, the inhabitants would accrue only disadvantages from the presence of the masses of poor Jews who had sneaked into Bukovina since they had no jobs and supported themselves and their cattle by leasing taverns and through their dishonest schemes putting farmers into debt and misery.

He saw a means of stimulating commerce in forbidding both outsiders and Jews from leasing property and in this way - that which acts to the detriment of general rest, security and the best interests of the public - would effectively be dammed off.

At he meanwhile, the Kaiser received a memorandum from Governor Graf Joseph Brigido of Galicia concerning the future government of Bukovina as well as a report on the combined Bohemia Austrian Royal Chancellery. Colonel [High?} Chancellor Graf Blumegen discussed in his report of March 10, 1781 to the minister of war, the possibility of making Bukovina an independent state.

Influenced by the advice of Graff Blumegen and the memorandum from Bojar Balsch the Kaiser, on May 20, 1781 sent a note to the minister of war advising him that he {the Kaiser} found it advisable, for the time being to leave the Bukovina district under his administration. Since it remains necessary to put the government of the land on a better footing, the minister of war was to use Baron Enzenberg's proposals as far as it was possible in the drafting of a new constitution.

Already on May 24, 1781 the minister of war presented his reform program - whose essential parts relied heavily on Enzenberg's memorandum as well as Bojar Balsch's suggestions - to the directing minister of state, Graf Hatzfeld.

Concerning the Jews, the minister of war's memorandum took the same point of view as that of the Vienna conference.

After, on June 12, 1781 the Privy Council had discussed the minister of war's reform plan, the second conference, the Privy Council meeting, in which negotiations with the minister of war were started - convened on August 3. Eleven issues were on the agenda for discussion. Five of these issues dealt with the “Jewish question”.

The Privy Council said, “the desire of your majesty to make the Jews into useful arms of the state has already been made known to the District Administration and to the general command. After the committees report is completed, appropriate actions will be taken to remove the beggar Jews who sneaked into Bukovina”.

Concerning the general taxation, it was explained, that only a tax program that considered the true assets of the subjects to be taxed would be just and enduring.

In the case of the Jews, however, it is requested that the Galician General Command comes to an understanding with the state government concerning how the Jews are taxed in Galicia so this information can be used in determining the rate of taxation of the Bukovina Jews.

On August 18, 1781 the Kaiser gave his approval

On August 21, 1781 the minister of war sent his instruction decree in which, regarding the Jews, it was stressed that the Jews should be allowed only in limited numbers to be lessees and that the central government should as soon as possible send an advisory opinion regarding the Jews to the state administrator.



On May 30, 1781, the minister of war had notified the military administration of the importance and execution of the Kaiser's communication of May 13, 1781 concerning the question of the formation of a committee to determine the best way of making the Jews into a useful arm of the state.

On the basis of this decision, Enzenberg formed a committee which he chaired. The committee met in July 1781 in Czernowitz to discuss the question of the Jews in Bukovina. They came to the conclusion that Bukovina thanks to its geographic location and its natural resources should rely on commerce.

In view of the fact that trade lay entirely in Jewish hands, it was advisable to as far as possible to tolerate them in the district. For practical purposes and to prevent them from preying on the rural population, the should be concentrated in the cities of Czernowitz, Suceava, Sereth, Kimpolung, Kapokodrului and Zastavna instead of being dispersed over the entire land. On the other hand, only those Jews engaged in agriculture as well as wealthy Jews who were in the Bukovina before 1769 will be allowed to remain in rural areas. All those who sneaked in before 1763 as well as beggar Jews are to be removed. The earlier distinction between “old inhabitants” and “new Jews” disappeared and in its place was substituted the formula of beggar Jews, who according to Enzenberg had lived in Bukovina before 1769. This concept was intended to make possible a significant increase in the number of Jews to be removed.

The report of the committee fully recognized the importance of the Jews for commerce and at the same time recommended restricting the areas where they could live and their freedom of travel which in the opinion of the committee prevent them from being a detriment to the state.

Enzenberg also achieved his goal in that the committee decreed that all beggar Jews including those who arrived before 1760 should be driven out.

The minister of war who received the committee report on making the Jews into an asset for the state from the state government on July 17, 1781 responded in his letter of August 29, 1781 that the measures recommended were inadequate.

“The best resolution would provide that the Jews be distributed among land owners to do agricultural work. The beggar Jews who slipped in without authorization should be removed in an unobtrusive manner.” Enzenberg was directed to submit a new plan of action. At the same time it was demanded that the beggar Jews who illegally sneaked into Bukovina should be removed in an inconspicuous way as soon as possible.

Following the spirit of this order on October 21, 1781 Enzenberg sent the minister of war a second draft “concerning making the Bukovina Jews into useful appendages of the state” which included a listing of all the Jewish families and their means of earning a living with special attention given to the possibility of making them into farmers.

Concerning the beggar Jews who were to be removed, Enzenberg suggested that anyone who paid less than 4 gulden per year in taxes was to be considered as being a beggar Jew and these people - if they slipped into Bukovina after 1769 - were to be removed. Considering that there were very few Christian handworkers in the state, Jewish craftsmen who came into Bukovina after 1769, even if they paid less than 4 fl {That's what the author wrote, first 4 gulden, then 4 fl.} per year in taxes were to be considered an indispensible element and be allowed to remain.

But even this plan didn't satisfy the Minister of War who criticized the difficulty of administering such a complex plan without offering Enzenberg any suggestions for resolving the problem.

On December 10, 1781 Enzenberg asked the Minister of War for clear instructions as to “how to determine which Bukovina Jews should be considered as beggar Jews subject to deportation?”

In the meantime, the Galician General Supreme Commander explained that legitimate tax payers who pay 4 fl. or even less per year should in no way be considered as beggar Jews and that plans to deport the “real” beggar Jews who illegally slipped into Bukovina should be carried out accordance with the Bukovina “improvement plan”.

In the end, the administration was allowed to decide for themselves if actual tax payers were to be included among the beggar Jews who were to be banished. If, however they are not a burden to the land, then they shouldn't be considered beggar Jews.

In actuality, except for the 4 gulden tax payers, real beggar Jews were never tolerated.

In view of this ambiguity, Enzenberg chose to wait until he received a letter from Graf Hadik, date Febrary 9, 1789 I which the Graf demanded to know why the orders to banish the beggar Jews had not been executed.

In response to this letter, Enzenberg ordered that all Jews who sneaked into the state since 1769 who didn't pay over 4 gulden in yearly taxes {the author uses the word “contribution”, and I'll assume “tax” is a good equivalent} should leave the land.

Based on this order, during March and April of 1782 372 of the 1050 Jewish families were deported. Of these, 7 families were deported in error and then brought back so that in the end, 365 families with 1210 members (646 men and 564 women) were deported.

These families are broken down as follows:


Czernowitz District

  Families Men Women Total
1 Czernowitz - City 30 53 55 108
2 Czernowitz - State 17 29 24 53
3 Sadagura 42 73 78 151
4 Pruther 53 96 71 167
5 Dniester 66 116 102 218
6 Czeremescher 41 72 59 131
7 Russ. Kimpolunger 7 11 10 21
8 Wiznitz 19 34 27 61


Suceava District

  Families Men Women Total
1 Suceava 31 48 44 92
2 Sereth 18 35 26 61
3 Berthomether 15 33 30 63
4 Vikower 10 22 18 40
5 Mittlerer 6 8 8 16
6 Moldaver 2 5 3 8
7 Mold. Kimpolunger 8 11 9 20


On March 17, 1782 Enzenberg first let Graf Hadik know the reason for the long delay of the deportations.

Thereupon, the Minister of War replied on April 6 that all Jews who without proper authorization came into Bukovina during the Russian-Turkish War (1769-1764) or after the occupation were to be deported.

This order prompted Enzenberg who did not want to bear the responsibility of further deportations to assemble a committee of officers experienced in administrative matters. This committee was to determine what class of Jews were to be included in any future deportations.

The committee composed of Captain Auditor Algey von Custnau, Riding Master Auditor Fink, First Lieutenant Beddaus, First Lieutenant and Interim Director Adler and Second Lieutenant Gebler had its first meeting on May 17, 1782.

After reviewing all the orders concerning Jews issued since 1776 the committee discussed the reasons for and against the removal of the Jews.

There were two reasons for their removal: a) They purchased the farmers' crops in advance at very low prices and through this usurious trade impoverished the farmers who were then forced to emigrate. b) Similarly, they caused the land great harm with their dealing in brandy and selling it retail, leading the farmers to drunkenness and dissoluteness.

Through the removal of the Jews the deception in their dealing in shoddy goods would cease, the price of leasing would fall and the villages would be saved.

On the other hand, the committee couldn't ignore the fact that the reasons for keeping the Jews were far stronger. Without Jews, the production of brandy would stop reducing the need for agricultural products.

The committee members who were already influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment tended to take the pro side {remove the Jews} driven by the assumption that according to the teachings of the scholars of the state, the father of statistics Godtfried Achenwall (1719-1772), Jakob Bielefeld (1717-1770), the Frenchman Gabriel Mably (1709-1785), Charles Montesquieu (1689-1755), Eobald Toze (1715-1789),and Josef Sonnenfels (1733-1817) the people are the basis of the happiness of the state and the situation of the people and not the size and power of the state should be the main consideration and therefore considering this thesis, the expulsion of the Jews would be harmful and detrimental to the state. The evil constitution of the state and the narrow limits within which the Jews can earn a living are to blame for the fact that the Jews presently are a detriment to the state. In the beneficial removal of the restrictions that prevent the Jews from engaging in the same occupations and businesses as their Christian citizens of Bukovina the committee saw the only possibility of separating the Jews from their present usurious ways and to turn them into a productive arm of the state.

In addition to these reasons, the tax income that would be lost by driving out the Jews also spoke against their removal. By expelling the 365 Jewish families, the state would loose 5742 gulden yearly in tax revenue not to mention the other fees extracted from the Jews such as Salarit (salt money), Kaldarit (brandy kettle money from the producers of brandy), Vulpe Kreciunul (Christmas tax) and various other fees, all together a considerable loss.

In addition to the pure business and financial side, the committee also stressed the question of legality.

With the “Jewish homage act” of 1777 the Jews were guaranteed the highest degree of protection. Through this agreement the Jews acquired the right not to be compelled to be “subjects”, not to have to pay tribute, and to remain in perpetuity citizens of this district. Also, the regent seemed to be obligated according to the rules of “people's rights” to provide continuing comfort and security. Also, people's rights spoke against the expulsion because this principal guaranteed that the people should enjoy unrestricted freedom in the choice of religion and therefore no distinction could be made between the Jews and the other peoples.

In addition to this consideration, the committee pointed out two other circumstances: a) among those Jews already deported as well as those scheduled to be deported there were several old established Bukovina Jewish families with daughters who had been married and had paid the tolerance tax of 20 ducats to obtain citizenship and were therefore not subject to banishment. b) in addition, the Jewish professionals should be allowed to remain.

On the basis of all these considerations, the committee came to the conclusion, that through the banishment of the 365 poorer Jewish families that in this affair the intent of the orders had been carried out.

Furthermore, the commission expressed the opinion that - by increasing the possible means of earning a living - the Jews could be made into useful arms of the state.

The report written by Captain Algey, a man versed in the law and administration and a humanitarian had two special opinions included, that of First Lieutenant Beddaues which was against retaining the marriage license tax and the opinion of Auditor von Fink against the previous leasing and unrestricted operating of bars that sold wine and brandy allowed to the Jews and demanded that they should be chiefly farmers and hand workers because the industry and diligence of the subjects was pleasing to the state.

Enzenberg was totally dissatisfied with the committee's report. He had expected that they would completely back up his Jewish policy and endorse the continued expulsion of the Jews.

Instead of that, there was a rejection of his policy and a recommendation to retain the Jews as a commercially beneficial element in the state.

In order to nullify the effect of the committee report, Enzenberg personally wrote a “special report”.

He weakened the committee report and went so far as to manufacture figures about the tax contribution of the Jews in order to prove that the state suffered no great revenue loss due to the expulsion of the 365 Jewish families.

He asserted that the Jewish Homage Act did not give the Jews the rights of citizens since before the act was passed high officials had already decided that the Jews who entered Bukovina illegally and beggar Jews were to be expelled and that this group was unintentionally covered by the Homage Act.

The expulsion in no way was detrimental to agriculture. Jewish hand workers could be replaced by German settlers. Their industry was small and therefore meaningless.

Only Jews with a significant business with a capital of 200 fl. of useful trade as well as Jewish farmers who employ Jewish farm hands should be allowed to remain. He recommended voiding all leases that Jews held on farms, villages, mills, and bars. For a frightening example he mentioned the terrible condition of the “hospitality” business in Poland caused by the Jewish lessees there.

On July 13, 1782 Enzenberg sent the committee's report, including the 3 special opinions to the minister of war for his decision.

Already, on July 27 the reply was received in which Enzenberg was criticized for not understanding the initial order and in the opinion of the minister of war, the committee members were not called upon to judge these questions and the writer of the report, Auditor von Algey was also severely reprimanded.

With special sharpness, the minister of war rejected the opinion of the committee that the Homage Act gave the Jews the right to remain undisturbed in Bukovina and therefore, the previous expulsion was an unjust act.

The minister of war came to the conclusion that the Jews who arrived before 1769 were in a different class than those who sneaked in later and in the latter group, only those who distinguished themselves by their high tax payments were to be allowed to remain.

The administration was to change the way the Jews earned their living to a manner pleasing to his Majesty, that is to say, farming and hand workers and others that bring advantages to the land.

The officials were to take the necessary correctional measures against those Jews who continue their detrimental {to the state} occupations.

The minister of war was now as before convinced that above all, the Jews should be occupied only in farming, handwork and commerce and should be barred from all occupations harmful to the public. In this way, he believed, at least the appearance of executing the requirements of the Kaiser's order of May 13, 1781 would be maintained, but in reality he was acting in a way contrary to the Kaiser's wishes because there was actually no mention of the restriction of Jewish occupations in the Kaiser's order, but a sense of an improvement of their position as citizens.



In June, 1782 he Jews attempted to send a delegation to Vienna carrying a petition to the Kaiser that complained about the unlawful deportation as well as the unjust treatment of the Jewish population. Enzenberg, however stopped them in Galicia and after being mistreated they were sent back to Czernowitz were they were charged with conspiracy and provoking unrest.

Finally, a second delegation consisting of Mendel Isaak the oldest Jew and Berl Hersch representing the Jewish population of Bukovina succeed in secretly traveling to Vienna and personally on July 26, 1782 presenting a petition to his Majesty.

In this sharply worded petition, Enzenberg's actions were described.

The petition had five complaints:

  1. There was no Jew in all of Bukovina who had without permission become a resident or built or without the Kaiser's permission had married or engaged in an occupation.
    Since time immemorial, also under Austria, they had had permission to travel and conduct business and earn their living through brewing beer, producing brandy, operating bars, farming and leasing entire villages. They have consistently year for year paid their ordinary and “extraordinary” taxes and fees.
    In spite of that, at the command of General Enzenberg 365 families were deported without being told the reason for their expulsion. It seems unjust that someone should be ejected from the land where he lived for many years to earn the same rights as a native born resident when he committed no crime and did not receive a hearing.
  2. Among those ejected were honest blameless people who by paying the marriage tax earned the right of residency. Among those ejected were shohets {man who does circumcisions}, school singers, teachers, Ten Commandment writers who are necessary for religious services
  3. Still more painful is the revelation that General Enzenberg wants to deport all Jews who arrived in Bukovina since 1771.
  4. These circumstances caused the Jews to send a delegation of three to Vienna with an appeal. Two were arrested by order of Enzenberg and like common criminals, without regard to the Sabbath brought back, the horses and wagon confiscated and sold and they were held in prison 14 days and only released after signing a paper stating that they would never again travel to Vienna with complaints and if they did, they and anyone who was aware of their actions and didn't report them would be arrested.
  5. Against the decree forbidding Jews to operate bars in Czernowitz, Suceava, Sereth and Kimpulung although they already paid the kettle and wood tax.

In connection with these problems, this deputation representing the Jewish population of Bukovina is authorized to present the following four requests {the author only lists 3 requests} :

  1. After the attempt by the Jews to speak to the Kaiser was prevented by the above described act of force it should be made known in Bukovina that access to the Kaiser will be allowed for anyone who follows the proper channels to present a legitimate grievance.
  2. In case Enzenberg prevents them from presenting their appeal, they should be allowed to respond.
  3. Until the entire question is settled, not only should the ejected Jews or at least those needed for religion instruction including those married people separated from their parents be called back but also the businesses (beer brewing, brandy production, bars be returned to their original condition.
The petition was forwarded through the Kaiser's Cabinet by way of the minister of war and the Commanding General in Lemberg to General von Enzenberg for his comments.

He received the petition on August 17, 1782 and on August 27, he sent his reply

Enzenberg stressed that above all, that in all his actions taken in connection with the expulsion of the Jews he only carried out the orders of his superior officials and did nothing on his own. He was always concerned in carrying out his orders with proceeding in the most humane way and he was never criticized by the central authorities for proceeding in this manner.

Enzenberg angered at the sharp and in his opinion, unjust tone used against him worded his reply in an insulting manner.

Among the 365 families expelled, none were resident before 1769.

If he had acted strictly according to the orders of the minister of war, the number of Jews deported would have certainly been higher.

The complaint spoke of leasing and farming: he had never seen a single Jew actually working in a field, however the Jews lease the most fertile fields to be worked by Christian laborers and leave the worst fields for the locals.

As far as taxes are concerned, the poor Jews pay 3 times as much in the Moldau as the richest ones do in Bukovina. He accused the Jews of committing acts bordering on insolence. He deported the shohets, teachers and various other ritual personnel after speaking with the Chief Rabbi who said that he would be able to replace them with 14 days. The synagogue suffered in no way a loss of the necessary personnel.

Finally he asserted that the Jewish leadership in Czernowitz often complained that the Jews driven out of other lands by their misery make it harder for the Bukovina Jews to nourish themselves and are generally undesirable.

He very sharply contested the assertion of the delegation that he had ever said that the Jewish religion was “not legitimate”. He had simply written in a statement about using new {from outside, unknown} shohets and teachers: “What the Jews say about maintaining their religion has no basis in fact.” The complainers had simply out of malice put words in his mouth.

In connection with the grievance that he had hindered the departure of the delegation Enzenberg said that he simply had issued orders to prevent any suspicious gatherings. In spite of that, Jews from Suceava, Sereth, and other towns came together without announcing their intentions to the administration, selected representatives, collected money, wrote documents and secretly wanted to send a deputation to Vienna. As soon as I learned of this plot - said Enzenberg - I took the necessary steps to put an end to it and in doing so, only Berl Hersch, the delegate of the Suceava Jewish community escaped. The Jews arrested were not put in miserable jail cells, but were held in the waiting rooms of some administrative offices which were better and cleaner than the living spaces of the officers.

He reproached Isak Mendl, the second delegate saying “he wanted to corrupt me with a bribe of 30 ducats during the election of the Jewish judge and in any case he was considered a slanderer.”

Enzenberg concluded his reply with the statement that “his task was the bitterest, most difficult, most dangerous and most responsible in the entire army.”

On October 5, 1782 the minister of war passed on the grievance of the Jews and Enzenberg's reply to the Kaiser together with his comments on the situation of the Jews who had taken over commerce in an underhanded way, sent considerable sums of money from the brandy trade to foreign lands, and spoiled the health and the customs of the people. This, as well as the illegal entry of the 400 Jewish families called for the removal of all these families as well as beggar Jews, forbidding bars and the brandy trade and converting the remaining Jews to useful arms of the state. The Jews brought these problems on themselves.

In that he accepted Enzenberg's ideas the minister of war rejected all the Jews' points of complaint, justified all the actions taken to reduce the number of Jews and requested that the plans developed for making the remaining Jews useful to the state through farming and hand work be carried out and that the administrators be given the instructions necessary for achieving these goals.

The deputation which is waiting in Vienna is generating unnecessary costs for the Jewish community on one hand, and on the other hand, they want to bother your Majesty with their unsubstantiated, untruthful allegations which are detrimental to the land. They should be sent home.

Two days later, on October 7, the Kaiser made his decision.

The deputation was, without having the opportunity, to personally present their grievances to his Majesty, sent back to Bukovina. Their story received no attention and was totally dismissed by the Minister of war.

The delegation as well as other Bukovina Jews in Vienna at the time were treated in a very unfriendly way.

On October 16, 1782 the minister of war sent the following order to the south Austrian commanding general: These two as well as any other Bukovina Jews to be found here should be collected and be turned over to Mr. Platzmajor to be returned to their places of origin.

On October 16, 1782, the commanding General of Galicia as well as General Enzenberg were ordered to allow no more Jews to enter Bukovina and to replace any deported ritual personnel with indigenous individuals.

Any decrees issued in connection with the serving of drinks remain in force.

The Jews who are in the district in disproportionate numbers compared to the hard working locals should gradually be “weaned” from their usurious practices which are harmful to the state and their near criminal activities and without completely destroying them they should be turned to more beneficial activities.

Those who don't cooperate have only the option of emigrating. Former residents who emigrated or have spent several years away from Bukovina will not be allowed to return because that will only increase the number of Jews here.

In connection with marriage, strict rules will be observed with only those who are engaged in agriculture allowed to obtain a marriage license for a fee of 20 ducats without an extra fee, presents, miscellaneous charges, no matter which name they may choose. Officials can be subject to dismissal for demanding such fees.

Leasing property to Jews was forbidden with the exception of land which they had to work with their own hands and in no way with the help of Christians, although after the Kaiser's order of November 17, 1781 the use of Christian farm hands was expressly allowed for another 2 years.

In general, according to the views of the Minister of War, the only remedy for the evil of owners leasing entire estates and even villages was for the owners themselves to personally manage their property and in this way assure their own wellbeing.

In order that no more delegations come to Vienna, the Minister of War forbid “suspicious meetings” and no less so, expensive travel. In the future, complaints from individuals or communities were to be directed to local officials - who if they can't resolve the problem - have the option to forward the complaint by post to the Galician Commanding General or in extreme situations to the Minister of War.

Enzenberg came away completely victorious, but since the Jews were only forbidden from leasing villages, he was not entirely satisfied and according to his summary report, there were 747 Jewish families in the land (2.71 % of the entire population), a number which he would like to significantly reduce.

He also recommended that leasing of mills and bars be forbidden.

The Commanding General and the Minister of War still hadn't decided to implement this ban and recommended to the owners of mills and bars that that they lease to Christians in order that Christians were not always subservient to Jews and further, they said that Jewish lessees should hire Jewish millers and laborers.

Enzenberg ignored these suggestions and acting on his own closed 50 Jewish run bars.

The new decrees which hit the Jews hard became from day to day more ruinous. It was clear to everyone that the aim of the regime was to force any Jews who refused to engage in farming or hand work or who didn't have enough capital to engage in commerce to emigrate.

Above all, Enzenberg considered it necessary to “classify” the Jews, that is to be able to list them as either farmers, hand workers or businessmen {I think import/export type business implied}.

He entrusted this task to the so-called Apportionment Commission which had earlier concerned itself with the regulation of boundaries and land ownership and whose membership consisted of Colonel von Metzger, Riding Master Pizelli, Court Stenographer Erggelet, Auditor Harsany and Helias De Herescul.

The Kahals {Jewish internal government} of the individual communities were involved in these discussions.

All family heads, single and independent Jews were called before this commission to testify to their possessions and assets, their source of income, their skills and position.

Using the information obtained in these interviews, the Commission determined the classifications of the individual Jews.

392 individuals were classified as agricultural workers, 111 as merchants and traders, 101 as professional in various fields or hand workers. 68 families didn't fit any of the 3 classifications, partly because of their high age and partly because they were serving as judges, kahale members, teachers or other similar positions.

The total number of Jews classified came to 672 individuals.

All these measures greatly agitated the Jewish population, for they saw all to clearly the implications of Enzenberg's politics.

Meetings were held, deputations from 13 Jewish communities met in Czernowitz and they decide to send a petition to Enzenberg which was delivered on April 4, 1783.

The following 20 deputies, mostly community elders (Kahale members) from 13 Jewish communities signed the petition:

Czernowitz: Elik Lasar, Jossel Simon, Leib Hersch
Suceava: Leiser Joel, David Simson, Efroim Moises
Sereth: Berl Abraham, Wolf Itzig
Sadagura: Herschl Abraham, Selig Herschl
Wiznitz: David Itzig, Jossel Leibl
Rosch: Herschl Leibl
Oszechlib: Josef Schlojma
Luzan: Efroim Schlouma
Rohozna: Itzig Chaskiel
Waschkoutz: Leibl Selig
Jurkoutz: Leibl
Draczynetz: Samson
Maletynetz: Abraham

In the petition, they sought in the name of all the Jews in Bukovina to be excused from farming since some of the most vital periods of farm work occur during Jewish religious holidays when they couldn't possibly attend to it. Further, they requested that they be allowed to continue their current ways of earning a living such as leasing land and their commercial enterprises. They also requested that after they paid the necessary taxes, their children be allowed to marry Jewish children from Galicia and vice versa.

For permission to continue their present occupations and businesses, they offered to pay a flat yearly tax of 5000 ducats, that they would pay in 4 yearly installments. Those Jews who couldn't pay this sum and who are incapable of supporting themselves had the choice of working as farmers or leaving the land.

They sent their petition to Enzenberg to avoid having to apply to another authority.

In their desperation, they were ready to emigrate if necessary.

Enzenberg added marginal notes to the petition which among other things said:

The offer of 5000 ducats, or even 100,000 or more ducats would never divert such a just monarch, whose chief concern is the well-being of his loyal subjects, from humaneness and equity. It is therefore difficult to imagine a different decision than the often repeated one for the Jews that is to make them into useful arms of the state. The Jews must accept this decision without question or complaint.

On April 22, 1783 Enzenberg sent the Galician Commanding General a letter about the situation in which he first described the “classification” and pointed out that those Jews who neither had capital or ran a business or were hand workers had to become farmers. In order to encourage them, they were assured that they could settle in fertile regions and so they could learn farming skills, they would be allowed to use Christian laborers for up to two years who, however could not live on the farm.

In spite of these advantages Enzenberg believed that only few would become farmers because the majority would rather emigrate than “reach for the plow”.

On the other hand, those who were classified for business/trade would run businesses that were beneficial to the community. He expressly forbids peddling. He didn't believe that the grievances would be worth the trouble. If the Jews choose to emigrate, the state won't miss these creatures and it would be advantageous if all or at least a large part of them found another region to annoy and harass.

Two days later on April 2, 1783 Enzenberg published the decree stating that the 392 Jewish families classified as farmers start their new profession within 6 weeks. If they don't achieve this goal, they will be given 14 days after this deadline that is until June 20, 1783 to leave the land.

Of the 392 Jewish families who were assigned to farming, 255 families declared that they were not capable of practicing this job. They were the first victims of the mass removal.

Meanwhile the Galician Commanding General called the Jew's offer of a 5000 ducat yearly tax and “impertinence” and Enzenberg told the Jews in an open forum that their continued refractoriness would lead to their total expulsion from the land. In this way the authorities believed they could frighten the Jews and force them to cooperate.

On April 29, 1783, Enzenberg had the Jews of Czernowitz and Sadagura gather in the Czernowitz synagogue and through three trustworthy officers, Staff and Chief Auditor V. Orlandini, Captian-Lieutenant F. W. Lindenfels and Second Lieutenant Storr were informed that in conformance with the order issued on April 21 the Jews assigned to farming had to take up these jobs or leave the district.

The assembled Jews made a courageous protest that if their recent offer wasn't accepted they would rather leave Bukovina than become farmers and finally, they still wanted to send 4 or 6 representatives to Vienna.

Enzenberg immediately reported on April 30 to the Commanding General in Lemberg about the stormy course the meeting had taken, in a document that took a highly negative view of the Jews.

Enzenberg was made uneasy by the strong resistance of the Jews and their intention to send another delegation to Vienna. Enzenberg strictly forbid this intention. The Jews persisted however with this decision which made Enzenberg even more nervous since there was nothing he could do if they got the money together and secretly made the trip.

He therefore asked Field Marshal Schroeder for expedited and decisive orders. Schroeder, concerned by the resistance of the Jews didn't trust himself to make the decision and forwarded a request for direction to the palace asking how to make the stubborn Jews become farmers in accordance with His Majesty's wishes, because, again in accordance with His Majesties' wishes the alternative to the Jew's becoming farmers would be their expulsion along with a loss in tax revenue.

In contrast to Enzenberg, Schroeder was far more concerned with the loss of a large number of tax payers.

Meanwhile the Jewish elders in Lemberg and Vienna asked for a one year respite in order to prepare themselves for farming.

In view of the situation of agriculture in Eastern Europe at that time, the resistance of the Jews was understandable. The social and political position of farmers at that time must of frightened the Jews. Not the fear of heavy physical labor - as the authorities would like to believe - held the Jews back from farming, but the uncertainty and the serf like status of farmers sent a warning signal to them.



Despite the strongest monitoring by Enzenberg, the Jews succeeded in collecting money and in sending a three man delegation consisting of Berl Herschl, Selig Jankl and Chaim Sindel to Vienna.

During the first days of June 1783 the delegates representing the entire Bukovina Jewish community met in Vienna and on the 10th of June handed over in the Kaiser's Cabinet a new petition to His Majesty. At that time the Kaiser was traveling to Northern Siebenburg.

In their petition they stated that they were concerned about the fate of the 255 families who were marked for deportation and begged for a suspension of this action.

If the Kaiser insisted on their deportation, they pleaded for a delay since the time to the scheduled deportation was far too short for them to conclude their leases and their business affairs and to sell their household goods, their businesses, cattle and unripe grain as well as for them to pay their outstanding debts.

They asked for an accelerated decision on this matter since they would suffer great losses if they were not allowed through His Majesties mercy to remain as subjects of his empire.

The request was passed on to the Minister of War who already on June 16 published his decision.

He stressed that the Jews had refused to cooperate and he categorically denied the request of the delegation and with that the fate of the intervention was sealed.

Around the same time, Kaiser Joseph II was in Bukovina where he had arrived on June 14 and on June 15 and 16 he stayed in Suceava and on June 17 he arrived in Czernowitz. The Jews used this opportunity to hand him a petition which asked for a softening of the punitive ruling.

In total, over 40 petitions were submitted of which 17 dealt with the upcoming expulsion. Of these, 5 were from the Bukovina and Sadagura communities, expressing a plea that all Jewish lessees be exempted from farming and be allowed to continue holding their leases. There were also pleas for the entire Jewish community of Bukovina to be exempt from farming and to be allowed to be the lessees of villages, mills, ponds and bars as well as for the nullification of the classification system and furthermore a declaration from all the Jews of Bukovina that 200 Jews who do not want to farm were ready to leave Bukovina. Also there were 12 petitions from individuals who sought exemption from the order to become farmers.

The petitions found no ear. In a handwritten note that the Kaiser, shortly before his departure from Czernowitz on June 19, 1783 gave to the Minister of War, Graf Hadik, he said in point 10 concerning the entire issue of the reforms in Bukovina:

“Concerning the Jews, we will continue with the plan that has been formulated. If they do not want to become good handworkers or businessmen, they must devote themselves to farming or leave the land.”

On the basis of this note as well as the agreement in the Kaiser's resolution of July 5 concerning the Minister of War's statements on the petition to the Kaiser submitted by the Jewish delegation from Bukovina, it was clear that no changes were to be expected.

On July 4, 1783 the Minister of War reiterated that based on the Kaiser's handwritten note we will proceed with the plan to eject all those Jews who do not want to become good businessmen or craftsmen {text doesn't mention farming here}.

With the decree of July 19, 1783 the situation for the Jews who were willing to become farmers became even worse in that it was directed that Jewish farmers had to work leased land for 20 years and then if they converted to Christianity they could obtain the land [text doesn't make it clear if they got the land at this point or if they just got the right to buy it}.

This demonstrated to the Jews who were willing to become farmers the hopelessness of their future if they didn't want to turn their backs on their Jewish heritage.

On July 15, Enzenberg ordered that the Jews destined for farming report to their assigned locations and that the recalcitrant Jews be deported.

Under this pressure 255 Jewish families left for the Moldau and Chotin and this exit process lasted into the year of 1793.

Enzenberg's goal as well as the goal of his superiors to reduce the Jewish population was fully and completely achieved.

Two years later there were only 175 Jewish families out of a total of 29,102 families in the entire land so that the Jews made up only .6% of the population.

The Jews' striving to survive and prosper however was far stronger than Enzenberg's efforts to make Bukovina, wherever possible, “Jew free”.

In the year 1789, six years later, out of 29,115 total families with 146,524 individuals, there were 463 Jewish families with 2383 individuals. In 1794, that is 5 years later, there were 360 Jewish families with 2126 individuals (1173 male and 953 female) and of these there were 344 married men and 351married women, 669 children under 12 (339 boys and 330 girls) and 341 children over 12 (197 boys and 144 girls) and furthermore, 282 male servants and 88 female servants and finally 51 poor (11 male and 40 female)

In 1797 there were a total of 33,536 families with 176,987 individuals. Of these there were 614 Jewish families with 3121 individuals and in 1808 there was a total of 45,345 families with 215,575 individuals and in 1808 out of 45,345 families withj a total of 215,575 individuals there were 804 Jewish famiieswith 3781 individuals.

This increase of the Jewish population was connected with conditions for the Jews in Galicia.

In Galicia the taxes were far more onerous than in Bukovina. While in Galicia In addition to the “tolerance tax” in 1784, there was also the kosher meat surcharge and with the end of 1797, the lamp lighting [for someone who lights Lampson Sabbath?} fee that oppressed the poorer strata in Galicia and which was not charged in Bukovina. The old tax structure in Bukovina, which at that time was already annexed by Galicia, remained in force until 1881.

In addition to these every Jew had to pay 5 florins to the prince in addition to the following surcharges: work tax of 5 florins at the rate of 1 ½ florin 30 kreuzer quarterly, service 8 kreuzer, fire wood 2 kreuzer which was raised to 12 florin 40 kreuzer.

In comparison, the tax load of the Galician Jews was much higher and more oppressive. They had to pay the recruiting tax since 1788 in contrast to the Bukovina Jews who only started paying this tax in 1830.

These circumstances lured the Galician Jews to Bukovina, where in spite of the watchfulness of the authorities they gradally emigrated. In Bukovina they tended to take up residence in pivate homes where their presence was unnoticed by the police. On may 4, 1786, the administration issued a strict ruling that only in the most pressing circumstances would these new Jews receive a legitimate document allowing them to remain a maximum of 8 days. For every day they remained over the departure day noted on their certificate, they would be fined 1 ducat. The strange Jews would only be allowed to stay in the inns designated for them in Czernowitz, Suceava and Sereth. All those who boarded strange Jews, even if they were relatives (parents and siblings excepted) would be subject to a fine of two ducats.

In spite of this, the Jews found ways of remaining undetected and after a certain period settling in the land.

The coming and going between the Jews in Galicia and those in Bukovina was two active for any administrative measures to dampen.

In January 1796, a half year before Bukovina became a “special district” of Galicia the Galician Jewish Patent of May 27, 1786 was extended to the Jews of Bukovina with which the Kahale and the Rabbinical Court were done away with.

The Bukovina administration however suggested keeping them in force in Czernowitz and Suceava and furthermore suggested that instead of holding elections of the Jewish leaders every 3 years as specified in the aforementioned patent to hold them yearly.

The administration was informed; however, “the Jewish system in Bukovina shall be made similar to that of Galicia”. The reason for this decision was given as follows, “by allowing the Bukovina Jews to continue under the present patent, they will retain the right to buy or lease land.”

From a spiritual and cultural viewpoint, the Bukovina Jews were allowed to live their own lives like all other East European Jews. At that point in time, there was no famous rabbi leading the community.

In the second half of the XVIII century, there were merely two Czernowitz rabbis, Israel Josef Ehrendorf who served as rabbi since 1750 and his successor, Rabbi Baruch ben Schlomo (died 1794).

We only know that during the visit of Kaiser Joseph II to Buovina, a Rabbi Moises Coon sought his appointment as chief state rabbi and judge.

No further details are known about him.

In the second half of the XVIII century, the Bukovina Jews, although they lived in the area where the great mystical movements (led by Sabbatai Zwi and Jakob Frank) played out and later the Chasidic movement took place, they were not much influenced by them.

Frank told in his testimony before the court in Warsaw in 1760, that is after his baptism that he had received a letter “in which it was revealed to me that there were gathered many Jewish believers in Walachia. The letter was sent to me by Lejzor, the oldest of the Jews in Czernowitz and was also signed by several other Jews. In this letter I was not told how many such Jews there were, but that there were many.”

Given his dishonest character, it is difficult to say how much of this is actually true.

In the second half of the XVIII century (since the 50's), the oldest Jew in Czernowitz was Lejzor Israel. We can't assume, however that he was the one corresponding with Frank.

To what degree the former Czernowitz rabbi, Baruch ben Schlomo, the predecessor of Rabbi Chaim Tyrer fought the Frankisten is also historically uncertain.

Chasidism began planting deep roots here much later and had a definite effect on the form Jewish life took in the first half of the XIX century after the first “rabbinic courts” were established.

Also the striving for Haskala {Jewish rationalistic “enlightenment” in 18th and 19th century Europe} took place here later in the XIX century.

In 1786, Kaiser Joseph II visited Galicia and during his visit to Lemberg he listened favorably to the request to combine Bukovina and Galicia.

With the decree of the Royal Chancellery of August 6, 1786 Bukovina became “in politicis et cameralibus” a special district of Galicia.

On November 1, 1786 the administration was to be turned over to the civil government.

With the incorporation of Bukovina into Galicia began a new chapter in the history of the Jews of Bukovina.


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