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I. Drohobycz

 

The History of the Jews of Drohobycz

by Dr N. M. Gelber

Translated by Dov Youngerman and Yocheved Klausner

Edited by Valerie Schatzker, with the assistance of Alexander Sharon and Daniela Mavor

Drohobycz was established early as a royal town chartered under the Magdeburg Law.[1] The towns of Drohobycz, Borysław, Dolina, Stryj, and the surrounding areas were important for their salt mines. Because the mines did not yield pure salt, the mineral had to be refined. The earliest documents record that a church built in Drohobycz in 1392 was used as an administrative centre for the salt refineries. Refined salt was sold and distributed by agencies, most of them leased to Jews.

In Lwów, on 31 March 1460, King Kazimierz Jagiełłończyk (1427–1492)[2], who reigned from 1447 to 1492, reaffirmed the privileges that had been granted to the townspeople and their leaders by King Władysław[3], especially the Magdeburg Law and the right to cut trees freely in the royal forests for both construction and firewood. Drohobycz enjoyed royal patronage, especially from King Zygmunt I[4], who founded a children's hospital there in 1540. In 1571, a shelter for old people was established. King Zygmunt August[5] also helped the town's development by granting various privileges that aided general growth and commerce. The town was situated at an economically strategic point on the Lwów–Grodek–Sambor trade route, with easy access to the salt mines near Drohobycz and Stebnik. King Zygmunt August also transferred to the town government the right to levy tax on beverages, as well as on wagons which came to transport salt or other goods.

The Ruthenian settlement grew from the start of the sixteenth century. Kings Jan Albrecht[6], Aleksander Jagiełłończyk[7], and Zygmunt I granted the Ruthenian church comprehensive privileges that not only guaranteed freedom of worship but also established the foundation for the Church's economic existence. Nevertheless in 1540, under the influence of Polish settlers, Zygmunt I prohibited the erection of a Ruthenian church inside the city walls.

Jews lived in Drohobycz as early as the beginning of the fifteenth century[8]. In 1404, only Jews, who were salt lessees, were permitted to live within the town; the others lived in the suburb of Na Łanie,[9] where they eventually set up their own community. Although they were given permission to settle on lands adjoining the mines, they were not allowed to establish a cemetery, since a cemetery and a synagogue always constituted the basis for a Jewish community. When Jews had a cemetery, they were reluctant to leave the area, being fearful of leaving behind the graves of their ancestors.

One of the earliest Jewish salt–mine lessees in Drohobycz was known by the name of Wolczko. Besides leasing the salt mines, Wolczko served as a banker for the court. At the time, the king, Władyslaw Jagiełło,[10] took an active part in the settlement of Galicia, or Russyn,[11] as it was then known.

In 1425, we hear about a Drohobycz Jew by the name of Detko or Dzatko, who was a salt mine lessee, a wholesale merchant with trade connections in Turkey and Kiev, and a supplier to the royal court. In the king's correspondence, he is known as officialis noster (our representative). Detko also had financial dealings with the court of King Władysław Jagiełło, with various noblemen, and with town dwellers in Lwów, to whom he paid sizeable sums on the king's orders.[12] We know of yet another lessee from Drohobycz, called Natko or Nathan, who held the lease for the salt mines from 1452 to 1454, paying a total of 3,050 grzywna (one grzywna was worth 200 grams of silver) in rent for two years.

Shimshon of Źydaczów, a well–known lessee of that century, held the lease for the mines from 1471 to 1474. He had to pay 2,363 grzywna a year for the lease to collect the royal taxes in Lwów and Grodek, and for the lease for salt in Drohobycz. He also had to supply the king's court and in 1472, the archbishop in Kraków with one roll of Turkish silk.

In the fifteenth century, the salt mine lessees of Drohobycz were the most important in Russyn. They sought to obtain a monopoly on the right to collect the town's income itself. Jakub Judicz was a salt mine lessee in Drohobycz and a well–known wholesale merchant in Russyn. At the end of February 1564,[13] King Zygmunt August granted him the lease on brandy, which the king described as being to the town's advantage. Based on that royal privilege, the municipal government, on its own initiative, leased to the Jews the collection of the annual income

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from the municipal monopolies of the alcohol distilleries, salt refineries, and the import of lumber and building materials. In turn, each lessee employed sub–lessees, as well as a considerable staff of Jewish customs officials and clerks. This increased the number of Jewish inhabitants of the area.

The Gentiles in Drohobycz were not comfortable with this situation and made every effort to get rid of the Jews. They used the only means at their disposal: the law de non tolerandis Judaeis (the law of not tolerating Jews).[14] In 1569, the conflicts concerning the presence of the Jews led to a dispute between the city and the king. In that year, the king, without having the authority to do so, mistakenly leased the tax on alcohol to two Jews, Shmuel Markowicz from Chelm and Isak Jakuszow of Lwów. The city protested, maintaining that the right to lease the alcoholic beverage tax was the city's exclusive privilege. Because of this protest, the king was forced to rescind his decision in that same year. The lessees brought a suit against the city (adversus famatos proconsulem, consules, advocatum et scabinos oppidi nostri Drohobycz). The king rejected the lessees' claims. In his decision, he stated that the town's ancient privileges gave it the right over propination. (This was the right over the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages, which was usually owned by the nobility; peasants could not purchase alcohol that was not made in the landowner's distillery and were obliged to purchase a given quantity of vodka). Thus, he argued that he had no power to grant the right to this tax to Shmuel Markowicz and Isak Jakuszow. It would have been impossible to grant them an advantage that infringed on the city's privileges and they were obliged to return the tax to the town.[15] This dispute encouraged the city to try to obtain the privilege of non tolerandis Judaeis. Its efforts bore fruit. On 20 March 1578, when about 3,600 people were living in Drohobycz, King Stefan Batory [16] granted this privilege to the city. Under this law, Jews were forbidden, either in Drohobycz itself or immediately outside its walls, to lease, rent, or conduct any trade whatsoever, except at fairs, and even then, only on occasion. They were also forbidden to settle in the area outside the city. Any Jew who tarried in the town longer than three days was to be punished with a fine of 12,000 marks, and whoever gave him lodging would be fined 100 grzywna. The fines would be divided equally between the royal treasury and the town to cover its needs. [17]

For fifty–seven years, there were no Jews in Drohobycz or its environs. In the same era, the town suffered from incursions by Tatar hordes and in 1618, the entire town was destroyed. This dire situation continued throughout the 1640s to the point that in 1645, the town was relieved of paying all taxes due “to the great destruction.” [18] In 1635, there was a notable turning point [for the Jews]. The wojewoda (head of a township) of Russyn, Jan Danielowicz, gave the Jews permission to settle on his lands in Na Łanie near Drohobycz. They were permitted to live only outside the town, near the salt refineries. They were forbidden to establish a cemetery. This permission was granted because of economic necessity. The lessees of the salt mines and the customs houses, and even the villages in the Drohobycz district needed their Jewish clerks. Thanks to their efforts this permission was obtained from Danielowicz. [19]

It should not be forgotten that, in this very period, there were royal estates in the environs of Drohobycz held by two very wealthy Jews of Lwów, Yitzhak Nachmanowicz and Izak ben Mordechai (Markowicz), who lived and acted like lords. Their influence with the authorities was so great that they could obtain permission for a Jewish settlement. They lived in Na Łanie, on a private estate under jurydyka podmiejska (suburban jurisdiction). The Jews who lived there were not subject to the laws of the town. This permission was confirmed by Kings Wladislaw IV and Jan Kazimierz.

In 1648, the Cossacks of Bohdan Chmielnicki made incursions near the town. The townspeople contacted them. They collected jewelry for them in the Ruthenian church, but the priest stole it and fled from the town. When the Cossacks appeared before the town, the Catholic townspeople opened fire. The Ruthenians abandoned the batteries and shouted to those who remained to cease fire, since they would succeed only in destroying themselves and others. [20] In the meantime, another group took the weapons from the town and the batteries and handed them over to the Cossacks. Together with the Ruthenians, the Cossacks attacked the Catholic church, slaughtered the Catholics they found there, and pillaged everything in sight. The Cossacks withdrew, thanks only to military assistance of the citizens of Stryj. After the troops from Stryj left the town, Ruthenian people from the town and villages gathered together near Drohobycz; they looted and destroyed the town. It is not known what happened to the Jews of Drohobycz, but it is assumed that they fled with those townspeople who escaped to Stryj.

In 1663, only fifteen Jewish homes were counted in the census in the Na Łanie suburb. This census was conducted on 8 October by the officials of Volhynia, the starosta [21] of Pinsk Jan Franciszek Lubowicki, [22] the scribe of Halicz Jerzy Mrozowicz, and the royal secretary Stanisław Makalski.

During this census, the town complained to the authorities that the Jews living in Na Łanie brought only problems for the town. They had settled and built their own street, Ulica Żydówska (Jew Street). Contrary to the laws and privileges of the town, they had opened shops and were engaged in commerce, selling mead, liquors, beer, and brandy. The town requested that the Jewish street be destroyed and the Jews evacuated, since in the past Drohobycz had only one or two Jews working in the service of the salt mines.

To answer this complaint, the Jews produced the royal permit of King Kazimierz [23] given in Warsaw on 18 December 1659, which included the letter of the deputy minister of the treasury, Daniłowicz [24] and the confirmation of that letter by King Władysław IV. [25]

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The Jews maintained that they were also in possession of other, even older privileges, but they could not produce them, since they were held by the jurist Zadworny in Warsaw. After considerable deliberation, the authorities recognized that Łan belonged to the Drohobycz district, which collected an annual rent of 100 zloty from the Jews. They made no definite decision but transferred the matter for adjudication to the royal court that was scheduled to convene two weeks after the Sejm (the Polish Parliament) was to assemble. Aside from this grievance, the town also complained that the local lessee, Aron ben Yitzhak (Izakowicz) maintained four soldier–servants for his convenience, forcing the town to provde them quarters and pay each of them one and a half gold pieces per week. Residents of the suburb complained that Aron ben Yitzhak would take whiskey from them and prevent their buying whiskey for weddings and other joyous occasions at cheaper prices.

Aron ben Yitzhak replied that he maintained not four but two servants with the permission of and under contract to the town. These servants were needed to expedite the sale of whiskey and to prevent its being stolen and sold by neighboring peddlers.

The town officials ruled that according to the agreement with the town, Aron ben Yitzhak had the authority to maintain two soldier–servants. The townspeople could impose new conditions concerning soldier–servants in any new contract they might sign. The complaint of the suburban residents was found to be unjustified.

Aron ben Yitzhak complained to the authorities that the town government had not repaid a debt of 2,511 gold pieces and 10 groschen that it owed him and did not allow him to deduct this from his rent, even though the town did not deny that it owed him that sum. The final ruling was that Aron ben Yitzhak could deduct the debt from the rent payments in three stages. [26]

Following this census, on 28 September 1664, the town government rented to the Jews of Łan one tavern and ten shops for the sale of merchandise permitted by the guilds for a six–year period. An annual rent payment of 200 gold pieces was paid in advance. Under this agreement, the Jews were released from several debts. The city would not allow any foreign Jew to reside in the town without the agreement of the leaders of the Jewish community. The Jews were not subject to the town's jurisdiction but to that of their own courts and the courts of the wojewoda. [27] Any disputes with the guilds would be argued before the town council. Jews from outside the town could not be employed in the shops. Any party that did not abide by the terms of the agreement would be punished with a fine of 1,000 gold pieces.

This contract was signed on behalf of the Jews by Isaak Josefowicz, Shmuel Herszowiz, Isak Majerowicz, Mendel Dawidowicz of Przemyśl, Lazar Ruwen Zelkowicz, Moshe Jakubowicz, Shlomo Berkowicz, Dawid Josefowicz, and Yudka Zalmanowicz of Krakow. The contract was renewed in 1672 and 1678. The third contract (1678) was kept only four years instead of six, since the Jews sold mead and beer in eight taverns instead of two and maintained forty stores instead of eight, as provided in the agreement.

Little by little, the settlement grew. Despite the legal prohibitions, wealthy Jews gradually penetrated the city itself. Over time, they established a community with many institutions. On occasion, this situation stirred up the opposition within the town government and protests would be raised. Relations between Jews and non–Jews were not always friendly. The situation grew especially bad in the Drohobycz area following the deteriorating situation in the villages and suburbs with Jewish lessees and their officials. Once more, the townspeople and craftsmen saw the Jews as strong economic competitors. They complained that the Jews were undermining their existence and destroying their economic standing.

In 1670, rabbi and chief religious judge, Rabbi Yekutiel Zalman Siegel Kharif, the son of the rabbi of Przemyśl, Josef Kharif [28] served in Drohobycz. He was rabbi for ten years. In 1680, his position was taken by Rabbi Zvi Hirsch, the son of Chaim, rabbi in Kołomyja, the son of Yehoshua of Kracow, who had formerly been rabbi in Brzeźany. From Drohobycz, he went on to occupy the rabbi's position in Tyśmienica. His son Israel, [29] who was also rabbi of Drohobycz and later lived in Kamieniec Podolski, was appointed by King August III [30] on 26 February as his agent and servant with the right to buy wine and other goods for the king without paying customs duty. In the letter of appointment, [31] he was described as rabbi of Drohobycz (Israel Herschowitz Rabinus Drohobicensis incola Camenecii Podoliensis) and as a wise and honest man. In fact, he was the only Jewish agent at the court of King August III. In 1755, he was also appointed as a trustee of the House of Israel in the Council of Four Lands. [32]

After Rabbi Zvi Hirsch, R'Yehuda Leib ben Jacob was appointed rabbi. In 1696, he gave his endorsement to the book, Dat Yekutiel (Źółkwa: 1696) by R'Yekutiel Siskind, the son of Rabbi Shlomo Halevy, who printed the 613 mitzvot in rhyme.

His successor in the rabbi's chair was the Rabbi Naftali Hirsch, who on 21 Sivan, 5526 (1766) in Drohobycz gave his endorsement to the book Ohel Moed (Frankfurt am Oder: 1767) by the rabbi and chief religious judge of the community of Ulanów, R'Yosef Jaski, the son of R'Yehiel Michal. It presented new variations on the number of blessings and the laws of the holidays.

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From the administrative standpoint, the autonomous Jewish institutions of Drohobycz, which was in the Przemyśl district, were part of the assembly of Jewish institutions of the province of Russyn; they sent two community leaders to its meetings. Their work began to be noticed around the mid eighteenth century. In that period, there lived in Drohobycz R'Isak Chajet (1660–1726), one of the most famous scholars of his generation and a well–known kabbalist and sharp opponent of Shabtai Zvi. He was the grandson of the Vilna rabbi R'Manosh Chajet. He served as rabbi in Skole, but due to disputes with the leaders of the community, he left its rabbinate and settled in Drohobycz, where he also took an active role in Jewish life. He died in 1726 and was buried in Drohobycz.

The Jewish community grew substantially during the reign of King Jan III Sobieski (1696–1796), who had a great deal of interest in the situation of Jews in Żółkiew, Przemyśl, and Drohobycz. He had a special concern for the Jews in Drohobycz and did a great deal to improve their condition. On 13 June 1682 under his reign, the lessees of the taverns and shops, along with the leaders of the community, agreed to pay an annual rent of 300 gold pieces for six years, starting on June 1, 1683. After the expiration of this agreement, the city was authorized to act according to its laws and privileges, if it did not wish to sign a new contract. This time the pact was signed by the community leaders: Izaak Jozefowicz, Abraham Moszkowitz, Srul Dawidowicz, Giecio (Getz) Helclowicz, Israel Hayfer Lwowski and Szymon Kru. [33] In 1684, the Jews already had forty shops and dominated all branches of commerce. Of course, the townspeople looked upon this unfavourably; they were not ready to tolerate the expansion of the Jewish community in the town.

On September 8, 1685, the townspeople brought a suit against the Jewish lessees: Izcyk Shmuyl, Samson Shmuyl, Dr Danielew, Jacob Giec, and Mendel, Jona, and Moshe Shmuyl Dawid, charging that by being in violation of earlier contracts they were bringing injury to the town. [34]

The Jews brought a countersuit, and on 18 March 1686, King Jan III Sobieski ordered that no one disturb the Jews in their commerce, their shops, and their taverns, until the royal committee had reached a decision. In this order, the king also commanded that the Jews be allowed to maintain their customs and their court, as permitted to them by the laws of the kingdom. In 1688, a new dispute broke out on the matter of municipal leasing between the town and two Jews, Shmuel ben Chaim (Chaimowicz) and Leib ben Yitzhak (Izakowicz). King Jan III Sobieski ordered that a royal committee investigate the matter. These lessees complained that Piotr Woszczynowski and Alexander Truska, town government and city council members of Drohobycz, had signed a three–year rental contract with them for the period 1688–91, but that, without any explanation, the town government was conducting negotiations with other individuals. The committee was instructed to study the matter from the legal standpoint, discuss the issue with both parties, and make efforts to reach a compromise. [35] However, we lack information about the outcome of this dispute.

During the same period, on October 6, 1690, at the behest of the townspeople, King Jan III Sobieski forbade the Jew Liebermann, who had kept a tavern near the church, to distill brandy and beer, since his business violated the privileges of the town and brought damage to it and to the church. He ordered him to remove his tavern and ordered the town government to pay him compensation.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Jews were primarily employed in the sale of alcoholic beverages, in leasing, and in trade. Almost all the villages around the town were leased to Jews. In 1564, we hear of the Jew Jakub Judicz, a lessee of the salt mines and of propination in the town. After him, two other Jews became lessees. One of the most important lessees was Aron ben Yitzhak (Izakowicz), mentioned above. Toward the end of the seventeenth century, after 1683, the head of the community, Izak Józefowicz, leased the right for municipal propination.

In those years, the lessee Liebermann was involved in disputes with other Jewish lessees, when, behind the backs of the leaders of the community, he obtained an agreement with the starosta that granted him the lease for propination. Only thanks to the king's intervention was this matter dealt with according to the law. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, conditions changed to favour the Jews in many ways. From then on, the Jews expanded their activities in the town, taking over all commerce and industry, as well as most trades. Apart from leasing the town's monopolies, selling liquor, and distilling brandy and beer, they were involved in wholesale trade on a large scale, particularly dominating in foreign trade. Jewish merchants from Drohobycz came in great numbers to the fairs in Breslau, Frankfurt am Oder, Danzig, Königsberg, Leipzig, and other German cities. A wholesale merchant would consign his merchandise to traders or agents, who would travel as his hired representatives and sell within the city or its environs. The agents would also travel to fairs in other cities to sell the merchandise. These merchants were the pillars of commerce. Trade in salt from the Drohobycz mines was another important sector of the economy that was almost entirely concentrated in the hands of Jews. They brought the salt to Lwów, where they ran into stiff competition from Jewish salt merchants who were bringing salt from Bolechów and Kałusz to sell at a lower price. Thus, for example, during five weeks in 1621, 4,000 sacks of salt from Bolechów were sold at a price of one gold piece and six groschen per sack, while the salt from Drohobycz remained unsold because of its high price. However, Drohobycz merchants also sold their salt to other cities and to Wallachia (Romania).

Commerce in salt and the leases for the salt mines were in the hands of Jews in the eighteenth century as well.

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The trade in oxen, destined for sale in Breslau, was also concentrated in the hands of several Jews. The partners Yehoshua ben Shmue (Shmuylowicz) and Baruch be Elisha (Eliszowicz), Eliezer ben Arie (Leibowitz) and Eliezer ben Yitzhak (Izakowicz) used to buy herds of hundreds of bulls and cows and transport them to Silesia.

There were also wholesale merchants in cloth and fabrics in Drohobycz. One of them, Berko Meyerowicz, would buy and sell cloth for thousands of gold pieces. Another wholesaler, Wolf ben Jozef (Josefowicz), would bring large quantities of merchandise from Mogilew (in Belarus). Leib Leibowitz, who had capital of over 200,000 gold pieces, carried on an extensive trade with the outside world.

Drohobycz merchants also conducted large financial transactions abroad. In this regard, we know of Israel, the son of the Drohobycz rabbi Hersh ben Yaakov, who died during a visit in Dresden.

As a commercial center, Drohobycz attracted many Jews in Russyn and the population grew apace. By 1716, the number of Jewish families in the town had grown to 200. With time, all the commerce of Drohobycz and its environs was concentrated in the hands of Jews. In 1769, an official document noted that “the Jews include community leaders, merchants, shopkeepers, and artisans; the masses of Jews in Drohobycz, living in the town itself and in Łan, hold in their hands almost all sectors of commerce. They have settled within the Christian part of the town as well.” [36]

With the growth of the Jewish population, the number of artisans grew as well. In 1716 and 1717, there were a few Jewish tailors, three bakers, two goldsmiths, one tinsmith, one doctor, one furrier, one bookbinder, one jeweller, and one housepainter in Drohobycz.

In 1728, there were six tailors, three bakers, two tinsmiths, two goldsmiths, and two jewellers. Other Jewish workers, found in Drohobycz but not in other towns, were those serving the salt mines, such as clerks and lower officials working with the Jewish lessees.

Among the wealthy, there were also moneylenders. This was considered a profession. Some loaned only to Jews; others loaned to both Jews and Christians. For the most part, they would lend for bills of exchange or a pawn. Even merchants, who were not professional moneylenders, would make loans to invest their profits so that the money would not be idle. There were also moneychangers, who dealt with currency exchange. Since Drohobycz maintained trading ties with Hungary and Jewish traders would pass through various cities on their way to Hungary and Austria, they needed foreign currency. As Ber Birkenthal–Bolechower, [37] who accompanied his father on a trip to Hungary to buy wine, wrote: “… and we passed through the Jewish community of Drohobycz so that we could change Polish coins into Hungarian [38] and Austrian currency [39] coming from Hungary.” [40] They were helped by the famous and honourable Nagid (a wealthy elder), Rabbi Zalman Bejnat. [41]

As early as the seventeenth century, merchants and artisans, who had been well organized into various guilds as far back as the end of the fifteenth century, opposed the growing influence of the Jews in economic life. From the community chronicle, which is mainly devoted to the eighteenth century, we know of the existence of artisans' guilds, but we have no documents of bylaws for these organizations.

According to one document, dating to the period of the Austrian rule, there were long drawn out conflicts, as there were in other communities in Poland, between Jewish artisans and the Christian guilds that resulted from the stiff competition between the two groups. The Christian artisans wanted, if not to destroy the Jewish skilled trades, then at least to limit their activity by controlling the number of artisans. Unfortunately, we have no details on the actual background and the scope of this struggle and on the compromises reached and the compensation paid, as we do for other towns.

From the organizational and administrative standpoint, the Drohobycz community was included along with thirty–three other communities in the Przemyśl district council, but it did not join in paying taxes, apparently because the residents of Drohobycz were exempt from taxes.

The synagogue and the cemetery were already in existence by the beginning of the seventeenth century.

In 1711, the Jews received a permit to repair the synagogue from the bishop of Przemyśl, Jan Kazimierz. [42] In the 1720s, a fire broke out, and the synagogue burned down. After great efforts, a permit was received in 1726 from the bishop of Przemyśl Alexander Antony to allow the construction of a new synagogue on the same site, on condition that it would not be larger or more beautiful than the old one had been. The costs of construction were high; the Jews had to borrow sizable sums to meet them.

In 1733, the Jews received permission from the church to fence in the cemetery, in exchange for supplying windowpanes and carrying out various repairs to the Catholic church.

From an organizational–administrative standpoint, communal affairs were conducted as they were in the other communities in Russyn. From the minutes of the elections in 1717, we learn that heading the community council were two chief alufim (leaders), four parnasim (community workers), three tovim (respected people), three members of the community, and several financial committees with three to seven members.

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The following committees were in existence: a) synagogue fund (three to five members), b) Eretz–Israel collections (seven members), c) Talmud–Torah fund (five members), d) widows and orphans fund (four members), e) general charity collections (four to seven members), f) assessors' committee (thirty members), and g) rabbi, cantor and attendant committee (five arbitrators). Apart from this, the community elected two courts, each composed of six members. With the growth in the number of residents, the numbers of committee and community workers increased.

The Jews, who lived in the villages, were affiliated with the Drohobycz community and took part in its expenses. Their numbers grew over the years. By 1765, eighty–six villages belonged to the community.

Communal activities encompassed administrative and financial matters and judicial, religious and educational concerns, as in any community in Poland.

The earliest communal administrative committees known to us from documents are from the years 1664 and 1682. In 1682, the community council was composed of ten members: Icko Jozefowicz, Szmuyło Herszowicz, a son–in–law from Krynica, Icko Eysyk Majorowicz; Mendl Dawidowicz Przemyski; Leyzor Rubin Zelikowicz; Moszko Jakubowicz of Mościska; Szloma Berkowicz; Dawid Josoiwicz of Lublin; Uszer Aronowicz; Judka Zelmanowicz of Kracow. [43]

In 1682, the committee had only seven members: Izak Josefowicz; Abraham Moszowicz; Srul Dawidowicz; Srul Hajfer of Lwów; Matys Zelik Lwowski; Szymon Kru and Giecio Helclowicz. [44] According to the election by–laws, control remained permanently in the hands of the well off and the wealthy, the mine and propination lessees, and the wholesale merchants.

Over the years, there were several domineering people among the leaders of the community, who exploited their authority for their own benefit. One of them, Jona of Kropiwnik, made a ruling [45] naming himself “head of the leaders” for life. He exploited his position to effect a radical change in the method of election to further his schemes. Thus, in contradiction of the by–laws, two members of his family were among the four community heads elected.

During the period of his control, members of the community brought appeals against him to the Polish authorities. Despite these complaints, he succeeded in holding on to power, with the help of his family. His son Jehuda Leib was one of the heads of the community and his chief aide. He ruled with cruel severity, imposing taxes according to his whim, without considering the situation of the members of the community. After Jona's death in 1728, Jehuda Leib was chosen to head the community for the rest of his life.

The community also had an executive staff composed of rabbis, preachers, judges, slaughterers, and the scribe, who was the community's administrative officer and usually represented it before the gentile authorities. The community was involved in all the concerns of its residents: religious, economic, social, cultural, and educational. It fixed and collected the taxes necessary to cover its budget, which included salaries to the administrative staff, payments to government officials, the clergy, the municipality, and other direct and indirect taxes. It also collected general maintenance taxes, (100 gold pieces in 1738) and payments from weddings, funerals, dowries and honours.

Drohobycz was part of the council of the province of Russyn, and took an active part in its affairs. It used to send two representatives to council meetings. From a receipt of 1758, we learn that the community's representatives, who attended a province council meeting convened in Radom, received 640 gold pieces from the community for expenses. [46] The only ones on permanent salary were shtadlanim (lobbyists, representatives to the Gentiles) at the Sejm and community shtadlanim who were community employees.

It happened not infrequently that the community was at loggerheads with the leaders of the province of Russyn. In 1756, together with the Dolina community, it presented a complaint against the tax burden and the use of the leaders' power against the general good. Drohobycz representatives at the council of Russyn took part in the opposition against Dov Berisch, the son of the chief judge of Brody.

Relations between the community and the heads of the provincial council were rather tense and especially bad during the period, when Zalman ben Zeev (Wolfowitz) headed the council. After he was removed from office in 1758, relations deteriorated again when the community joined with Dolina and Rożniatów in a protest (15 April) against the provincial council of Russyn under the leadership of Berk Rabinowitz (son of the chief judge). According to the complaint, they used their authority only for their own benefit and oppressed the communities with a heavy tax burden. [47]

In the worst period of religious fanaticism in Poland, during the reign of the Polish king August II of Saxony (1697–1733), a blood libel trial was held (1718) against Adele, the daughter of the wealthy head of the Lwów community, Reb Moshe Kikenis. She was married to the son of a salt mine lessee in Drohobycz. Because the couple lived in Drohobycz, she was called Mistress Adele of Drohobycz. She conducted wide–ranging business affairs. Adele's gentile maidservant hid a dead Christian boy in her house on the night of Passover, and “confessed” to the priests that, at the command of her mistress, she had slaughtered the child for its blood, which the Jews needed for their Passover matzos. Because of this charge, Adele and all the Jews of Drohobycz were arrested. After cruel torture, Adele confessed that she herself had committed the crime, and that no other Jew was involved. The Jews were freed, and she was put on trial in Lwów. The trial was short, and she was sentenced to a cruel death. When the maid heard the verdict, she repented declaring that her confession had been false. She said that she had killed the child and named the Christian, who had incited her to do so. She was immediately removed from the courtroom and strangled in jail, since the priests did not want the details of the act to become known.

 

Map of the Town of Drohobycz - dro001.jpg [79 KB]
Map of the Town of Drohobycz

 

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Drohobycz: a general view



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The City Hall



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[24 KB]
The City Tower The Gymnasium [High School]
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Despite this new confession, the judges were unwilling to reverse the verdict. The priests attempted to convince Adele to convert, promising that she would then be freed, but Adele refused to accept their mercy and courageously went to death, serenely accepting martyrdom. Adele was buried in Lwów. Her tombstone reads:

On Shabbat eve, the 27th of Elul 5478, the brave Adele, a holy and pure woman, daughter of our leader and teacher Rabbi Moshe Kikenis, was sentenced, sacrificed, and gave her life for all Israel. May God avenge her blood and may her soul be bound up in everlasting life.

 

II

The Jews of Drohobycz went through a difficult period in the middle of the eighteenth century, when they were ruled by Zalman Wolfowitz, the central personality of the town and one of the cruelest men in all Jewry in Russyn.

Zalman was born in Drohobycz in 1711. His father was a very poor furrier. [48] His childhood was passed in poverty until he obtained a job as a cashier in the salt mines. He lived licentiously and immorally and spent a great deal of money wastefully. One day in 1729, when the books were audited, a deficit was found. Zalman then gave poison to his supervisor, who died the next day. Zalman was arrested by order of the court and tortured, but they could not force a confession from him. A light sentence was passed; he received 100 lashes in the town square and was banished from the town. For a few years, he was a cashier in the salt mines in the neighbourhood of Sambor. There, he got into trouble with some Jews who prepared an ambush in the forests at Słopnice to kill him. They were not successful. Zalman brought charges against them. On 30 December 1732, the six Jews were sentenced to death, but through the efforts of the Jewish community, the sentence was mitigated. The instigator, Isak, was sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of 1,300 grzywna (1,000 paid to Zalman, 300 to the court). The rest of the accused received sentences of six months in prison. [49] Zalman succeeded in winning over Chomentowski, the district ruler of Drohobycz, and received from him the lease of all the incomes of the district and the salt mines in the area.

Chomentowski died at about that time. His wife, a young widow, who later married the starosta of Tarlo, [50] fell in love with Zalman, who was a handsome man. She supported him and leased to him her estates, salt mines, and the brandy monopoly in the villages and in the town of Drohobycz. At her initiative, the scribe of the municipality erased the 1729 sentence against him from the court records and Zalman was completely rehabilitated. Her love also helped him be chosen as head of the community.

The head of the community, Rabbi Chaim, had died at that time. On the intermediate days of Passover, the members of the community gathered in the synagogue to choose a new head. Zalman offered his candidacy. His rivals opposed him and interfered with the elections. The vote was interrupted. The following day Rychcic, the representative of the starosta Bielski, brought forty peasants armed with pitchforks and whips, and in their presence, ordered that the names of the other candidates be stricken from the list and that Zalman be chosen parnas and head of the community.

The Jews were terrified. Seeing that there was no point in opposing the will of the authorities, they elected Zalman head of the community against their will.

Two months after his election, Zalman began to take over the entire community. First, his son–in–law Shmuel ben Leib was named rabbi of the community. The Jews had no choice but to give in. Whoever dared to raise his voice against Zalman lost his livelihood and the right to live in Drohobycz. Zalman was revengeful, jealously pursuing power, and God help the Jew or Gentile, who didn't obey his desire and command.

He concentrated in his own hands not only the leases on the monopolies and the salt mines, but also all the wholesale trade in wine and iron. He imposed taxes (he himself paid no taxes!) and increased maintenance fees. He imposed all kinds of taxes and payments on artisans, oppressed and beat them mercilessly with rods, when they did not do as they were commanded. Whoever opposed him was punished with beatings; more than one was seriously injured. Detentions in the community jail were on the daily agenda, but all this did not concern Zalman. He was concerned only with accumulating power and wealth. The artisans' guilds were forced to keep constant armed watches in the marketplace and in front of his home and the homes of his family members to protect the treasury of the salt mines day and night. He didn't hesitate to steal community funds or to practice forgery and other kinds of deceit. In 1734, he lost the election; Dawid was elected community head. But in 1735, Zalman brought peasants with staves and pitchforks and forced the voters to elect him head of the community again. The Jews made complaints to the starosta's wife, but in vain. Chomentowska [51] confirmed the right of free election and gave order that new elections be held, but this order was only on paper and was not enforced. Zalman held on to power, but in the end, the community lost patience. In 1741, several Jews made complaints against him and accused him of forging the tax lists. Dawid Abusziewicz filed suit, charging that he had been seriously injured by Zalman; the same complaint was joined by Yitzhak Jósefowicz. Wolf Herszkowicz, called Boraczek, was seriously wounded by his brother–in–law Shmuel ben Jakob (Jacobowicz), who struck him at the instigation of Zalman. Suddenly all barriers split open, and the court was flooded with complaints.

[Page 18]

The community itself presented a complaint that excommunications had been imposed unjustly at his initiative. A few families filed suit, charging that he had stolen houses and businesses from them, and dozens of people complained about the tax burden. There were also complaints about embezzlement of community and public funds. But Zalman did not respond. On the contrary, on the days in which the trials were scheduled, he was absent from the town. He and his family members, who aided him in all his deeds, always found a trick to evade the deliberations of the court. Only his supporters and relatives were elected to the council. His son, Anshel Leib, was elected his second in command. His son–in–law, Rabbi Shmuel Segel, gave him loyal support. He was elected together with Zalman in 1746 as “leader and head of the province.” Their appointments were signed by rabbis of Lwów, Żółkiew, Tarnopol, and leaders of the communities in Brody, Tyśmienica and Kałusz communities. [52] The two of them participated in sittings of the provincial council and were authorized to sign its minutes. But Zalman was always the one to sign. In 1748, Zalman obtained an order from the province council, which announced a decision that if the leader of the province found himself in any community, he alone was authorized to make decisions concerning disputes between the community and private individuals or between the various villages and the community. The order also informed all the rabbis in Poland that Zalman, citizen of Drohobycz, was leader and head of the province, and that for that reason, he could settle disputes between the Drohobycz community and private individuals. Thus, it was forbidden for any rabbi or community to interfere with his authority. In this way, he dispensed with the possibility of appeals or complaints.

His behavior was also cruel to the Gentile townspeople and peasants. He put pressure on the municipality and forced it and even judges to bow to his will. It was forbidden to buy or sell housing in the town without his permission. He appointed mayors, village chiefs, and even guild leaders. He often beat people with whips, especially peasants who were forced to work in his fields, provide horses and wagons, and make all kinds of payments to him. The bakers had to buy his flour at whatever price he asked.

Over the years, his misbehavior and crimes passed all bounds. The matter blew up in 1752, when the town government lodged a collective complaint against Zalman and his family in the name of the Christian population in the town and the villages, as well as the Jewish community, and against Jakub Szmulewicz, a former salt mine lessee, concerning the leasing of the municipal right to propination. This case was also brought against the starosta's widow, Chomentowska. King August III set the dates for the trials, enjoined both sides to refrain from any disputes, and gave both sides safe conduct.

Zalman scorned the whole matter and carried on with his deeds. For example, he extorted a tax of fifty Hungarian gold pieces from the community, while an excommunication was handed down against his rival Jacob Shmuelowicz. Ignoring his letter of immunity, he seized him, beat him, and put him in prison. Jacob managed to escape after three weeks and fled to another town.

In the meantime, many complaints began to pile up. On 16 February 1753, the king appointed Leon Libiszewski and Ignacy Krokondo–Trepke as commissars and ordered them to investigate the situation. But again, nothing came of it. On the contrary, on this occasion, Zalman obtained a guard of twenty dragoons from the starosta of Przemyśl, who stood guard before his house to protect him from the wrath of the population.

In 1752, Zalman's affairs also involved the Council of the Four Lands, which assembled that year in Konstantinów. The Jews of Drohobycz brought a suit against the tyrannical parnas. However, for lack of time, the chief shtadlan Reb Szymon, suggested that the dispute be transferred for arbitration to a meeting in the Lwów district. The parnas of the Council of the Four Lands, Rabbi Abraham of Lublin, carried out the decision and informed the parnas of the Lwów district, Reb Izak Yissaschar Berisch, son of Reb Moshe Wolf, son of the chief judge (of Brody). [53]

In 1753, the dispute of the Jews of Drohobycz with Zalman came up on the agenda of the Lwów District Council, convened in Bóbrka under the leadership of Reb Berisch, the son of the chief judge. A delegation of five Drohobycz Jews, headed by the baker, Leib, appeared before the council. Leib described in detail Zalman's past, how he came to power with the help of his lover the starosta's widow Chomentowska, and all his misdeeds, crimes, and frauds. The leader of the province Reb Berisch, who himself was involved in many disputes with the people of his community in Brody, where he ruled firmly and autocratically, did not want to discuss Zalman. Most of the members of the Council viewed Leib's complaints as part of the dissatisfaction of the masses, well known to them. In their opinion, the masses were always dissatisfied and ready to complain at any opportunity about their parnasim and their leaders. Working from this assumption, they saw no justification for the complaints of the Jews of Drohobycz, since as far as they knew Zalman was totally innocent. Nothing was done, and the deputation of Drohobycz's Jewry returned home without obtaining a ruling against Zalman. [54]

In Drohobycz, Zalman, had already received a report on the deliberations at the session of the District Council from the Council's scribe, Józef Skałatski. He prepared an appropriate reception for the delegation. Reb Leib scarcely had passed the town's border, when he was seized by Zalman's mercenaries and brought to prison. A new phase of persecution, fines, and heavy taxes began. Whoever dared to oppose them was excommunicated by Zalman's son–in–law, Rabbi Shmuel ben Leib.

[Page 19]

Zalman behaved in a wild manner in this period and acted cruelly toward the citizens of Drohobycz, Dolina, and Sambor, both Jews and Christians. He didn't hesitate to put mayors and village chiefs in jail and punish anyone who did not obey his commands.

At this point, the patience of the entire population was at an end. On 29 August 1753, at the initiative of Mayor Jan Jachniewicz, the residents of the suburbs, Zawiezna, Liszniański, and Zadworna, united with the Drohobycz city government to defend the rights and privileges they had received from the kings and obtain justice in a suit, which they brought against Zalman. A complaint was presented in Warsaw, joined by the Jews of Drohobycz, Dolina, and Sambor, the lessees and sub–lessees of Stebnik, Kałusz, Czehryń, and Truskawiec. At a special assembly of Jewish representatives in Stryj, the Jews promised to cooperate with the Christians and make every effort to destroy Zalman. Since they had received no assistance from the Council of the Four Lands or from the district council, they chose to help themselves. [55]

On 12 April 1754, the Drohobycz municipality and the starosta, Maj.–Gen. Count Nosticz Rzewuski, received a royal decree, in which the king named commissars to rule in the dispute between Tarlowa–Chomentowska and Zalman on the one hand and the town of Drohobycz and the communities of Drohobycz, Dolina, and Sambor on the other. The committee arrived a short time after the decree was received. The town government recanted all its complaints against Chomentowska and turned all the accusations against the Jew Zalman, his son Leib, his son–in–law the rabbi, and the rest of the family. Two town council members, Piechowicz and Czernigowicz, of Stanisławów, inspected his account books. Based on this investigation, Zalman and his entire family were arrested. During the investigation, the matter of the poisoning of 1729 was reviewed. The Jews presented the community's books to the committee and revealed in detail the corrupt dealings and bribery at the time of the election of the rabbi, as well as the other frauds and misdeeds. The rabbi, his son–in–law, fled Drohobycz. Zalman and Leib also tried to break out of prison, but their escape was not successful. The commissars turned the matter over to a court composed of the starosta and the town judges.

On 9 June 1755, a judgment was delivered. Zalman was sentenced to death by hanging, and his son Leib was sentenced to receive 100 lashes with a rod in front of the town hall. All his property was confiscated to compensate the victims. Leib's son and his wife were ordered to have all their property, gold, silver, cash and jewelry conveyed, and were to be kept in jail until this was done.

In the ruling, Zalman was accused of making pacts with devils, witches, and magicians and in so doing, bringing great damage to Christianity, as well as concentrating in his hands all the power of Drohobycz in the office of the starosta. Everyone had been dependent on him and had brought him had brought him gifts. They had even conducted a court in his home and had shown him each decree in advance, making changes according to his command. He had demanded money for everything. All the artisans' guilds and village councils were forced to give him their money. The peasants worked his lands for nothing; trees were felled in the forests of the county without payment. He demanded special payments from anyone who purchased a lot of land or built a house on his farms and estates or in the town and its suburbs. Only after the payments were made, did he allow the documents to be entered in the town's record books. The residents were forced to drink brandy to ensure that his liquor would be sold. Whoever distilled brandy without his knowledge was punished with a large fine. Zalman himself paid no taxes, neither to the crown nor to the municipality. Half of the houses and all the stores in town were in the hands of his family, but the municipality was forced to pay the taxes on them.

Noting that in a free Christian republic one Jew had been able to oppress the Christian population, the court ruled that no punishment would be appropriate for him other than hanging and the confiscation of all his property for the benefit of the victims. On the Sabbath, 14 June 1755, the judgment was to be carried out, and Zalman was to be hanged in the town square.

Meanwhile, the masses gathered in the square. A scaffold had been erected in the centre. The court, together with the mayor and town council members were seated in their places. After a drum roll, the town scribe began to read the sentence. Suddenly, several Jews appeared and went directly to the town benches. They began to negotiate. The scribe ceased reading. The community's parnassim, Wigdor ben Ze'ev (Wolfowicz), Anszel ben Leib (Leybowicz), Wolcio Buynowicz, Oszja (Yehoshua) ben Moshe (Moszkowicz), Leyzor ben Leib (Leybowicz), and Abel ben Aron (Aronowicz) offered the municipality 500 red gold pieces (9,000 gold pieces) in exchange for commuting Zalman's death sentence to life imprisonment. After brief deliberations, the proconsul announced that the town government would be prepared to accept the offer, if the entire sum were paid immediately. Because of the sanctity of the Sabbath, they accepted pawns, which the Jews had brought with them: a basket full of gold objects, necklaces, rings, chains, pendants, and earrings. On the spot, the town scribe prepared a promissory note on behalf of the parnassim of the congregation and in the name of the families of Zalman, Yitzhak ben Hirsh (Herszkowicz), Leib ben Zelman (Zelmanowicz) and Jona ben Hirsh (Herszkowicz). According to the promissory note, they took upon themselves, in the name of the community, the obligation to present pawns worth about 500 red gold pieces to the municipality immediately after the Sabbath, thus sparing Zalman Wolfowitz from the hangman and commuting his sentence to life imprisonment. The money was to be paid in cash the following day. They undertook to meet the various claims brought by the Jews of Dolina and Sambor against Zalman. Zalman was to be imprisoned for life, and no steps were to be taken to free him.

[Page 20]

If Zalman did not conduct himself properly in jail, then the authorities were authorized to carry out the death sentence without a new trial. His son Leib's sentence of 100 lashes with the rod in front of the town hall was commuted.

The following day, the community's parnassim paid the money. Negotiations with the Dolina and Sambor communities continued for years on the demand of the Drohobycz parnassim that the other communities share in the payments made to the town government. The matter was also discussed in a sitting of the District Council at Brody and handed over to the Lwów rabbi for a decision.

Leib and Zalman's family left the town. Zalman remained in jail in Drohobycz. At the order of the judge Łopuski, he was given many comforts. He was even brought kosher food. Yet Zalman tried to figure out how to free himself. Even though his property had been expropriated, he and his relatives had managed to transfer some money to Tiacziw before the sentence was handed down.

Flight was impossible. Thus, Zalman decided to convert in exchange for release from jail. He made his conversion at the end of 1755, receiving the name Andrzej Wolfowicz. He was freed from prison but only to be transferred to the Carmelite monastery near the town. He attempted to flee from the monastery. His only ambition was to reach Tiacziw. Some of his Jewish adherents even tried to smuggle him out, but they were not successful. The number of his guards was doubled, and Zalman died in the monastery in 1757. He was buried beside the small church in the Zwaryckie suburb of Drohobycz. His memory was immortalized in Galicia in legends and, most especially, in Ruthenian popular song. In the Ruthenian Easter festivities (Hailka), young girls used to sing many songs about the life and cruel deeds of Zalman. Until 1914, the following song was sung in the area [56] of the Drohobycz hills:

Text of song [Polish]

1. Jede, jede Zelman
Jede, jede jeho brat
Jede, jede Zelmanowa rodyna

2. W sej koreti Zelman
W sej koreti jego brat
W sej koreti Zelmanowa rodyna

3. Pomahaj bih Zelman
Pomahaj bih jeho brat
Pomahaj bih Zelmanowa rodyna

4. Każe klasty Zelman
Każe klasty jeho brat
Każe klasty Zelmanowa rodyna

5. Każe byty Zelman
Każe byty Zelman jeho brat
Każe byty Zelmanowa rodyna

6. Perebrau wże Zelman
Perebrau wże jeho brat
Perebrau wże Zelmanowa rodyna

7. Ne panuje Zelman
Ne panuje jeho brat
Ne panuje Zelmanowa rodyna

8. Na pohybel Zelman
Na pohybel jeho brat
Na pohybel Zelmanowa rodyna

 

III

All Zalman's assistants and followers, who had run the affairs of the community with him, were dismissed except for Anszel Leibowicz. He remained head of the community for another few years and was also named leader of the province. Besides the 9,000 gold pieces that the community had to pay for freeing Zalman from the noose, it was forced to meet the financial demands of the Dolina and Sambor communities. The community recovered only 1,000 gold pieces from Zalman's property. For many years, the community was delinquent in its tax payments, and under heavy pressure by the authorities. The community sent the salt mine lessee Jacob ben Shmuel (Shmuelowicz) to Warsaw to explain to the authorities the sorry state that had resulted from Zalman's rule. This intervention at court cost sizable sums and led to disputes between the representative and the community, which did not reimburse him for his expenses.

Jacob Shmuelowicz, one of Zalman's harshest rivals, was chosen parnas after Anszel Leibowicz. In the latter half of the eighteenth century, Reb Hersh ben Jakob (Jakobowicz), one of the richest people in town, and Reb Yisrael ben Zvi (Herszkowicz) served as rabbis. The community was plagued with debts that dated as far back as 1716. Installment and interest payments rose to 10,000 gold pieces; 50,000 gold pieces were owed to the Carmelite order in Sambor alone.

By 1741, the debts had risen to 90,000 gold pieces, of which 50,000 were owed to the Jesuit order in Sambor, 11,500 to the Carmelite order, 2,000 to the Dominicans in Lwów, and 3,000 to the church in Felsztyn. [57] The community had trouble paying the interest, for which purpose, it had to resort to taking new loans. The countless court cases which were undertaken also involved great expense.

In 1716, it had been decided at a general meeting of the entire community to raise the existing taxes and impose indirect taxes of twenty gold pieces on every 100 pieces, 10 percent of the value of gold and silver objects and jewelry, 5 percent on apartment houses, and 3.1 percent on simple homes. A special committee took evidence under oath from everyone about his or her economic situation and property. But the sums mobilized in this fashion were not sufficient to pay the debts.

[Page 21]

When the situation became worse in 1733, it was decided to raise taxes once more. In 1738, the community decided to impose a special tax (koropka) on all items of commerce and on all craft sectors. The tax burden rose, especially during Zalman Wolfowitz's rule.

In 1752, the budget showed revenue, including loans, of 15,652 gold pieces and expenditures of 18,768 gold pieces. That did not include debt payments, the rabbi's salary, and such tax payments as the yeverna, a head tax totaling 2,200 gold pieces.

Thus, it isn't surprising that the community's financial situation in those years was disastrous, even before considering the serious effects of Zalman Wolfowitz's rule on the community's financial situation. In 1754, the community owed 121,574 gold pieces, 89,174 to the priests, and 32,400 to the noblemen. [58] We can see how heavy the tax burden was by examining the communal records from the 1750s. [59] As well as direct taxes, there was no consumer good or food item that was not taxed. [60]

From the tax lists in the communal records of 1753, we can determine the occupational composition of Drohobycz Jewry in that period. Jewish breadwinners were divided according to occupation into eight categories: a) lessees and tax–collectors; b) bankers and money–changers; c) wholesalers; d) tavern–keepers and innkeepers; e) retailers and traders; f) middlemen and apprentice traders; g) religious functionaries; h) artisans.

The first group, lessees and tax–collectors, included: a) lessees of the town's mills; b) mead distillery lessees; c) road tax lessees; d) municipal propination lessees; e) salt mine lessees, and salt merchants.

Bankers and moneychangers: as cited above, eighteenth century Drohobycz was an important commercial transfer centre with Hungary. Associated with this trade, capital transactions of three types occurred: a) loans with interest; b) pawnbrokers to Jews and Christians; c) money–changers.

There were fourteen types of wholesalers. They were headed by: a) wholesalers, who traveled to the fairs in Breslau, Frankfurt am Oder, Rawa, [61] and Danzig, bringing back wares to sell in Drohobycz. It is interesting to note that during this period the Drohobycz merchants were the only traders from Poland who came to these fairs; b) wine merchants, who brought wine from Hungary or from other towns to sell in barrels. Hungarian wine was also purchased from wine merchants in Stryj, the best–known merchants of Hungarian wine in Poland; c) wholesale merchants who dealt with the lands across the Vistula (Germany) and brought back iron, plowshares, and all types of iron implements; d) merchants bringing implements from Bohemia and Italy, such as sickles and roofing nails; e) poultry dealers; f) linen merchants, and those importing linen from Danzig; g) dealers in women's fabrics from France and silk goods; h) grain merchants; i) leather merchants; j) horse and cattle merchants; k) salt fish wholesalers; l) wax wholesalers; m) gold and silver merchants; n) harness merchants.

The fourth category, tavern–keepers and innkeepers, included: a) innkeepers who distilled their own beer and sold liquors, beeswax, [62] and mead; b) grain syrup merchants; c) sellers of wiśniak [63] or cherry whiskey in jugs; d) innkeepers who also dealt in oats. [64]

The fifth category, retailers and traders, included: a) sellers of salt by the pound; b) sellers of salt fish in the town square; c) sellers of plums, small nuts and Italian nuts; d) sellers of goat cheeses; e) grain sellers; f) sellers of wax by the pound; g) sellers of linen; h) sellers of shoes; i) sellers of leather; j) sellers of lead, sickles and roofing nails.

The sixth category included: a) salt mine clerks; b) middlemen.

The seventh category, religious officers included: rabbis, judges, preachers, slaughterers, teachers, synagogue attendants, tutors.

The eighth category included artisans: by the agreement of 1664, Jews were permitted to deal only in merchandise that would not compete with the Christian craft guilds. But the Jews paid no attention to this regulation. Jewish artisans worked in the crafts that supplied the needs of the Jewish population. From the start of the Jewish settlement until the eighteenth century, the number of Jewish artisans was relatively small, but from the seventeenth century, Drohobycz became an important center for Jewish artisans who distributed their goods, especially furs and jewelry, throughout Russyn and beyond.

In the 1765 census, Drohobycz numbered six bakers, six doctors, seven goldsmiths, sixteen tailors, four furriers, three dyers, one tinsmith, one bookbinder, two jewellers, a barbr/barber–surgeon, and several musicians.

In the mid eighteenth century, there was a wealthy group among the artisans, who paid substantial taxes. According to the koropka list of 1742, tailors paid two groschen for every gold piece of profit. Traveling tailors, who worked in the villages, paid three groschen for every gold piece, tinsmiths paid four groschen. Jewellers, who worked their own raw material, paid three gold pieces for merchandise worth 100 gold pieces. Jewellers, who worked raw material belonging to others, paid four groschen for every gold piece of their wages.

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Artisans paid two to four times more than merchants. There was a difference in payment between those artisans who worked independently and those who worked for others,

As a commercial centre, there was great occupational variety in Drohobycz's Jewish population. But this list does not reveal the differences among those Jews working in trades and those who were labourers and wage earners. One must assume that there was great diversity in this stratum too.

The masses were not always happy with the communal rulers. For the most part, they did not like them and made their dissatisfaction known. It is true that we only know of only one case of an attempt to rebel against the rulers of the community, but this is because of the lack of documentary evidence for similar cases. In 1770, an excommunication was declared in the synagogue against Avigdor Herszowicz , on the grounds that he had incited the masses against the leaders. Because of this excommunication, he was barred for life from any communal job or position.

In the second half of the eighteenth century, the Jewish community had become large and stable from a socio–economic point of view. The houses in the center of town belonged to the Jews. The crises during Zalman's rule had passed and were quickly forgotten, and the community resumed its normal functioning. It even managed to pay off a sizable part of its debt, to the point that the total had fallen to 26,968 gold pieces by the time Galicia was annexed to Austria. In 1765, in the last census under Polish rule, there were 1,923 Jews in Drohobycz and its dependent areas. In the town itself, 979 Jews paid the head–tax. Jews owned 200 houses, mostly built of wood. In this period, Rabbi Reb Naftali Hertz served as rabbi and chief judge.

In 1769, many Polish soldiers passed through Drohobycz and camped in the town. They forced the population provide lodging, food, fodder and beverages. According to the starosta Wacław Rzewuski's order, given by his son Józef on July 20, the burden was distributed among the population according to the following formula: one third of the expenses were to be covered by the Christians, one third by the villages and one third by the Jews living in the town and in Łan. To ensure a fair distribution of beverages, food, and fodder, the Christians and the Jews each chose two officers who were sworn in by the town government. [65]

We do not know to what degree confusion and disorder was brought upon the Jews of Poland by the Sabbataean [66] movement and how Frankism [67] affected the Jews of Drohobycz. The existing sources relay no details whatsoever on this matter. However, the khasidic movement did penetrate the Jewish community. Rabbi Izak of Drohobycz was one of the earliest of the khasidim. His father, Rabbi Yosef was a man of truth, and was called by the people Safra Viedliver. Yosef was a follower of the Baal Shem Tov. In his old age, he immigrated to Eretz Israel and sent his son a khumash [68] from there. His mother was called Yente, the prophetess.

Rabbi Izak was a moralizing preacher in Drohobycz. At first, he opposed the Baal Shem Tov [69] and his teaching, because he wrote amulets. [70] But despite his opposition, khasidic legend tells that he secretly admired him. We know how much he admired and honoured the Baal Shem Tov from the legend that tells how he went to the Besht and became one of his followers. One night, Reb Isaac was unable to sleep. He knew, therefore, that he had committed a sin and that he had to repent before he could sleep. He considered all his deeds and found no sin, apart from having kept his silence and made no protest when he had been in the company of mockers who made fun of the Besht. He immediately went to the Besht, made peace with him, and became one of his intimates. From that time, he became one of his most faithful pupils.

After joining with the Besht, Rabbi Yitzhak Drohobyczer went to Ostrava, [71] and became one of the ten batlanim, [72] and later a moralizing preacher at the bet hamidrash [73] of the well–known magid [74] Yózef Yózefa ben Shmuel Yelkish (d. 1762). For while he lived in Brody and befriended the head of the yeshiva Rabbi Yitzhak Hamburger. He was later a moralizing preacher in Horochów, [75] and once more in Drohobycz. He died in Horochów. [76] His son was Rabbi Yehiel Michael, the preacher of Złoczów , among the most outstanding pupils of the Besht. [77]

Among the first khasidim in Drohobycz, one should also mention Rabbi Yosef Drobyczer (Ashkenazi), father of Rabbi Israel Nachman Drobyczer, [78] who was rabbi and judge of the tailors' society in Ostróg [79] and later judge and rabbi in several towns in Poland and Germany. At the end the eighteenth century, he went to Italy and traveled widely there. He was a native of Stanisławów, and sympathized with the khasidim. He, his wife, and his family emigrated to Eretz Israel and settled in Safed in 1804. In 1807, he traveled abroad to publish his books. He left again in 1813, living for a few years in Livorno. He spent his last years in Eretz Israel. There were not many khasidim in Drohobycz in the eighteenth century, and their influence was not felt in communal life. The influence of the khasidim began to be important only in the nineteenth century.

 

IV

In 1772, Russyn was annexed to Austria, and Drohobycz became an Austrian city. This political event brought change in all areas of daily life. First, the Austrian administration, which was sent to Russyn, known as Galicia after 1772, had a colonizing mission. Through a series of orders, laws, and decrees, they tried to erase the area's past and turn it into an imperial province, just like the other crown lands within the Hapsburg monarchy.

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From the very beginning of the Austrian rule the administration viewed Drohobycz as a city. Right after the conquest of Galicia, Drohobycz was faced with an important problem. Its solution influenced its economic and financial existence.

As a royal city, Drohobycz, like other cities with the same status, benefited from special attention from the bureaucracy. Unlike other cities, in which the municipal government during the Polish era held monopoly rights to propination, in Drohobycz, Sambor, and Stryj, the starosta, the king's legal representative, leased out this monopoly, mainly to Jews, through agreements reached with the municipality, at times voluntarily, at times by force. Since these agreements had been made many years before, the municipalities showed no concern about the manner of leasing or about who was getting the income. The Austrian authorities declared immediately that these rights be returned to the cities. Acting on their advice, Drohobycz sued the treasury and the lessees, demanding the cancellation of the contracts and the return of the monopoly to the city. The city won the case, thereby gaining the possibility of an annual income of 5,000–6,000 gold pieces. Naturally, this change seriously damaged the vital interests of the Jews. Furthermore, the officials disregarded the fact that the majority of the city's residents were Jews, the very Jews whom most of the bureaucrats viewed as smugglers, swindlers, and thieves.

From an administrative standpoint, Drohobycz belonged to the Sambor district. Changes in the internal affairs of the Jews were initiated as well. According to new legislation regarding Jews, promulgated by Empress Maria Theresa in 1776, the Jews of Galicia were to be governed by a new organization. The Generaldirektion der Juden, the chief executive council of the Jews of Galicia, stood at the top of a hierarchical order that included all the communities, each led by six to twelve parnassim (community leaders).

The communities in the Drohobycz and Sambor districts were under the direction of the district parnassim (Kreisältester), over whom six provincial parnassim (Landesältester) were in charge, headed by the provincial rabbi. Six district parnassim and six provincial parnassim, together with the provincial rabbi at the head, constituted the chief executive council of the Jews of Galicia and were responsible for all Jewish concerns.

This body was eliminated in 1786. No province–wide body was set up in its place; only the local community parnassim remained in office. Except for Lwów and Brody, each headed by a directorate composed of seven parnassim, all the communities (including Drohobycz) were run by committees composed of three parnassim. Their functions included: representing the community before the authorities; caring for the poor in the community; supervising, together with the community rabbi, the registration of births, marriages, and deaths; collecting the community tax; collecting the Jews' taxes; and running all communal matters. The parnassim reported to the district authorities and were under their control.

The authorities investigated what taxes and payments had been imposed on the Drohobycz community and its members and then approved the community rabbi and parnassim. [80] In the meantime, economic problems arose which worked to undermine Jewish life. In Austria, unlike Poland, the trade in salt was a government monopoly. The authorities took control of all trade in salt and established an office for the sale of Galician salt (Direktion des galizischen Salzverschleisses).

Except for the large mines at Bochnia and Wieliczka, they took over all salt mines, including those in Drohobycz, together with the salt–water springs, from which refined salt and distilled salt (Sudsalz) were produced.

Just after the annexation of Galicia, Shlomo David, a Jew from Breslau, and Ze'ev Moshe Heymann of Prussia, attempted to obtain from the director of the salt monopoly the right to sell Galicia's entire salt production, whether from the mines, the springs, or the refineries. In fact, Shlomo David succeeded, after negotiations with Vienna, in attaining the right to purchase salt for a total of two million gulden but he was not allowed to obtain a lease for mining salt. [81] In Drohobycz itself, several Jews received the right to sell salt from the board of the monopoly. But the government's concentration of salt production hurt many Jews, and over the course of time, even those few Jews who had received the right at the beginning of Austrian rule, lost it.

The most important salt refinery in Galicia was Drohobycz, with branches in Hucisko, Stebnik, and Solec. [82] Fifty thousand hundredweight (each about two kilograms) of refined salt were produced each year in these refineries. They brought almost 180,000 florins into the treasury each year.

Besides salt, the government began to be interested in another type of mineral resource. As far back as 1772, in Słoboda Rungurska in Pokocja [83] several Jews began to exploit a type of oil found beneath the surface. From this material, which was petroleum, although this was not recognized, the Jews produced grease for wagons and for leather. Near Drohobycz, where petroleum was later discovered, the residents had noticed that a kind of earth–oil would seep up from the ground. The peasants used it to make grease for wagons and shoes and a type of varnish.

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The peasants paid two florins and fifty kreuzer for each hole they drilled to dig this oil. [84] The first attempts to strike oil were made in 1810 near Borysław by a Jew named Hecker, [85] but without positive results. More than half a century passed before it was successfully shown that these lands were indeed rich in petroleum. We have detailed information as to the degree to which Jews exploited this resource and concerned themselves with the production of grease for wagons and shoes. [86]

In the meantime, the city, which had won its suit to regain its right over propination, was making major efforts to obtain recognition for the privilege de non tolerandis Judaeis, so that it could drive out the Jews from within the city. In fact, it succeeded. At first, the municipality requested in 1780 that its [Christian] citizens be given back the homes that once belonged to them and now were owned by Jews. [87] In October 1783, the city's representatives, Piechowicz and Anton Hisowicz, turned to the authorities with the request that the Jews be made to evacuate the city immediately and to move to their quarter Na Łanie, where they had been given permission to live in the past. In addition, they asked that the Jews be prevented from carrying on any commerce or sale of brandy in the city. The government replied that after studying all the city's privileges, it would decide to what extent the implementation of these demands would be legal. [88] In November 1783, they sent to Vienna for all the documents concerning the privileges of Drohobycz. But even before this request, the above–mentioned representatives asked that an order be given that elections to the city council be held only in the presence of the district governor and without the participation of the Jews. [89] On 3 April 1784, the government ruled that the city council elections be held under the supervision of the district commissar in the presence of the area officer, and that Jews be excluded from the elections. [90] During that period, the privilege de non tolerandis Judaeis was renewed, and at the start of 1784, the Jewish community was ordered to leave the city, sell their houses, and settle only in Na Łanie. [91] This order, carried out punctiliously and with severity, caused the economic collapse of the Jews.

Regarding the evacuation, the beverage–tax lessees Aba ben Zalman, Moshe ben Israel and Zeev ben Leib, demanded return of beverage taxes paid as advance payments by Jewish tavern keepers or paid illegally. After extended negotiations, the Jewish community and the municipality reached an agreement. This was the Vienna Agreement which stipulated that payments of more than forty–five kreuzer per barrel of beer be returned. [92] Advance payments of a total of 3,573 florins and seven and a half kreuzer were invested in a public trust as the capital of the Jewish community in Drohobycz. The profits were used to cover the expenses of the community. In 1787, the government agreed to use the interest from this capital to pay the community's debts from the Polish era. [93] In the same period, the community asked the government to order that 15,000 florins be paid to it by the heirs of the last starosta, General Rzewuski. [94] On 9 December, they sent to Vienna for the documents, but we do not know to what extent the community's demand was complied with and whether this money was returned. The municipality also made efforts to eliminate the rest of the lessees, such as Shmuel Majerowicz, lessee of the flour mills, but in this instance the municipality failed.

Despite the decree that they evacuate the city and give back their houses, the Jews of Drohobycz did not despair. A few weeks after the authorities' decision was announced, the parnas Izak Benyamin made a written appeal on behalf of the community that the Jews be allowed to keep their houses and conduct commerce. In November 1784, the central authorities in Vienna ordered that the Jews be protected against all prejudices. [95]

But the Jews still faced a difficult struggle for the right to live and own property in the city. The Christians, the earlier owners, broke into the homes and forced their Jewish owners to leave. The authorities were flooded with complaints from Jews evicted from their homes and requests that they be allowed to conduct their businesses or trade.

The head of the community Izak Benyamin, who represented the community to the authorities prior to the Austrian conquest, [96] carefully examined and worked diligently on every case. For example, in November 1784, he reported the humiliating incident of the Jewish tailor Cymel Berkowicz and two wealthy merchants, who were turned out of their homes and whose merchandise was thrown into the street. In the name of the community, he requested that the sale of the houses be stopped and that the situation be reexamined. [97]

Apart from their struggle with the municipality, the Jews of Drohobycz were suffering from the burden of taxes and fines for violating the ban on marriages and divorces. Their situation in this respect was no better than that of the rest of the Jews in Galicia.

After the Austrian conquest, the community's economy deteriorated, so that it was no longer able to meet its vital needs. In addition, creditors from the Polish era were pressuring the community. As mentioned above, in 1772 the debts of the Drohobycz Jewish community totaled 26,968 gold pieces. As well, the Drohobycz Jew Feiwel Herschowitz was demanding that the community pay the 9,816 gold pieces that it owed him. In March 1774, the community asked for a ten–year extension. This extension was approved allowing the congregation to breathe more easily. [98]

In 1785, the last remnants of communal autonomy were eliminated, and all political and legal rights were canceled. Taxes were no longer levied on entire communities;

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they were imposed on each individual Jew. The job of tax collection was handed over to government officials. The community lost its national character and it became a purely religious society.

Emperor Josef II, a believer in physiocratic theories,0okmnb [99] tried to solve the Jewish problem by settling the Jews on the land as peasants. It is interesting to note that shortly after the Austrian conquest, Count Potocki, the overlord of the city of Brody, wanted to settle Jews on the land as farmers in his village Stanisławczik (near Brody). The Galician government, acting on orders from the government in Vienna, replied negatively to Potocki's proposal.

But the government changed its mind over the course of time, with the idea that through the agricultural settlement of Galician Jews, it would be possible to solve the Jewish problem, which the government found to be a heavy burden. In 1782, an order went out from Vienna that Jews who worked the land would have to pay only half the marriage tax, and after a short period of time, they would be completely exempt from this tax. The program began to be put into effect after the emperor's order of 16 July 1785 was issued. In the spring of 1786, the first Jewish colony was founded, at the village of Dąbrówka near Nowy–Sącz, followed by the colony “New Babylon” near Bolechów, and several other small colonies that did not last very long. According to the government's plan, it was determined that of the overall number of 1,410 families of Jewish settlers from all of Galicia, twenty–four families should come from Drohobycz. By 1792, twenty–four families were settled, comprising twenty–five men, twenty–eight women, twelve boys, and fourteen girls under the age of eighteen. The settlers' property consisted of twenty–four houses, twenty–four barns, 190 land parcels, twenty–four units of agricultural implements, twelve horses, fifteen bulls, and twenty–eight cows.

Expenses were to be covered by the Jewish communities in the areas of settlement. Settlement expenses for one family were reckoned as a total of 250 florins. Every twenty–five, thirty, or forty heads of household were required to settle one indigent family. [100] Although the Jewish settlement quota for the Sambor district, which included the city of Drohobycz, was seventy–two families, by 1803, 117 families were settled, with 278 adults and 179 children under the age of eighteen. Their property included 117 houses, 117 barns, 980 plots of land, 117 agricultural implements 128 horses, 130 bulls, and 206 cows. [101]

At a meeting of the Imperial Court in Vienna on 29 June 1804, it was especially emphasized that wheras in the districts of Myślenice, Bochnia, Tarnów, Jasło, Przemyśl, Reisha (Rzeszów), Sanok, Lwów, Złoczów, Tarnopol, Stryj, Stanisławów, and Zaleszczyki, the families that were settled on the land were 356 fewer than the quota imposed on them, but that the Jews of the districts of Sambor, Źółkwa, Zamość, Brzeżany and Bukovina should be singled out for praise, especially the Jews of Sambor, who exceeded their quota by forty–five families, and of Brzeżany, who settled sixty–two families more than their quota. [102]

In 1822, seventy–two families of those settled at the expense of the Jewish communities in the Sambor district were still involved in agriculture (not one family settled at its own expense). The following data can give some idea of how the heavy tax burden reduced many Jews to impoverishment: in the Sambor district, 1,662 families paid a total of 8,310 florins, just for the tolerance tax (Toleranzsteuer).

In 1788–89, due to their impoverished economic situation, these families fell short of this sum by 3,083 florins and forty–five kreuzer. In 1801, a family of category “A” (paying the lowest tax) had to pay four florins and nine kreuzer per year, but because of unpaid debts from previous years, the actual amount owed was fifteen florins and thirty–five kreuzer, so that in 1801, the Jews of Drohobycz collectively owed 4,101 florins and fifty–seven kreuzer for the tolerance tax alone. Because of their difficult financial situation, the district office granted a five–year extension, so that they had to pay only 820 florins and twenty–three kreuzer each year. [103]

Most of the Jews made a living by selling beverages or through retail trade in the Na Łanie suburb. A few Jews tried to set up factories. In 1792, Leib Yosefsberg, who had leased the candle tax under Emperor Josef II, received a special decree allowing him to set up a factory to make leather shoes. His company remained within the family for nearly 150 years and was among the best enterprises in the leather industry in Galicia.

Unfortunately, we lack precise numbers for the Jewish population in Drohobycz and for its occupational breakdown. In 1788, a census was taken in all of Galicia. We have data only for the numbers of Jews in entire districts, without details for the individual cities. In the Sambor Circle, [104] to which the city of Drohobycz belonged, there were four Jewish communities (Sambor, Drohobycz, Turka, Komarno) with 1,812 families numbering 8,690 individuals, 4,315 men and 4,375 women.

In 1790, the number of families in the Sambor district was 1,662; they paid 8,310 florins for the tolerance tax.

In 1792, when seven small communities were added to the Sambor Circle, a total of 1,801 families paid the tolerance tax. They numbered 8,140 individuals. [105]

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As in all other Galician communities, a Jewish elementary school (Jüdische Normalshule) was set up in Drohobycz in 1788 according to the plan of Herz Homberg. [106] Frankl Eidlitz worked there as teacher with an annual salary of 150 florins. [107] In 1793, Moses Zekendorf served as teacher. Among the most extreme supporters of the Enlightenment, he aimed at improving the cultural and intellectual situation of Galician Jews. At the end of 1793, Zekendorf presented a memorandum with his recommendations to the government in Vienna. But he asked that care be taken so that his memorandum did not fall into the hands of Herz Homberg, his supervisor. His memorandum had been put together at the initiative of several Jews, apparently from Drohobycz, who were interested in improving the situation of the Galician Jews. In his memorandum, Zekendorf demanded that the government force the Jews to exchange their traditional garb for German dress and prohibit marriages of children before the age of puberty. He admitted that the Jews had a weakness for giving bribes but said that through systematic education, it was possible to change their way of life and arrive at a point, which, without even feeling it, they would cease to be Jews and would be disgusted at those Jews, who were tied to their traditions and outmoded customs and ideas. In his opinion, the Jews should be left in the villages, since by moving them to the cities, the latter would be made Jewish (machen jüdisch). They should be prohibited from producing or trading in brandy. Their desperate situation and the poverty that prevailed among them was not the result of economic circumstances but of their religious principles, which kept them from being producers and artisans. His memorandum shows that he belonged to the Enlightenment school in the manner of Herz Homberg, who aspired to use all means to prepare the Jews of Galicia for an extreme process of assimilation.

It is not surprising that the Viennese Authorities were interested in his memorandum. They passed it on to the Lwów government with instructions to make use of its proposals, since the government was at that time busy preparing a new Jewish law. [108]

But Zekendorf, the teacher, was not the only one in in Drohobycz, who offered proposals to the government for reforming the lives of the Jews. Ozer Lipmann, a Drohobycz Jew, was concerned not only with reforming Jews, but also with increasing the revenues of the government treasury. In November 1793, he presented a memorandum to the governor of Galicia, Count Brigido, in which he suggested that the granting of titles by the Jews be restricted, and that an appropriate payment be imposed by the treasury for the granting of each title of morenu (our teacher). The commissioner found the suggestion interesting and passed the memorandum on to Herz Homberg for his opinion. Homberg, as was his custom, explained the meaning of the term morenu. He said that in Galicia the title was bestowed inappropriately, because it was granted to people who were not learned in the Talmud. It exalted their pride and most of them became idlers. Furthermore, this situation impeded learning in German schools. But despite this opinion, the bureau of the Court in Vienna decided that unemployment among the Jews resulted not from the granting of titles, but rather from Jewish religious principles and Jewish education. Despite this determination, the government was not deterred from ruling that candidates for the degree morenu had to know the German language in addition to the Talmud, and had to pay a fee of six ducats. Whoever used the title falsely would be punished by a twelve–ducat fine. [109]

Ozer Lipmann was apparently not a nice person. In May 1793, he accused the leaders of the Jewish community in Drohobycz of hiding money collected for the community and embezzling fifty florins. He wanted to investigate the matter with a commissioner, and said he would return the “misappropriated funds,” but in return for this service, he asked to be given a job in the beer distillery in Drohobycz. [110] The central authorities rejected his offer, but demanded a detailed report on the finances of the Drohobycz. [111]

At that time, a dispute emerged in the community. In 1792, several Jews, led by Wolf Sternbach, Isaac Sonnenberg, Moshe Baumgarten, Isaac Benkendorf and Josef Diamantenstein presented complaints against the leaders of the community regarding the dishonest management of community finances. The bureau of the district government rejected their complaints. They presented an appeal in March 1793, [112] but once again they failed in their efforts. The administration of the community did not pass to the opposition.

The Jews of Drohobycz, as those of the other cities, suffered greatly from the sub–lessees of the meat and candle tax in the district city Sambor. Every now and then the authorities were flooded with complaints about acts of oppression by the lessees, who carried out tax collections with unusual cruelty, which brought dozens of families to impoverishment through corruption and confiscation of the few possessions they had.

Jewish wholesalers had concentrated important economic sectors in their hands. But the majority, who were retailers, peddlers and even publicans, had a tough struggle for existence.

The case brought by the municipality against the Jews concerning the return of the houses they had purchased from the Christians was still unresolved. But several documents from 1822 show, that after extended negotiations, the Christian owners generally agreed to a compromise and financial compensation, and left the houses in the hands of the Jews. These sums were approved by the central authorities in Vienna. Thus, this affair, which weighed heavily on the Jews of Drohobycz, was at last resolved and the houses remained in their hands. One such extended case was conducted by the Jewish merchant Akiwa Kanarienstein against Johann Dolański for nearly three decades, until he received his house through a compromise and compensation approved in Vienna. [113]

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The Jewish tavern keepers were also involved in a difficult struggle with the authorities, who reduced their numbers and canceled most permits. But in this struggle, many were able to extend their permits; this delayed the cancellation of the permits, even though the Christian tavern keepers registered complaints. This struggle between the Jewish tavern keepers and the municipal authorities on the one hand and the Christian tavern keepers on the other continued until the middle of the nineteenth century, even though according to clause 33 of the patent of 7 May 1789, only those Jews who conducted business in their own homes in 1784 were permitted to continue.

In 1819–20, the authorities significantly increased the tax quotas. The Jews of Drohobycz joined with the other communities to request a reduction, since the decline in commerce and their economic impoverishment had made them unable to pay taxes at the required rate. In consideration of the difficult situation, the provincial government suggested that the additional tax (Ergänzungssteuer) be cancelled. [114]

In the 1812 census, 636 Jewish families were counted in Drohobycz, numbering 2,492 people including 1,237 males and 1,255 females. Data for the rest of the Sambor district: 1) Sambor, with 280 Jewish families (1,190 people: 599 men, 591 women); 2) Turka with 126 families (554 people: 286 men and 268 women); 3) Borysław with five families (twenty–three people: nine men and fourteen women ); altogether [in the Sambor district]; there were 2,337 Jewish families with 9,907 people, 5,054 men and 4,853 women; in the four cities, there were 1,047 families with 4,259 people (2,131 men and 2,128 women), and in the villages, estates and hamlets around the cities, 1,290 Jewish families with 5,648 people (2,923 men and 2,725 women). In addition, six Karaite families, with twenty–two people (ten men and twelve women), lived in Drohobycz. [115]

No great changes occurred in communal life in the period before 1848. Rabbi Yosef Zvi Hersch served as rabbi from 1822–1825, followed by Rabbi Abraham Jacob ben Feiwel Horszowski, who served until his death on 27 Tevet 1841. Rabbi Horszowski, who had previously been rabbi at Jezupol and Uhnów, made a great spiritual contribution in shaping the community and its institutions from the beginning of his term in 1825. He was noted for his human approach and fine relations with the members of his community, who idolized him. Thanks to the influence of Rabbi Horszowski, those years, when most Galician communities had launched into serious wars between the misnagdim [opponents of khasidism], khasidim, and the maskilim (Enlightened) passed quietly in Drohobycz. The community did not suffer the internal shocks felt in other communities.

In 1849, the burial society arranged for a special hearse with a black coffin. A similar arrangement in Brody had roused up a storm among the haredim (ultra–orthodox) headed by the preacher Reb Shlomo Kluger, which resulted in arrests and court cases. Not so in Drohobycz. Here the Jewish public accepted the new arrangement quietly; among the haredim, as it was said at the time, “no one is opening his mouth or making a peep.” When it was learned that the authorities were considering demanding that the Jews change their traditional garb for European clothing, the Drohobycz community, together with the rest of the Sambor Circle communities, presented a memorandum asking that such a law not be put into effect, since the change of clothing would entail serious financial expenditures which would do great damage to incomes from the kosher meat tax. Secondly, such a law would cause great damage to merchant houses, which were holding a large stock of cloth. The price of European clothing would also increase. The government replied to this memorandum and those from other communities saying that changing Jewish costume in Moravia had not reduced incomes from the kosher meat tax. The government was considering granting an extension before carrying out the law. [116]

A change occurred in the life of the community when Rabbi Eliezer Nissan Teitelbaum (1786–1856) became rabbi of Drohobycz.

Rabbi Teitelbaum was the son of the Szigeti rabbi Moshe, the author of “Yismach Moishe”, and the founder of a dynasty of admorim [117] in northern Hungary. Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (1759–1841) was born in Przemyśl, served as rabbi in Sieniawa and later in Przemyśl, was close to the admor of Lublin, Rabbi Jakub Isaac, at the time the latter was living in Łancut and became famous among the Jewish masses as a wonder rabbi. Rabbi Moshe learned the ways of khasidim from him, especially the ways of becoming holy in the eyes of the masses.

In 1809, he moved to Hungary and settled in the city of Ujhely, where a small community of khasidim was living. With his leadership and religious enthusiasm, the members of his community became his followers. Apart from his sermons, which aroused his listeners emotionally, most of his work involved distributing amulets to sick people and to all those in distress, who sought help. The number of followers seeking his help grew from day to day, and his influence spread to other northern Hungarian cities as well. Thus a new khasidic dynasty of admorim was established. His son, Rabbi Eliezer Nissan, who was educated in the khasidic atmosphere of his father's house, naturally brought this influenced to Drohobycz. Khasidism grew stronger in Drohobycz during his rabbinate. Before he came to Drohobycz, he was rabbi of Marmoresh–Sziget, which in his era became the khasidic bastion for the entire region. He served in Drohobycz until his death on 9 Tishrei 5616 (1856). Although two of his sons, Yehuda of Sziget and Shmuel of Gorlice, were rabbis, the community chose as its new rabbi the son of the late rabbi's predecessor, Eliahu Horszowski (the author of “P'nei Eliahu”), who had previously been rabbi in Jezupol and Uhnów.

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The maskilim, whose numbers had increased during these years, influenced the leaders of the community in this choice. The economic developments in the city and its environs that followed the discovery of naphtha, which attracted foreign businessmen, made it undesirable to have a partisan rabbi. Rabbi Eliahu Horszowski, like his father, was noted for his practical approach to general affairs and was acceptable to all members of the congregation because of his humane and non–partisan attitudes. He died on 2 Marhesvan 5644 (1883), after serving in the rabbi's seat in Drohobycz for twenty–seven years.

* * *

In the war over the growing influence of Western culture that raged in the mid–nineteenth century in the communities of Lwów, Brody, Tarnopol, Bolechów, Stanisławów, Tyśmienica, and Jarosław, Drohobycz did not play a sizable role. As was mentioned, the town did not take part in the struggle that broke out between the haredim and the supporters of the Enlightenment. Nevertheless, a small circle of maskilim, who aspired to reform and changes in the Jewish way of life, began to expand and attract a sizable number of merchants and oil businessmen. Over the course of time, it managed to take command of running the community and its institutions. [118]

However, their chief wish, which was educational reform and elimination of the obsolete methods of the kheder, remained only a pium desiderium [pious wish]. The attempts to found a Jewish school remained on paper and were not successfully implemented until the 1860s. In this period, only a very small number of children studied in the government's school. In several families, private tutors taught foreign languages.

The contact with non–Jewish circles and Jews from outside of Drohobycz, who were interested in developing the oil reserves after they were discovered, had a sizable influence on cultural assimilation and the spread of general education among the merchant families.

In contrast to Lwów, Tarnopol, Stanisławów, and Brody, where the maskilim were led by people from the academically educated strata, for the most part doctors, the maskilim circle in Drohobycz was composed of merchants and commercial functionaries. Moderate maskilim were already sitting on the community council. They did not want to introduce new arrangements likely to stir up opposition from the pious. The merchants Berisch Gottlieb, Hersch Goldhammer, Selig Lauterbach, and Yehoshua Moshe Sternbach led the community. They were moderates who were not looking for battles and struggles with the haredim.

The events of 1848 were not particularly noted in Jewish life; we have no information as to how much the Jews of Drohobycz participated in the political events of those days or what their reactions were. But one may assume that the leaders of the community knew about and gave their consent in 1848 to the submission of a memorandum to the government by the Sambor Circle rabbi Shlomo Deutsch concerning the abolition of the meat and candle tax in accordance with a resolution of the first assembly of representatives of the major communities in Galicia, convened in the summer of 1847 at the initiative of the Lwów community. Rabbi Deutsch's memorandum cited the impoverished economic situation of the Jewish population and the suffering that stemmed from the limitations placed on Jews' activity in commerce, crafts, and the purchase of farms. Jews were suffering especially from the burden of taxes placed only on them because of their religion. In the memorandum, signed by Rabbi Deutsch and three of the leaders of the Sambor community, the government was requested to set up a school for Jewish youth. [119] This memorandum was sent, as was stated, because of the resolution of the assembly of representatives of the major communities in Galicia. At this assembly, it was decided that the Jews of the districts of Lwów, Tarnopol, Stryj, Brody, Sambor, and Stanisławów submit memoranda to Emperor Ferdinand I, [120] which included the demands for the abolition of the ghetto, the kosher meat and candle tax, and the existing limitations on Jewish activity in commerce, the crafts, and the free professions.

 

V

Economic expansion began to take place even in the period before 1849, when oil was discovered in Borysław and its vicinity. In the mid–nineteenth century, especially after 1848, Drohobycz turned into an important commercial and industrial centre in the Galician economy.

The Jewish population grew by leaps and bounds with the arrival of Jews from the smaller towns and other areas, who came to Drohobycz to seek their livelihood. The importance of the Jews in the economy affected their political status. In 1848, Jews were given the right to own land. Having been given this right, several Jews in Drohobycz purchased estates in the environs of the city. After the constitution of 1849 was abolished by the decree of 31 December 1851, the question arose as to what would happen to the property that Jews had purchased between 1848 and 1851. The decree of 3 Oct 1858 restored the limitations on Jews' rights to on property that had been in force before 1848. However, it was stressed that those limitations did not apply to legal acquisitions made by the Jews before the new decree. Anyone wanting to purchase real estate would have to present a special request to the central government. In June 1855, the Szlomo Bronstein of Drohobycz requested permission to purchase an estate in Galicia. After the authorities confirmed that he was an honest, loyal citizen with proper manners, and noted his special affinity for agriculture, the ministerial council suggested that he be given permission; his request was granted by Emperor Franz Josef I. [121]

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On 20 June 1855, [122] after the Jews had been given permission by the decree of 18 February 1860 to purchase real estate, thirty Jews from Drohobycz and two from Borysław presented requests for permits to buy houses and other real estate. The following are the names of those who submitted such requests, which were approved:

  1. The head of the community, Berisch Gottlieb, wanted to build homes. [123]
  2. Hersch Goldhammer, propination lessee, oil well owner, and military supplier. [124]
  3. Marko Dinter, an agent for Moldavian merchandise.[125]
  4. Dan Lindenbaum, had received citizenship in the town in 1850 along with Selig Lauterbach. [126]
  5. Jakub Segal. [127]
  6. Berisch Gottlieb. [128]
  7. Selig Lauterbach, who had already received citizenship in Drohobycz, owned houses and founded and administered the Jewish hospital. [129]
  8. Rafael Hersch Pitzele owned an oil refinery in Drohobycz. [130]
  9. Altmann and Gottlieb, “private oil producers.” [131]
  10. A. Präger wanted to buy mineral real estate. He owned oil wells and was a partner in an oil refinery in Borysław and the paraffin candle factory. [132]
  11. Kallenberg, a merchant. [133]
  12. The doctor, surgeon, and obstetrician. Zwangheim, took the obligatory exams in 1854. “He has given up Jewish dress and is not given over to obsolete Jewish customs.” [134]
  13. Sternbach, owner of houses and lots, spice merchant, owner of an oil and paraffin candle factory in Borysław, parnas of the Drohobycz community since 1858. [135]
  14. Spandorfer, a blacksmith. [136]
  15. Fichmann, owner of an oil refinery. [137]
  16. Aronauer, a merchant. [138]
  17. Süssmann, Abel, army and municipal supplier. [139]
  18. Löwenthal, an oil producer. [140]
  19. Liebermann, army and municipal supplier. [141]
  20. Berger, a former soldier. [142]
  21. Chajet. [143]
  22. Freilich, one of the most important oil producers. [144]
  23. Händel, oil well owner and owner of an oil refinery. [145]
  24. Mauzer, a former soldier, army supplier. [146]
  25. Bloch. [147]
  26. Hersch Dörfler. [148]
  27. Goldhammer, oil refiner. [149]
  28. Gartenberg, oil producer. [150]
  29. Schützmann, Borysław. [151]
  30. Kreisberg, Borysław. [152]
  31. Weitzmann, Drohobycz. [153]
  32. Shreier. [154]
  33. Josefsberg, Leib.
In the 1840s, a mineral like oil or wax was found in the soil in the village of Borysław at a depth of 5–6 metres. After digging for 30–40 metres, solid strata of wax appeared. This wax was called łep; the workers who excavated it were known as łepaks. Wax was also found clinging to stones; it was removed by workers known as kuczynierzy.

Even before 1848, a Jew from Drohobycz, Abraham Schreiner, [155] made experiments. After some primitive experiments, he discovered that the oily liquid found in the soil yielded a transparent liquid. Chemical experiments conducted by two pharmacists in Lwów, I. Łukasiewicz and Jan Zeh, created pure naphtha. From that time, frenzied searches and well digging began, with simple implements and in a very primitive fashion, and only to a depth of a few metres. Oil refineries were immediately built, primarily in Drohobycz, following the methods devised by Schreiner and Łukasiewicz. Benjamin Landesberg discovered other methods for producing naphtha from wax. Until 1840, Landesberg lived in Brody, where he was engaged in the import of English merchandise into Russia. Following the commercial crisis in Brody, he went to Vienna.

In 1850, he returned to Galicia and became interested in the production of naphtha in Borysław. After many experiments, he found a way to produce paraffin and set up a factory, which burned down after a short period. After rebuilding it, he received a permit in 1866 for a paraffin and paraffin oil production monopoly from Emperor Franz Josef I, the only Jew to receive one. Under its terms, he set up a factory in Lwów. His son Marian set up a factory in Lwów in 1860 to produce stearin, [156] stearin candles, and soap. Marian also discovered a way to colour the oil.

Owners of lots and plots of land in Borysław began digging for oil. If they discovered a source of oil, poor people became rich in a short time. Although later the picture changed somewhat, [in the early period] owners of plots, where oil was found, became rich overnight.

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A member of that generation who lived to see these events, described the turnabout as follows: “Many people who had been poor, who had nothing, no clothing, who were hungry for bread, now appeared at the top of the stairs. They built houses, their wives got fat, sported earrings in their ears, rings and bracelets on their hands, pearls, precious stones, silver and gold vessels; they ate and drank, dressed in expensive suits and dresses, and celebrated every day. They would also buy fields and vineyards; they would dig holes; in most of them oil was found.” [157]

In those days, the refineries were still worked by hand and young boys and girls would gather the oil in vessels. Apart from the oil wells, huge quantities of wax were also brought out of the depths of the earth.

In that period, they would usually dig to a depth of thirty metres. In 1862, they began to dig as deep as 250 metres. In those years, production reached 10 tons a day.

This work was done only by Jewish workers. After the 1860s, when foreign companies invested money, the Jewish workers started to be pushed out. Oil production shot up particularly in 1866, when a Jew dug a well on the border of Wolanka near Borysław, and found oil in great quantities. Every day 100 to 150 barrels were drawn from this well. One barrel cost ten florins.

In 1865, there were already 5,000 workers in 2,500 wells; by 1872, the numbers had risen to 10,500 workers in 4,500 wells, of whom only about one third were Jews, the large majority of whom worked only as day labourers in processing wax. [158] Many Jews also worked in the oil refineries and the paraffin candle factories, especially in the firms of Lauterbach, Gartenberg and Goldhammer, and Zacharia Händel – altogether about 500 workers in all the firms. In December 1866, the Jewish workers set up an organization, the Po'alei Tzedek (righteous workers), and established a health fund. [159]

Only in 1885 were large amounts of oil beginning to be produced with modern machinery. Up to 1864, Jewish workers had removed 30,000 barrels of wax at prices from 6 to 12.5 florins per barrel. From the wax, they produced white candles and paraffin; from the waste products, they produced grease for wagons. The oil was refined at refineries which several Jews in Drohobycz had established. Among the first oil industrialists were Schreiner, Gartenberg, A. Präger, Freilich, Hersch Goldhammer, Mermelstein, Liebermann, Selig Lauterbach, Rafael Hersch Pitzele, Fichman, Waldinger, Löwenthal, Händel, and Kreisberg.

Excavation for wax ceased at the end of the century, when modern crude oil drills were introduced and large refineries built. [160] Resources of wax and crude oil were found not only in Borysław, but also in the villages of Mrażnica, Tustanowice, Schodnica, Popiele and Uniatycze, in mines owned by Jews living in Drohobycz and Lwów.

The petroleum revolution brought change in the lives of the Jews of Drohobycz. Along with industrial development, the number of Jewish clerks, most of whom were educated people, increased. Opposition to the khasidim, who had grown in numbers during the days of Rabbi Eliezer Nissan Teitlbaum, began to develop A struggle erupted in the field of education. The maskilim came out against the haredim [ultra–orthodox], who did not allow their children to attend general schools. It is true that their daughters went to schools, where they studied German, Polish, and handicrafts, but only a few sent their boys to the general school. In those years, only three Jewish boys attended the gymnasium [high–school], which had already been established in Drohobycz. The maskilim, who participated in running the community, wanted to set up a secular Jewish school on the model of those in Tarnopol, Bolechów, Brody, and Lwów. But the haredim strongly opposed this, preferring to educate their children in a kheder. The kheder, according to one maskil of those days, was “a place full of foul odors” with very bad sanitary condition, where the children were subjected to the “wild behavior of the melameds” (teachers). [161] The maskilim were especially critical of the teaching methods and the attitudes of the melameds to the children. They cited a case in which a melamed, Abraham, hit the children with a strap, and another case in which he attacked a child and wounded him by biting him. The child became very ill. The parents sued the rabbi, who became angry and said he would not get involved in a dispute that did not concern him. The father wanted to bring a criminal suit to court but was asked not to do so. [162] This case caused even many haredim to take their children out of the kheder and send them to the government schools.

In face of this, the maskilim were convinced of the necessity to set up a Jewish school, because in the government schools, “the children would turn their backs on the language of the past and the wisdom of Israel and the national spirit among the children of Israel would decline from one day to the next.” Maskilim like Selig Lauterbach, Jacob Segal, A.H. Żupnik, and Shmuel Abel Apfel worked to set up a Hebrew–language school. The maskil circle also protested the conditions and way of life of the Jews, such as child marriages, unsanitary conditions, and ignorance. They tried to improve things through education and information.

The changes in economic life brought about changes in the way of life as well. The Jewish population had increased with the arrival of new elements, mostly workers; the demand for labour in the wax mines, oil wells, refineries, and factories attracted the youth to productive labour. In 1864, there were already several thousand Jewish families in Drohobycz, most of them living from the proceeds of their own toil.

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Apart from the merchants and tavern keepers, most people were engaged in industry and crafts. There were twelve oil refineries, of which ten were owned by Jews, tanners, and beer and brandy distilleries, all of them owned by Jews who employed only Jews. Among Jewish craftsmen there were tailors, shoemakers, stonecutters, cabinetmakers, construction carpenters, upholsterer, glaziers, brass smiths, tinsmiths, painters, watchmakers, coppersmiths, rope makers, jewellers, harness makers, coopers, bookbinders, engravers, soap makers, candle makers, chain makers, welders, agricultural labourers, hatters, furriers, woodcutters, and water carriers. Jews were also foremen in the factories. In the oilfields, they were not deterred by the hardest labour.

Under the influence of the maskil circle, the cornerstone of a lavish synagogue was laid in 1844; it was finished in 1863 and had a festive dedication on Shavuot of that year. Costs of construction and outfitting came to 50,000 gulden. In 1860, Selig Lauterbach founded a hospital for the poor, with eight rooms. A shelter for the poor was also founded.

To cover expenses for the hospital, the congregation received permission from the authorities to collect a payment of one kreuzer for every slaughtered chicken, two kreuzer for every goose, and three kreuzer for every turkey. The municipality contributed fifty gulden a year toward the hospital's upkeep.

After a difficult struggle, the maskilim established their educational plan. In 1860, they opened a Jewish secular school with twenty children, who studied Hebrew, German, Polish, and mathematics according to the general education curriculum. The school was private. It was administered by an experienced teacher by the name of Blumenthal, who was taken in on the recommendation of the Lwów preacher Bernhard Löwenstein.

Studies were conducted for three hours in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. In addition, a special teacher taught the Talmud. The khasidim were not reconciled to the founding of the school and placed a ban on it, as well as on the teachers and the children. They were aided by the melameds, who saw the school as serious competition to their kheders. They harassed the Talmud teacher and made his life very bitter. But in the face of the community's persistence, they were forced to retreat and stop their sabotage. At the initiative of the community, a teacher of religion, whom they selected, was appointed to the school since the number of Jewish students there was growing from year to year. In this period, there were two synagogues and twenty–four private batei midrash [houses of learning] in Drohobycz.

In 1866, the Osei Khesed [charitable] society was founded, whose goal was “to strengthen and help the sick, rich as well as poor. Two members would come to care for and feed a patient, and would remain at his bedside, day or night.” In fact, this was a bikur holim [visiting the sick] society. To cover expenses, boxes were distributed to families to collect contributions. [163]

In 1866, the people of Drohobycz endured an outbreak of cholera, which carried off many Jews, including the son–in–law of Rabbi Eliezer Nissan Teitlbaum.

With the outbreak of the Austrian–Prussian War, the Galician Poles decided to set up a volunteer unit, the freiwilliges Krakówregiment under the command of Count Starzyński. Contributions were collected in the cities of Galicia to equip the regiment. Count Komorowski came to Drohobycz. Even before his arrival, the Jewish leaders in Drohobycz set up a committee, the patriotisches Kommitee, to collect contributions for the war. The committee included Zvi Goldhammer, Selig Lauterbach, Chaim Joel Stern and the community heads Yehoshua Sternbach and Issachar Berisch Gottlieb. Through the work of the committee, 1,800 florins were collected in a few days, and put at the disposal of the Galician authorities. In addition, a contribution of 200 florins was made to Count Komorowski. [164]

* * *

In this period, the question arose whether the Jews should be given citizenship in the city. In the Jewish regulation of 7 May 1789, it was explicitly stated that the Jews were members of the local political community, to which the local Christians also belonged, although the Jews did not enjoy the rights of citizenship in the same way as other members of the community. In 1792, and later in the decree of 14 July 1847, it was stated that Jews in any city in Galicia who owned houses or were skilled craftsmen were entitled to acquire the right of citizenship. The granting of this right was in the hands of the municipalities, but it was also possible to attain it by means of orders from the district bureau.

Up to 1867, the four Jews, who had received the right of citizenship in Drohobycz, all of them by means of orders from the district bureau, were refused citizenship by the municipality. In 1850, the right to citizenship had been extended to Dan Lindenbaum and Selig Lauterbach; later, it was also given to Goldhammer and to Sternbach.

According to the laws governing cities of 25 April 1859 and 5 March 1862, only city councils had the right to grant citizenship. According to that law, the Drohobycz city council decided in 1865 to cancel any grant of the right of citizenship to Jews until a special law was passed to that effect. In defense of this decision, it was argued that since no fundamental arrangement had been legislated concerning the relation and status of the Jews in a Christian country, the granting of citizenship rights to Jews was to be viewed as contravening the interests of the city, especially its Christian community, from the religious, moral, and economic points of view. [165]

[Page 32]

This decision was undertaken in response to the request for a grant of citizenship by a resident of Drohobycz, Jakub Segal, one of the lumber wholesalers, on the basis that he had been given the right to own property. When the city council rejected his request, Segal appealed the decision. In its reply, the city council stressed that it alone had authority to grant citizenship. In the council's opinion, Segal was not entitled to citizenship, since he had not acquired rights in the city. In its response, the municipality also stressed that Jewish residents had no role to play in the decisions of the council or of other municipal institutions, and that the schools budgets were financed by taxes from the Christian community. It was true that the Jews brought income to the city through propination and that they maintained a hospital and shelter for the poor at their own expense. They sent their children to the general school, but the Jews constituted a separate community within the city alongside the non–Jewish residents. The law gives the municipal council the authority to decide according to its own opinion. Segal issued an appeal to the Ministry of the Interior in Vienna through the district commission, but the ministry rejected his appeal. [166]

Unlike the situation in Stanisławów, Przemyśl, Tarnopol, and Brzeżany, where Jews were allowed to participate in elections to the city council, and in Brody, where the city council, according to a decree of 7 September 1792, was composed of twenty Christians and twenty Jews and the second deputy mayor could be a Jew, the Jews of Drohobycz were denied the right to vote in municipal elections, although they were recognized as citizens of the city, as the regulations for Drohobycz brandy makers of 1802 decreed. (Regulativ für die Drohobyczer städtischen Brantweinbrenner II Abteilung §1). According to the decree of 16 February 1789, a Jew could receive citizenship in the city only if he were granted a special permit for that purpose from a higher authority, or if he were a resident in a city in which citizenship, based on privilege, had already been achieved. In Drohobycz, according to the brandymakers' regulations, the Jews belonged to the latter category and were thus entitled to receive citizenship. [167] As a citizen of the city, a Jew in Drohobycz was entitled to voting privileges if he owned a house or was a tradesman according to the 7 September 1792 decree. [168]

In 1848, the Jews received – theoretically – the right to vote in the elections but in fact the previous laws remained in effect. Contrary to the Austrian government bill of 5 March 1862, which did not condone limitations on non–Christian religions, the Galician Sejm inserted a special clause (VI) concerning Christian–Jewish affairs. According to this instruction, Jewish city council members were not to be involved in matters involving the Christians; Jewish affairs were to be conducted by the Jewish communities.

The rights of Jews were limited by other regulations as well; for example, they were excluded from elections for mayor and deputy mayor, and it was established (clauses 15 § 11) that at least two thirds of all council members and their deputies chosen in each election district had to be Christian. From1848, the Poles on the Lwów city council, led by council member Kasztanowiec, [169] maintained that the Jews had no part in the ownership of city property, which belonged only to the city's Christian residents. Almost all the cities of Galicia joined in this opinion, including Drohobycz, which informed the Jewish community of its position. Of course, the Jews would not agree to this regulation; all communities, including Drohobycz, presented written complaints to the Minister Count Belcredi, [170] but in vain. On 12 April 1866, the Emperor approved the regulation, and it went into effect on 12 August of that year.

Until the proclamation of the constitution on 21 December 1867, which guaranteed all residents of the monarchy equal rights, the laws governing the municipalities were in complete violation of Austrian law. On 19 November 1868, after a stormy debate on the Jewish question raised by a new regulation presented to the Galician Sejm, it was decided to abolish the limitations that had previously affected the Jews of Galicia. According to the new legislation for municipalities, the Drohobycz city council was composed of thirty–six members. In 1874, there were eight Poles, twelve Ruthenians and sixteen Jews. Hersch (Hermann) Goldhammer (1826–1899) [171]was chosen deputy mayor; Dr Wohllerner followed him in the same post. From that time on, a Jew was always elected deputy mayor.

In 1869, the city numbered 16,880 residents, of whom 3,931 were Poles, 4,844 Ruthenians, 8,055 Jews and 151 non–religious. The economic situation improved in those years to the point that Drohobycz was the third wealthiest city in Galicia, after Lwów and Kraków.

 

VI

At a time when the maskilim in Brody, Tarnopol, Lwów, and a little later, in Tyśmienica, Bolechów, and Stanisławów were spreading the ideas and aspirations of the Enlightenment among their brothers, the Jews of Drohobycz were not especially impressed by its slogans.

The pioneers of the Enlightenment in Drohobycz turned up in the period of the Epigoni (latecomers), after the sun of the Galician Enlightenment had set. These pioneers did what they could to lead their generation in Drohobycz, and made a major contribution to the community's cultural development.

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There were four personalities in this period who shaped the community and stamped their ideas on it: Asher Selig Lauterbach, Shmuel Abel Apfel, Alexander Haim Shur and A. H. Żupnik. The leading figure in the maskilim circle was Asher Selig Lauterbach, thanks to his extensive Jewish education and his economic–social status. He was a native of Drohobycz, born on 8 Shevat 5586 (16 January 1826). His father, Jacob Bezalel ben Zvi, was born in Bavaria in 1800; he was a pious Jew, extremely learned in the Torah, a wealthy but generous man, a patriarchal type, well–liked in the community. His mother Rachel (1805–1860) was the daughter of David Mandel, among the most prominent Jews in Buczacz. Asher Selig received a traditional education in his parents' home, as in the old days. When it was time to marry, he was obliged to pass a test in the German language and in mathematics, in accordance with the law to receive permission to marry. It was then that he began to become interested in secular studies and came to the recognition that “it was not good to be learned only in the Talmud and remain ignorant of the wisdom of the nations and the understanding of its wise men.”

He also began to delve deeply into Jewish studies and read Enlightenment books. He decided to take up the pen. After his marriage, he became active in commerce, but he also set aside time for study and writing. Once, when he was in Lwów on business, he made the acquaintance of Werber, [172] the publisher of the journal Hatzir, which came out in 1860–62. Werber encouraged him to write, and promised to print his articles. In 5,622, his first article was printed: “Mysteries of Light, or the Oil Wells.” After Hatzir ceased to appear, he was involved in the newspapers of Josef Cohen–Tzedek (Hamevaser, Hanesher). At first, he wrote news stories, later articles and commentaries on the Mishna and on Talmudic and Midrashic Aggada, as well as short stories and poems in the style of his times.

Lauterbach also published articles in all the other Hebrew journals that appeared in Galicia and elsewhere. He was one of the biggest industrialists; together with Gartenberg and Goldhammer he founded the famous factory Apollo–Naphtha Paraffin und Paraffinkerzenfabrik.

Lauterbach filled various functions in communal life. For years, he was a member of the community's executive; he set up the Jewish hospital and established a fund to finance it, handing it over to the executive, which did not want to take it. He also founded a reading room and library in Drohobycz, endowing it with a large collection of books on Jewish studies with the aim of expanding knowledge among the Jews. When the Israelite Alliance (Israelitische Allianz zu Wien) was founded in Vienna, he established a branch in Drohobycz. Lauterbach was a typical maskil, personifying all the viewpoints of the maskilim of his generation. He was tied to Judaism with every fibre of his being and aspired to uplift the cultural situation of his people and help them adjust to the life of those among whom they lived and worked. He was most concerned with the problem of educating his generation. He viewed the traditional education offered in the kheders as an enormous plague – neglected and corrupt.

In a comprehensive article, “On Israel, its Rabbis, and its Students,” published in Peretz Smolenskin's Hashahar, [173] he poured out his heart about the terrible state of Jewish education in Galicia and in his native town Drohobycz. This situation impeded Jewish progress and kept the Jews in a low cultural state. He criticized the haredim and the melameds and their teaching methods, sharply and in detail. He used the form of a dialogue between the melamed Yekutiel and Reb Baruch, describing the way a melamed was hired for the children of Jewish landowners or lessees in a village. [174] In a satiric tone, he revealed all that was degraded and useless in this education. The article devoted special attention to the educational situation in Drohobycz, whose Jews numbered 9,000 by 1876 – half the total population. Two hundred Jewish children were studying in public schools and seventy–five in the gymnasium (high–school). Those who wanted their children to know the Torah, send them to melameds who were ignorant of Jewish and general learning. In this sad situation, the new generation studying in non–Jewish schools was neglecting the study of the Hebrew language, the foundation of Jewish identity and culture. Lauterbach demanded decisive reforms in the kheders and a different teaching method to ward off the destruction of Hebrew culture.

Lauterbach was in every way a child of his generation and its outlook. He believed in the ideal that Jews should fight for in the aspirations of the Israelite Alliance. In his opinion, it was the group that was working to redeem the honour of Israel, to demand its rights in all the countries of the diaspora in which Jews were oppressed and exploited. It was this group that rescued the Russian Jewish refugees at the time of the pogroms in 1880. Lauterbach also took a clear stand regarding Hibbat Zion (early Zionism). He did not oppose the revival of a Jewish Land of Israel, but his view was practical. He was not convinced that the Turkish Sultan would give permission for Jews to settle in Palestine. If Hovevei Zion did get permission, they would have to start everything from scratch. “The idea of settling the Land of Israel is very honourable but it is a dream for the days to come. If many volunteer to go to the Land of Israel, I have one admonition – that those living in the land of our fathers now mend their ways and keep out worthless people, who spoil the good name of all the settlers and cause anxiety in the hearts of those who love the Land.” He was referring to the activities in the kollelim (religious communities), their rivalries and plots, which were written up in those days in the Hebrew newspapers of Eliezer Rokach [175] and Menachem Mendel Elboim. [176] “Who will testify faithfully about the scandals in Jerusalem and Safed, and who will emigrate to the Land whose inhabitants are eating each other alive? They will flee from the lion, and the bear will catch them …

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The air must be cleared before our brothers can come to settle in this land.” In Lauterbach's opinion, only then would settlement succeed. But until that day arrived, he advocated collecting contributions to help the Russian refugees. [177] When the Hibbat Zion movement started in Galicia, Lauterbach did not join; however, he supported it, at least, by not opposing it.

Apart from his commercial and industrial affairs, Lauterbach devoted all his spare time to his scientific work. His influence in the community's cultural life was remarkable. On 25 March 1904 (9 Nisan 5664) Lauterbach died in Drohobycz. [178]

Shmuel Abel Apfel was another of the well–known Enlightenment writers in Drohobycz who helped shape the community's spiritual image. According to the testimony of people of that generation, he was a wonderful person with unusual qualities of character who endeared himself to those who met him, even only on a single occasion. He was born on 17 June 1831 in Grodek and was educated by his father Reb Nathan, a respected baal–bayit [a worthy person, lit. house owner] in the old traditional spirit. He was orphaned at the age of thirteen and left without any material means. He moved to live with his uncle Leibush Apfel in Żółkiew, to study with Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Chajes, because he wanted to be a rabbi. The rabbi and his family took a liking to him and he befriended the sons. Apart from Talmudic studies, he also devoted himself to secular studies, especially the books of Rabbi Nachman Krochmal and Shlomo Yehuda Rappaport. Under the influence of Reb Simcha Rappaport, father of the poet Dr Mauritz Rappaport, he decided to give up the idea of becoming a rabbi. He devoted himself to a practical profession – accounting. He worked in a bank in Jassy for a few years. In 1865, he was taken in as chief accountant in the Gartenberg–Lauterbach–Goldhammer factory. Within a short period of his moving and settling down in Drohobycz, he became an honoured member of the Jewish community, especially in intellectual circles. He was a member of the city council and a tireless community worker in running the soup kitchen and other charitable institutions. He worked to fence in and expand the cemetery, collecting the necessary 5,000 florins and contributing the income from his translation of Friedrich Schiller's play, Fiasco into Hebrew – 725 florins. From his youth, Apfel showed an inclination for Hebrew literature; his letters, his commentaries of the Bible, and his poems demonstrated his literary talents. In 1856, he began to publish in Kochvei Yitzhak [179] scriptural commentaries and poems. All his life he was involved in literature, to which he devoted his free time. He translated Fiasco under the title Kesher Fiasco b'Genoa [the Fiasko Plot in Genoa], (Drohobycz, 1888). He wrote a philosophical work, The Talent of Wisdom and Despair (Chernowitz: 1883). He also wrote a humorous Yiddish poem Zum Nei'm Yohr [The New Year] (Drohobycz, 1893). He was an honest man, modest, far removed from any noisy publicity. His only aim was to be a help to his fellow man and to see his people attain a spiritual and cultural level in keeping with the needs of the time. He died in Drohobycz on 5 April 1892.

The third member of the maskilim circle was Alexander Haim Shor, a native of Żurawno, born into a distinguished family. His mother's father, Mordecai Kriss, was head of the community. Under the influence of a childhood friend, Selig Allerhand (1842–1870) he drew closer to Enlightenment circles. After he married and moved to Drohobycz, he became a merchant. In a short span of time he won a place in Jewish public life and was elected to the community executive. In June 1878, he represented his community at a convocation held in Lwów at the initiative of Shomer Yisrael. He took an active part in the work of this meeting as secretary of the presidium. He proposed that a committee be set up to found a Bet Midrash for rabbis, but retracted the proposal at the request of most of the delegates. He was an enlightened man with liberal views, a fan of Hebrew language and literature, and was concerned about Hebrew education for the young. He wrote Hebrew poems which were published in 1862 and 1869 in Kochvei Yitzhak. [180] After he married Lieba the daughter of Asher Selig Lauterbach and moved to Drohobycz, his muse grew silent, but his interest in Hebrew literature remained strong. Now and then, he published articles and news stories in Hamevaser, Hamagid and Ivri Anochi.

In the early 1880s he participated in Tene Hamelitza (“a collection of letters and various translations, intermingled with pearls of rhetoric for the benefit of men of wisdom”), published in Czernowitz in 1881 by his friend Yehoshua Widmann (1840–1917), a native of Nadworna and later a bookseller in Czernowitz. Because of his Jewish and general learning, he had a noticeable influence on the maskil circle and on the overall Jewish intelligentsia in Drohobycz. In the second half of the 19th century, he assumed an important place in Jewish public life in Galicia, even outside his own city. His brother, Naftali Hertz Shor, who lived in Stanisławów, was also among the best–known maskilim in Galicia. Alexander spent the last years of his life in Vienna where he died on 23 September 1913.

We must also mention the printer and publisher of the local newspaper, Aron Hersh Żupnik, who was born in Sambor on 1 Nisan 1848. While still a youth in Sambor, articles he wrote were published in Hamevaser. In 5626 (1866) he settled in Drohobycz, where he wrote articles for Hamevaser, Hamagid, and Hashahar, in which he especially complained about the low level of education for the youth and demanded far–reaching reforms. On this matter, he also tried to influence his fellow townsmen. Together with Lauterbach, Apfel, and Shor, Żupnik succeeded somewhat in improving education in the city. In 1883, he set up a Hebrew press, and published a

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German weekly with Hebrew letters, the Drohobyczer Zeitung, with the aim of diffusing German enlightenment among the Jews of Galicia. For that purpose, he printed Hebrew supplements from time to time. He also founded the Hebrew monthly Zion but failed to keep it going. Three issues came out in 1886 and another seven in 1896–7. Żupnik was a unique type of maskil, who was not a profound thinker but described everything in elabourate, emotional rhetoric. In his newspaper, he kept to a patriotic Austrian line, exploiting every opportunity to publish articles praising the royal house and its rule. He was, however, totally devoted to his people, to the Hebrew language, and to the idea of returning to the Land of Israel.

Apart from his articles, he translated into Hebrew the book of Dr Ludwig Philipson Kedushat Hashem (Brody: 1867) and wrote a biography of the first preacher of Lwów, who was cruelly poisoned by the ultra–religious people in Lwów. “The Story of Abraham Hacohen” (Vienna: 1869) was first published in Hashahar 1, 32–44. Żupnik took an active part in Jewish communal life in Drohobycz. He died in Vienna on 8 April 1917 (16 Nisan 5677).

Other members of the maskilim circle included Yeshayahu LiebermanN, who published translations in Kochvei Yitzhak (1865–66); the Hamevaser writer Moshe Kuhmerker, brother–in–law of the well–know Stanisławów maskil Shmuel Liebesmann (1834–1903); Jacob Blum; A. Feuerstein; Süsskind Kohl; Dr Adolf Dawidowicz; Josef Friedmann, and Dr Pisek. The Drohobycz maskilim were not like those who led the Enlightenment in Brody, Lwów, or Tarnopol. Their literary activity was not very extensive, but it cannot be denied that their intellectual influence helped shape the cultural life of Drohobycz Jewry in a positive direction.

 

VII

At the end of the 1870s, the pace of development in Drohobycz quickened from both a demographic and an economic standpoint. The number of Jews rose from 8,055 in 1869 to 9,181 in 1880, 50.4 percent of the total population of 18,225. The number of Jews in the entire Drohobycz district reached 21,963, with 86,562 non–Jews. In the cities and towns, 79.89 percent of the Jews (17,528) lived alongside 13,075 non–Jews; another 4,435 Jews lived scattered among ninety–six villages.

In 1890, the number of Jews in the district reached 23,819; non–Jews numbered 92,469. Of the Jews, 75.6 percent (18,012) lived in the cities and towns alongside 14,282 non–Jews, while 5,807 Jews lived in eighty–nine villages.

By 1900, the Jewish population of the district had fallen to 22,001; 109,650 were non–Jews. There were 15,931 Jews in the cities and towns alongside 18,385 non–Jews, while 6,070 Jews lived in ninety–five villages.

In Drohobycz itself, 48 percent (8,708) of the 17,916 people were Jews; in 1900, 44.7 percent (8,683) of the total population of 19,432 were Jews; in 1910, 44.2 percent (15,313) of the population of 34,665 were Jews.

The percentage of Jews in the total population thus fell from 50.4 percent in 1880 to 44.2 percent in 1910. In those three decades, the general population rose by 96.2 percent while the Jewish population rose by only 66.8 percent.

In 1889, Jewish land holdings in the entire district reached 12,199 hectares (22.3 percent); by 1902, this had fallen to 11,276 hectares (20.9 percent). [181]

Two events during this era symbolized the anti–Jewish attitude of the non–Jewish population. In July 1884, the mineworkers rioted against the Jews; eight Jewish homes were destroyed and several Jews were wounded. [182] In 1888, another incident showed the attitude of the authorities. On the eve of Rosh Hashana, a confiscation committee from the court came to the Osei Hesed Beit Midrash. They removed the Torah scrolls and other sacred objects, because legal costs (Rechtsgebühren) dating from the year 1876 had not been paid. The community's efforts on the matter were of no avail; all the items were returned only after the money was paid. [183]

With the development of the oil industry, a drastic change, involving the Jews, occurred in economic life. In 1873, the population participated in direct elections to the Austrian parliament. At the initiative of the Lwów Jewish organization Shomer Yisrael, a central election committee was set up on 28 May to include representatives of the communities in the large cities, Drohobycz among them. Dr Julius Kolischer was chosen president of the committee and Dr Emil Byk was chosen secretary. The committee did not draw up any political program but stated that the Jews of Galicia were interested supporting the constitution and taking a centrist line, since aspirations for Galician autonomy were perceived as endangering the interests of the Jews.

The intellectuals who supported assimilation with the Poles, with Dr Samuelson of Kraków at their head, did not participate in this program.

Before the elections committee got around to presenting a list of candidates, it conducted negotiations with the Polish election committee on the assumption that a compromise could be

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reached. This hope was in vain. The Poles would not agree to Jewish demands to guarantee them urban seats in Lwów, Brody, Kolomea, Stanisławów, Przemyśl, and Drohobycz, and to put forth liberal, anti–federalist Polish candidates in cities with sizable Jewish populations. The Jews then made a pact with the Ruthenians and succeeded in getting three seats: Dr Joachim Landau in Brody, Dr Oswald Hönigsmann in Kolomea. and Herman Mises in Kolomea. In Drohobycz, the election was a difficult struggle.

Before the parliamentary elections, elections to the City Council were held on 23 April 1873. The Poles, most of them partisans of the national–clerical party, presented as their chief candidate the priest Barewicz, director of the gymnasium and former representative in the Galician parliament. The Jews, Ruthenians, and a more moderate group of Poles, under the leadership of the Jewish attorney Dr Wohlerner, who was deputy mayor, opposed him. The elections were stormy. The Poles threatened Jewish voters, especially in the third electoral district and prevented Jewish voters from voting. The gendarmes had to be called out. Barewicz, using terror tactics, picked up twelve seats. On the 24 and 25 of April elections were held in the first and second districts. Here the Jews picked up fifteen seats, the liberal Poles two, and the Ruthenian intelligentsia six seats. With these results, there was no chance for Barewicz to be elected mayor. He threatened to appeal before the regional commission, but his appeal was unsuccessful. [184]

This tense atmosphere substantially influenced the conduct of the parliamentary elections in November 1873. Through their propaganda, the Poles stirred the masses against the Jews. On 23 and 24 October, processions were held through the city's streets and windows were smashed at Jewish homes and stores. Views of destruction dominated the city. [185] The well–known politician Madejewski was the candidate of the Poles. In the entire district, (Drohobycz, Sambor, Stryj) 1,815 ballots were cast, including nine blank ballots. [186]

The Jewish candidate Herman Mises received 1,007 votes (355 in Drohobycz, 347 in Sambor, 305 in Stryj). The Pole Madejewski got 799 votes. Mises was elected; his election was confirmed by the commission.

After the elections, Poles conducted processions through the city shouting against the Jews. The Poles appealed the results, but parliament, after examining all the election material, approved Mises as a member of parliament. Together with Dr Hönigsmann, Dr Landau, and Nathan Kallir, who was chosen by the chamber of commerce in Brody, Mises joined the Constitution Party (Verfassungspartei), and represented Drohobycz from 1873 to 1879. In 1878, the city granted him honorary citizenship. No other Jew was subsequently elected to represent Drohobycz, which was represented in parliament until 1906 by a Polish Christian. In 1879, the Shomer Yisrael program was abolished, and its leaders united with the Poles. In 1876, an agreement was reached with the Polish leaders, during the elections to the Galician Sejm, according to which the latter agreed to aid in electing a Jewish representative in Lwów, Kraków, Stryj, Brody, Kolomea, and Drohobycz, on condition that the Jews support Polish candidates in all the rural election districts.

The leadership of the Drohobycz Jewish community from 1874 was in the hands of Mendel Samueli, who was also a member of the city council, Berish Gottlieb, and Yehoshua Sternbach. That same year, the community executive decided to establish a Jewish school. Through the efforts of the Jewish city council members, the municipality budgeted 2,300 florins for it. However, 5,000 florins were needed. To raise the necessary funds, a special committee was set up composed of fifteen members: Zvi (Hersh) Goldhammer, Mordecai Berish Goldberg, Nahum Friedmann, Shlomo Lauterbach, Shlomo Rotenberg, Leib Josefsberg, Elias Feuerstein, Mendel Maurer, Hersh Chajet, Josef Lauterbach, Selig Lauterbach, Lipe Bergwerk, Jonas Kuhmerker, and A. Żupnik. The district minister Dzermek [187] also worked in support of the school. [188]

The community also advanced in the field of welfare work. The Dorshei Tov Vahesed society was established at the initiative of the maskilim Mendel Samueli, Moses Reisner (Rosner), Zvi (Hersh) Chajet, and Lipe Bergwerk, to support the needy. [189]

In 1876, the commission requested that the community speed up its reorganization. Shomer Yisrael made efforts to stabilize the community's situation by drawing up regulations approved by the government to unite all the communities in one national organization. To that end, Shomer Yisrael summoned all the communities to participate in a conference to discuss the problems connected with the lives of Galician Jewry. Drohobycz was represented at this conference, held in Lwów on 18–20 June 1878 by Alexander Haim Shor and Mendel Samueli. Shor was chosen secretary of the presidium. At the first meeting, Shor proposed that a committee be chosen to set up a Beit Midrash for rabbis, but at the request of Rabbi Löwenstein and Dr Byk, Shor withdrew his proposal.

Shor and Samueli took an active role in the deliberations on the question of communal organization. Samueli called for the drawing up of a plan for community governance, which could serve as a model to be legally implemented by the communities. This proposal was tabled for the time being. [190] Alexander Shor was elected to the permanent committee, entrusted with carrying out the conference resolutions; Dr Emil Byk headed this committee.

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In 1877, the Lwów community put together a plan for governance based on Samueli's model which was also accepted in Drohobycz because of the influence of Alexander Shor. The Lwów community's efforts to unite the communities by a unified code conforming to the spirit and the needs of the times, was opposed by the haredim, organized in the Mahzikei Hadat [maintainers of the law], led by Rabbi Shimon Schreiber and the Admor of Belz.

In the meantime, the government initiated consultation on the matter of communal arrangements. The Minister of Religion and Education Baron Conrad von Eybesfeld convened a meeting with the participation of representatives of Jewish communities in the various Austrian provinces and with progressive rabbis. Galicia was represented by Nathan von Kallir of Brody and Rabbi Shimon Schreiber. Rabbi Schreiber demanded that rabbis not be required to have a general education, that a Talmudic education be sufficient, and that they have the authority to expel any Jew from the community if he did not live according to the laws of the Torah.

Rabbi Schreiber's demands were not approved by the assembled delegates. He then decided to stir up the Galician communities to act against any legislation on communal regulations in the spirit of the times. In February 1882, an assembly gathered in Lwów composed of orthodox representatives and rabbis, who accepted a proposal for communal regulations according to the demands of Mahzikei Hadat. The regulations provided that the rabbi would be chosen by the community for life, and would supervise all its activities. Together with the rabbis of the other communities, he would ordain rabbis and supervise education and religious studies. The communities were to maintain only cheders and yeshivas and would not be allowed to establish even one school. The right to vote and be elected to communal offices would be granted only to people who lived according to the Shulhan Aruch; all others would be excluded from the community. By means of these regulations, Rabbi Schreiber was trying to follow the example of Hungary and create a split within Galician Jewry.

Most of the communities rejected these regulations, including Drohobycz, where the protest was conducted by a majority of the progressive members of the executive. Rabbi Schreiber presented his plan to the Ministry of Religion as the demand of the Jews of Galicia. In May 1882, the Lwów community presented a strong protest to the Ministry opposing Rabbi Schreiber's proposal and appended declarations of protest from the other communities, including that of Drohobycz. Because of this, the list of candidates opposed to the demands of the Makzikei Hadat won the elections in the large communities. This was true in Drohobycz as well.

In Drohobycz, Samueli's model of community governance of 1877 remained in force until 1890, when on 21 March, regulation for all kehillot in Austria went into effect. They had been prepared by the government with the agreement of the Jewish representatives who had sharply opposed the orthodox aim of splitting the community in Austria as had been done in Hungary. [191] According to this law, communal affairs were conducted by a community council (Kultusrat), elected for a six–year term. The Kultusrat chose from among its members a community committee (Kultusvorstand), the body that carried out decisions and conducted administrative work. Elections were held in 1891 according to these new regulations. The progressives won a decisive majority. Hersh Goldhammer was chosen president of the kehilla, and Yehoshua Sternbach was chosen his deputy. Alexander Shor, the moving power, was elected to a leadership role as well.

 

VIII

Beginning in the late 1870s, the first signs of the Jewish national movement began to appear in Galicia, with hopes of reviving the national centre for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

Under the influence of students who had studied in Vienna where they belonged to Kadima circles, nationalist groups were founded in the various cities of Galicia. In Lwów, the organization Mikra Kodesh was established in 1883. The founders of the Zion organization emerged from that group; the latter began to publicize their work in the smaller towns.

In Drohobycz, Shmuel Abel Apfel and Selig Lauterbach were annual contributors to the Kadima organization in Vienna. From the time his newspaper Drohobyczer Zeitung was established, A.H. Zupnik responded with sympathy and affection to the idea of resettling the Land of Israel and for the Jewish national movement. As far back as 1873, he complained in an article in Hashahar that the children in the public schools would turn their backs on the Hebrew language and the wisdom of Yeshurun, and the national spirit among the children of Israel would be in a constant state of decline. [192]

Thus, it is not surprising that he used his newspaper to preach the national idea and support nationalist Jewish education. Shmuel Apfel and Selig Lauterbach were also filled with the national spirit which, in their case, perhaps stemmed more from their strong love for the Hebrew language, which they saw as the foundation of Jewish existence. Among the young students who had been disillusioned with assimilationist slogans, the national idea began to spread. After contacting the Zion group in Lwów, a group of academics, led by Salo Heimberg, founded a Jewish nationalist organization of academics in 1887, called Einigkeit (Unity), whose chief goal was to plant nationalist consciousness among the youth and to teach them national literature and traditions. One of the factors behind the founding of this group was the pressure that afflicted Jews because of assimilationist slogans, which maintained that the Jews “ceased to be a people on this earth, and are considered among the dead, forgotten from the heart; so why should it be proud of its mission and accomplishments in this world?”

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This commonly accepted fallacy so seriously disturbed a group of intellectuals, that in protest they united in an organization whose aim was to oppose assimilation. In a public manifesto that the group published in 1887 in the Hebrew press [193] it was explicitly stated:

“Our anger has recently grown much more intense than in the past. We are faced with the sword of Jew–hatred and we are persecuted by our sworn enemies, who aim to finish off the remnant of our people. And now, in addition to our enemies, even Jews are waging a vigorous battle to slander us and say: Israel has ceased to be a people on this earth, it should be considered among the dead, forgotten from the heart; why should it be proud of its mission and accomplishments in this world? Just like the haters of Israel known as anti–Semites, there are many among the people of Israel, who would be ashamed to be called Jews. They look for excuses to say that we are a shabby people, who will not be able to go on living as proud people among the other inhabitants of the earth. They will say that we have mixed with the other people and learned their ways and they want to erase the name Jew from under God's heaven.”

“It is true that we wish to live in peace and tranquility with our neighbors (Poles and Ruthenians) in our country, and it is a holy ordinance to all who call themselves by the name Israel that everyone should seek the well–being of the city and the country with all his heart and soul in truth and sincerity. Nevertheless, we must not forget our obligation to our people, our Torah, our language and our literature from days of old. For thousands of years we preserved this dear and holy treasure, our language and literature. And now must we betray it, turn our back to it and leave it in the hands of strangers? We inherited the remnants of this beauty from our forefathers and now must we, foolish and vain people, cast it off? Will this be considered righteous, moral and honest?”

“In these days, when every people tries to exalt its language, literature and learning, and much blood is spilled on the altar of love of the people, should we be anxious to put an end to all this, as if it never existed?”

“To remove this obstacle from our people's path and to revive national life, which has seriously deteriorated, we have founded a group called Unity, so that we can all be a single united body to preserve our existence, the existence of Israel, the apple of our eye. Every man shall help his comrade to restore his honour, to strengthen national feeling among us, to be as one man, to improve our intellectual and physical condition, so that we may know that Israel is one people founded on true unity in the Land.”

“Not with noise and thundering, but with repentance and joy, good taste and understanding, careful attention and reason, we will attain our goals; and our loftiest goal: to renew our national existence with greater force. Our hope is that many more will be attracted to this honourable organization, because the Jew is still alive – he will not be counted among the dead! Let us be strong and brave to give a hand to our organization, whose goals are a) to stir up national feelings among us; b) to encourage love for the literature of the people of Israel and its history; c) to spread learning of our holy language, blessed by God.”

This statement was signed by the Unity society of Drohobycz.

At one of the group's first meetings, Salo Heimberg read a lecture on the different streams of Jewry today. [194] He described the goals of the society: a) on the cultural plane – the study of the Hebrew language and the attainment of general knowledge and a knowledge of Jewish history; b) on the economic plane – training of Jews in crafts and creating a strong artisan class, and organizing emigration; c) on the political plane – good relations with the non–Jewish population to the extent that this “does not affect our special characteristics as Jews; but we must strongly attack assimilation, because assimilation is an illusion and national suicide.” Heimberg especially condemned the leaders of the assimilationists, all whose work was aimed at achieving seats in parliament; he called them Mandatsjäger und Würdenträger (hunters of parliamentary seats and dignitaries).

In those days the Jewish intelligentsia tended toward assimilation or toward complete indifference to Jewish national affairs and there was great opposition to the new group. According to Hamagid, [195] “were it not that the highly–respected intellectual A.H. Żupnik stood beside the new group, it would have been almost banished from the land of the living while still in its infancy.” Żupnik was chosen as leader of the group; he set to work to gain new members and put them to work. During Chanuka, the first Hasmonean festival was held in Drohobycz; Żupnik spoke about the importance of the holiday.

Over the course of time, a controversy developed within the group. Żupnik succeeded in restoring peace and the group continued its activities. But for tactical reasons, a second national group was founded in 1889 with the name Ha'ivri; it was led by the law student Mordecai (Moritz) Fachtmann. It had sixty members; most of the members of Unity joined the group as well. Eventually the two groups merged.

The nationalist group also succeeded in setting up a popular reading room (Volkslesehalle), founded as a Jewish club in 1880. Lectures were held there on the Jewish question, as well as debates over developments in the Jewish world. Slowly the nationalist–Zionist idea penetrated intellectual circles. The main speakers on current problems were M. Fachtmann and Josef Friedmann. The maskil Zvi Bard gave a course in Jewish history. Since the place was attracting a mass (working class) audience, the assimilationists began to boycott it; instead they attended the Polish sokol or the Catholic club.

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This attitude evoked a great anger in Zionist circles, especially since one of the Zionists, Aron Żupnik, editor of the Drohobyczer Zeitung, joined these circles.

The Zionists became involved in the Jewish club, when they saw that because of the indifference of the assimilationists, there was a danger that the only Jewish social centre in the town could disappear. The physician Dr Heinrich Friedmann, who was a nationalist Jew, worked to save the club and turn it into a genuine Jewish club. But his efforts were not successful. He invited the Jewish intelligentsia to a meeting, where he proposed that a new club be set up, with a nationalist character, to be called the “popular education” club (Volksbildungsverein). His proposal was supported by the assimilationists who did not feel comfortable in Polish circles and were beginning to doubt that Polish–Jewish intimacy was possible. A committee was chosen, composed of Dr M. Fachtmann, Dr Friedmann, Josef Friedmann, Maurycy Schreier and Berthold Lindenbaum; within three months, the new society was founded, with 130 members.

In 1887, an anonymous Pole, using the pen–name Omega, wrote a series of articles in the newspaper Naddniestrzańska, published in Drohobycz, under the pen name Mesyada; he proposed a solution for the Jewish question – not assimilation, but territorial concentration of the Jewish people in an autonomous region. The new state would be established not in the Land of Israel, but in America, in the region on the banks of the Rivers Nebraska, Kansas and Arkansas, between latitudes 35 and 40. The articles were also published as a special pamphlet called Nowa Judea czyli praktyczne rowiazanie kwestyi Zydowskiej (Kolomea: 1887). [196]

In 1893, a local branch of the Zion Union of Palestine Settlement Societies was founded in Drohobycz with seventy–one members. On 6 January 1893, the first nationalist (all–Galicia) conference was held in Lwów, in which the national Zionist organization was formed. Representatives of Drohobycz Zionists participated at this conference.

On 11 June, the first general meeting was held under the leadership of Albert Gelehrter in which Wilhelm Ruhrberg and Leon Reich spoke. Gelehrter was chosen president of the executive committee, Ruhrberg deputy, and Joachim Heimberg, Marcus Horowitz, Moses Bleiberg and Matthew Halpern members, as were Ignacy Pernitz, A. Süssmann, Moses Schnekendorf, David Sternbach, Nathan Lewenthal, and Mendel Turnschein. In September, Albert Gelehrter resigned from the presidency; Efraim Lilien – a very active Zionist worker– was chosen in his place.

At the second national conference, held in Lwów on 2–4 September 1894, Drohobycz was represented by Efraim Lilien of the Zion group and Josef Friedmann from the Volkbildungsverein. J. Friedman was chosen treasurer of the Galicia publicity committee, founded at that time. From that time on, Drohobycz became an important Zionist center, playing an active part in all Zionist–nationalistic work.

In those years, the Social Democrats also tried to organize the Jewish workers and to set up a union. After hard work, a social democratic society was set up in Drohobycz, called Briderlichkeit [Brotherhood], but the number of members was small. The prime mover was a young student from Borysław, a student in the Drohobycz gymnasium, Hermann Liebermann [197] (born 1870 in Drohobycz), the son of a manager of a wax mines in Borysław. He organized the first social democratic cells.

In 1892, Hermann Diamant was very active in Drohobycz; he tried to organize the first workers' strike. His activity angered the Jewish public. The Drohobyczer Handelszeitung came out against him in a bitter article, “Was will Chaim Diamand der neue Messias von Drohobycz:” (What does Chaim Diamant, the new Messiah of Drohobycz, want?). It accused him of destroying the peaceful relations between employers and employees. “His speeches at gatherings simply caused destructive unrest; he should know that we Jews can trust only in order and laws that look out for social order and peace. The Socialist path is based on the collapse of the social order.” [198] But the newspaper's warnings were in vain. It could not stop the organization of the workers who had constituted a significant part of the local population since the beginning of industrialization.

The Zionist movement penetrated all strata of Jewish society and won over the youth in every circle. It became the most active factor in Jewish life in Drohobycz.

Among the first Zionist leaders, we must particularly cite Dr Moritz Fachtman, a native of Drohobycz (1866–1941). After completing high–school, he studied at the universities of Lwów and Vienna, where he met Zionist students, followers of Dr Nathan Birnbaum. On his return to Galicia, he settled down as an attorney in his native city and dedicated himself to Zionist work there. He led the movement for many years. At his right hand stood Efraim Moses Lilien (1874–1925), also a native of Drohobycz. Lilien was active until 1895, when he left Drohobycz for Munich. He became a great artist. He remained faithful to Zionism all his life, attending Zionist Congresses as a delegate. Together with Weizmann, Motzkin, Buber, and Feiwel, he was among the founders of the Democratic Faction (opposed to Herzl's exclusive concern with diplomatic Zionism). For one year, he taught at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem.

After the first Zionist Congress, the membership of the Zionist movement grew, especially among the youth. In Drohobycz, the number of members grew to 130. The president was A. Żupnik; his deputy was Dr Moritz Fachtmann.

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The committee included Abraham Backenroth, Leon Reich, A. Freilich, Hillel Oppermann, A. Grossmann, and Maurycy Josefsberg. Representatives from Drohobycz participated in the Fifth National Zionist Conference in Lwów in December 1897. Feiwel Lauterbach, one of the group's activists, was chosen as a member of the national organization's steering committee.

In 1897, before the elections to the Austrian Parliament, the Zionists in Lwów considered running Zionist candidates. For Drohobycz, where the majority of voters were Jews, they thought of running Dr Leon Kellner, but he turned down the idea. The Zionist steering committee in Vienna decided not to run Zionist candidates.

After the First Zionist Congress, the Zionists, especially the women, decided to set up a woman's Zionist group, to help unite and concentrate all the people's energies around the national idea. A Jewish woman should understand that women, who were fighting for female emancipation, should be regarded first as Jewish women. This fact imposed on her the obligation to unite behind the national flag and to work for her people.

A declaration on women was issued in Drohobycz, this time not on behalf of the women's committee, but on behalf of the propaganda committee of the local Zion organization. The committee stressed that the Zionist movement needed the cooperation of women and asked women to join the movement, and take upon themselves the education of the youth. In a sentimental tone, the declaration described the role of the Hebrew woman in Jewish history, citing the deeds of Debora and Esther. The difficult situation in which the Jewish people existed and the hope for a more glorious future in the Land of Israel obligated Hebrew women to join the nationalist camp and to unite around the national banner, since this time the people of Israel were struggling for freedom and liberation in its historic Land.

Among the Zionist activists in Drohobycz in the 1897–1903 period, apart from those already mentioned, we must cite Nathan Lówenthal, Leopold Süssmann, Dr Friedmann, Josef Friedmann, Chaim Friedmann, who was also very active in the Zionist group in Borysław and Wilhelm Rosenfeld, the father of Dr Max Rosenfeld, who was later active in Po'alei Zion (labour Zionists).

After Żupnik left the presidency, Dr Fachtman was chosen in his place. He served in that capacity, with brief interruptions, until the outbreak of the First World War. Leon Reich was also very active in the early period. He organized the high–school and the academic youth. He then moved to Lwów to study at the university, where he continued his Zionist activities. After a short time, he entered the leadership and was a member of the national Zionist committee from 1901.

In 1898, a Drohobycz branch of the Tarnów Palestine Settlement Society Ahavat Zion was founded under Żupnik's leadership. It collected sizable sums to help found the Galician settlement Mahanaim in Palestine. A women's group was also founded, headed by the well–known Zionist activist Mrs Bodracka. [199] In 1901, a conference of Austrian Zionists in Olmütz decided to set up five regional committees in Galicia, one of them in Drohobycz. But the decision was never put into effect.

In 1902, the Po'alei Zion organization was founded. The Drohobycz chapter was represented at the group's 1903 conference by its own delegate. In 1899, the academic group Maccabia was founded; its representatives participated in the first conference of Zionist students, convened in Lwów in July 1899 at the initiative of Bar–Kochba of Vienna. A students group was also founded; it numbered seventy to eighty members on average, and offered five courses on Jewish history and the Hebrew language.

Drohobycz Zionists took part in all Zionist activity. Youth groups were set up, and courses in Hebrew were organized. In 1903, a Hebrew school was set up under the direction of the Hebrew teacher Rafael Sofermann, who worked in Drohobycz until 1905.

In 5666 (1906), a Hebrew school was founded by Ezra, a society set up for the propagation of knowledge about Judaism and Jewish history through lectures and a library. N.Y. Kebitner [200] taught there in 1906 and 1907; Kramarov [201] taught from the start of 5668 (September 1907) through Passover 1908. The following academic year the school was closed for lack of finances, but was reopened under the direction of Naftali Siegelbaum, who succeeded in reorganizing it and placing it on a sound pedagogic basis. Teaching assistants were Y. Davidsohn and Redlich. The school continued to improve, and won the support from all strata of the Jewish population.

In 1911, it offered two preparatory courses and four classes. In Preparatory I, there were fifty pupils aged six to seven; Preparatory II had thrity–five pupils aged eight to eleven. Grade I had twenty–four pupils aged seven to eight; grade II had two sections: one with twenty–three ten–year–old students, the other with sixteen eight to nine–year–old students Grade III had twenty pupils, eleven to –thirteen–years–old, and grade IV had ten pupils furteen to sixteen–year–old. Altogether there were 178 pupils.

The school was situated in four rooms of the Beit Yehuda community center. Rent was 400 crowns. Monthly salaries totaled 470 crowns. Total expenses for the year 5671 (1910–11) were 5,280 crowns, with income of 5,316 crowns. The Hebrew school was in operation until the outbreak of the First World War.

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In 1907, a Galician branch of the Zionist Bank Unia Kredytowa was established; it helped improve the situation of merchants, retailers, and artisans. Its balance sheet of 31 December 1913 showed total shares of 550,600 crowns, a reserve of 97,983 crowns, and equity of 648,583 crowns. Members totaled 1,003. Total savings were 515,248 crowns; notes totalled 10,762,000 with a turnover of 82,745,769 crowns.

Several delegates represented Drohobycz at the national Zionist conferences. In this period, the Drohobycz Zionists, led by Dr Moritz Fachtmann and Dr Abraham Backenroth, played an active role in political life. They waged a battle against Jacob Feuerstein, who as head of the community and deputy mayor ruled over the Jewish public with the idea of bending them to the will of the authorities. At meetings and organized propaganda campaigns, the Zionist organization tried to guide the Jewish population in a national–Zionist direction. Such political activity had already been undertaken when the electoral law for the Austrian parliament was changed.

The first Austrian parliamentary elections according to the new election law were held in 1907. The law gave every citizen the right to vote. The Zionists ran Dr Gershon Zipper. The head of the Jewish community Jacob Feuerstein conducted a terror campaign. As a result, of 7,263 votes cast Dr Zipper got 1,331 votes, Dr Löwenstein received 3,935, the social democrat Hecker got 551, the Ruthenian Dr Oleśnicky got 1,528. Despite this failure, Zionist activity increased. High–school students and members of Macabbia devoted themselves to Hebrew language studies. Leaders like Süssmann, Simon Lustig, and Max Rosenbusch guided the youth in the spirit of Hebrew and the Land–of–Israel.

Active in Po'alei Zion in this period were Dr Max Rosenfeld, Michel Meisel and Dr Sische Barchasz, who organized a Po'alei Zion students group.

Dr Max Rosenfeld (1884–1919), a native of Drohobycz, received a national Jewish education at the home of his father Wilhelm, who was a Zionist. Working as an attorney's assistant in Drohobycz, he was active in the Zionist movement. In 1903, a portion of the Zionist intelligentsia left the Zionist organization and joined Po'alei Zion, Dr Rosenfeld among them.

At the start, he did not play a leadership role but participated in the group's Drohobycz activities. At the third assembly of Po'alei Zion in 1906, he was on the podium where he took part in debates on national economic questions in Palestine, according to the theories of Friedrich List, and on national autonomy. Ideologically, he did not agree with the opinions of Po'alei Zion in Russia and their clear Marxist position. He worked mainly on establishing a policy of national autonomy for the Jews of Austria and Eastern Europe. In this area, he was one of the first theoreticians in the Zionist movement; his work was noted for its strong grounding in research and its realistic approach.

In 1909, the students who leaned toward the Po'alei Zion ideology left the school group Tze'irei Zion (Zion youth) and set up their own independent group. At their fifth conference in the summer of 1912, they decided to put out a monthly publication in Polish – Nasze Hasło (Our Password), edited by Dr Max Rosenfeld; the group's headquarters was transferred to Drohobycz in 1913.

As early as the 1880s, the assimilationists had tried to organize the intelligentsia. Agudat Ahim (brothers' organization) of Lwów worked in this direction. The religious instructor Joachim Blumenthal, [202] who served from 1864, tried to influence the youth in this direction, but the first practical attempt did not come until the twentieth century. In 1904, an organization was founded by Dr Leon Spitzmann, Jacob Spitzmann, Jacob Feuerstein, and Wohllerner. Lawyers, doctors, and oil magnates joined the group and contributed to the support of the assimilationists' academic group in Lwów, Zjednoczenie, whose principal aim was war against Zionism and against Jewish nationalism in general.

In 1911, the Jews of Drohobycz went through a stormy period before the parliamentary elections on 19 June. Once more, Dr Gershon Tzipper was the candidate for the Zionists; with the support of the authorities. The assimilationists' candidate was Dr Nathan Löwenstein. The national democrats supported Balicki, the social democrats Nachar, the Ukrainians, the judge Dr Kobryn, and the independents, Ernst Breiter. The leaders of the community, with Jacob Feuerstein at its head, supported Dr Löwenstein. Feuerstein did all he could to defeat the Zionist candidate, using terror, forgery, fraud, and bribery, assisted by the authorities and the police.

The elections began at 5 a.m. Things were quiet until seven o'clock; then Feuerstein put his plot into action. He allowed only those voters with permits from the district minister to enter the voting hall. Ballot slips were brought from the community headquarters and stuffed into the ballot boxes during the lunch break, when no supervision was provided. During the break, Feuerstein's supporters voted using false certificates. A mob of voters standing outside, who had not been allowed to exercise their right to vote, grew angry at all this election trickery, and began shouting their protest. Suddenly, two army units appeared on the scene; the lieutenant gave the order to shoot. Ninety–four shots were fired; the toll was terrible – twenty–six killed and fifty–five wounded.

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The election was suspended shortly thereafter. Nevertheless, it was announced that evening that 7,935 votes had been cast: 5,979 for Löwenstein, 373 for Balicki, 802 for Dr Zipper, 708 for Dr Kobryn. The city was in deep mourning; nevertheless, Dr Löwenstein accepted his seat. The election evoked a strong reaction among the Jewish and non–Jewish public. The authorities investigated. During a debate in parliament on the elections, the minister of interior and security admitted that the army had fired by mistake.

The Zionists quickly recovered from the election and intensified their activities, especially in their work in Palestine. Drohobycz collected sizable sums to help set up the Hebrew gymnasium [high–school] in Jerusalem in a campaign led by Dr Zipper during the summer of 1911. Much work was done to organize the youth: The Theodore Herzl and Haor societies were founded, led by Simon Lustig and Max Rosenbusch.

In 1912, a group of students from Galicia studying in Vienna decided to start work to unify the academic student movement. At the initiative of Simon Lustig and Max Rosenbusch, a conference of representatives of all the academic groups in Galicia was convened in Drohobycz on 15 September 1912, laying the foundation for the Organization of Zionist Academics (HAZ).

In the period before the outbreak of the First World War, several Zionist activists in Drohobycz worked to direct Zionist activity from the national political field to cultural and educational work. Dr Chaim Tartakower (1883–1944), who headed the committee of the Hebrew school, Dr Mordecai Silberstein (1882–1951), and Dr Avraham Drimmer (1879–1949) united the Zionist intellectual circles, laying the groundwork for fertile activity.

The Zionist movement in Drohobycz ran wide–ranging activities in Hebrew education and organizational work and collected money for Palestine. This activity was suddenly ended in July 1914, with the outbreak of the First World War.

 

IX

In the years before the First World War, Drohobycz harbored a remarkable personality: the Admor of Drohobycz, Reb Haim Shapira, who was admired by the entire Jewish community, orthodox and ultra–orthodox, and was called by the people “a good Jew.” He was a unique individual, religious but tolerant, who understood everyone, good–natured to all creatures. His moral level was high, he was full of true grandeur and was unequaled in his love for the Jewish people. On his mother's side, he was the grandson of the Admor Abraham Jacob of Sadigora, at whose court he received his education. From his youth, he was devoted to the love of Zion, and was active in support of settling Palestine. Because of this love, many khassidim turned their backs on him, seeing him as a “sympathizer” of Zionism. Despite all this, he lost no opportunity to preach the idea of return to Zion and settling the Land of Israel. All the attempts of his khassidic followers to persuade him to change his views and move away from Zionism failed. He remained faithful to his beliefs all his life.

When the First World War broke out, he and his family fled to Vienna, where he expanded his work in haredi [ultra–orthodox] circles in favor of Eretz Yisrael. His home was the headquarters for a committee of religious Zionist activists. He joined Mizrahi, [203] and became one of its top leaders.

After the Balfour Declaration, he began to organize activity in orthodox circles in Vienna. His goal was to convince the admorim and rabbis that the time had come to stand beside the reconstruction of Eretz Israel. At his initiative, the Society for the Settlement of Eretz Israel was founded in Vienna, which persuaded hundreds of haredi (strictly orthodox) Jews to favor building the Land; he won over the best religious Jews, including the admorim who had fled to Vienna with the Admor of Chortkov at their head. The group raised substantial sums for building the Land. It set up a training farm and factory for Mizrahi youth in Vienna. He sent his own sons there for training. He was not deterred by a shift in the attitude of several admorim, including the Admor of Chortkov, who left the committee; he maintained his public relations and practical activity. His love for the people of Israel knew no bounds, and all his aspirations were for brotherhood and unity among the people. He would not tolerate the malicious rhetoric of certain haredi circles, who immediately threatened splits and separatism.

At the twelfth Zionist Congress in Karlsbad in 1921, when the Mizrahi declaration was not adopted (the Land of Israel for the People of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel), and its representatives, under the influence of its extreme wing, were debating whether to leave the Congress, Reb Chaim Shapira spoke against splits and separatism. He believed that considering the difficult situation that the people of Israel now faced – the moment the Jews won the possibility of building up their homeland – it would be a crime if the Mizrahi divided the Zionist movement by leaving it. His words were influential; the Mizrahi delegates returned to the convention hall.

In 1922, he emigrated with his family to Palestine. His children and grandchildren joined the ranks of those building the homeland. He died in Jerusalem in 1924.

Another figure who played a special role in the development of the Zionist idea in Drohobycz was Dr Leon Reich. He was born in 1879 in Drohobycz, where he received his elementary education and completed his high school education.

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Later he studied law in Lwów received his degree as a doctor of law. In high school, he had organized a Zionist students group. While still in the eighth grade he published articles in the Zionist press. At Lwów University he was active in student groups and participated in the journal Moriah. He travelled through the Galicia towns and became known as one of the most popular speakers.

While still studying at the university, he had reached the top of the Zionist leadership in Galicia. Between 1904 and 1907 he studied at the School of Political Science in Paris and edited the Polish–language Almanac.

In 1907, he played an active part in the elections for the Austrian parliament. Between 1907 and 1912, he was a member of the central committee of the Zionist Organization in Galicia. He published articles and research on Zionist problems in Moriah, Die Welt, Jüdische Zeitung and Tagblat. In the 1911 elections, he was a candidate for the Austrian parliament from the Stryj–Kalisz district against the PPS candidate, Morachewski. He lost.

In 1908, he visited Palestine. From 1907, we see him participating in Zionist congresses and representing Galician Zionists on the Executive Council. In 1918, together with Dr Ringel, he was elected to the presidency of the Zionist Organization in Galicia. After the First World War, he organized the Jewish National Committee in Lwów, was arrested by the Poles, and held in a prison camp until December 1918. He was freed thanks to the efforts of the British embassy in Warsaw. In 1919 and 1920, he served as the representative of the Jews of Eastern Galicia at the Paris Peace Conference. He was a member of the committee of delegations and served as its deputy chairman. Between 1922 and 1929, he was a representative in the Polish Sejm. As one of the leaders of the Jewish Club (caucus) he conducted negotiations to achieve an agreement with the Polish government on the Jewish problem in Poland. Against this background, he became enmeshed in a bitter struggle with Isaac Grünbaum. The majority in the Jewish club backed Dr Reich, and he was elected, along with representative Hartglass, as chairman of the club. In the autumn of 1929 he died in Lwów. His bones were transferred to their resting place in Tel Aviv. Dr Reich was one of the most talented leaders of Galician Jewry and played an important part in the world Zionist movement as well.

* * *

In the second half of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth the Jews of Drohobycz produced several personalities who made valuable cultural contributions in the fields of art, literature, and science.

Among the painters who originated in Drohobycz, the Gottlieb family takes first place; it produced four painters: Maurycy (Meir), Leopold, Martin, and Philip, who inherited their talent from their mother.

The family originated in Drohobycz. The first member we know of was their great–grandfather, Reb Berish, a lumber merchant in Drohobycz, who brought his merchandise to Danzig on rafts down the Vistula. He was a learned man. Their grandfather Meir was also learned in the Torah. Their father Isaac belonged to the enlightened generation; his brother Berish was head of the community for several years. Berish's son was one of the Drohobycz maskilim, who also had artistic talent, especially for caricatures; his daughter Hana was married to Dr Salzi Rosenwieser. Their father was one of the first oil industrialists, who also had extensive business activities. His mother came from the Tiegermann family. Isaac Gottlieb had ten children – five sons: Maurycy (Meir), Leopold, Martin, Philip, and Stanisław, who was an attorney – and five daughters of whom we know the names of only two: Rosa and Anna. Rosa was married to the Polish painter Mieczysław Jakimovicz.

Maurycy (born in Drohobycz on 21 February 1856, died in Krakow on 17 July 1879) was noted for his painting talent, even in his childhood. His art teacher at school suggested to his father that his son be sent to Lwów for further training, since he showed great promise in painting. Maurycy went to Lwów at the age of thirteen. He attended the German high school and studied painting with the Polish painter Michał Godlewski. After a short time, he was thrown out of school because he drew a caricature of one of his teachers.

He continued studying as an external student and took his exam in Stryj. In 1872, his father brought him to Vienna, where he was accepted as a student at the Academy of Painting. In Vienna, the president of the community, the noted statesman Dr Ignaz Kuranda took an interest in him and helped him in the following years. After seeing a painting by Matejko at a painting exhibit in Vienna, Maurycy aspired to study under him. After a difficult struggle with his father, who saw Vienna as the pinnacle of culture and art, he moved to Kraków.

At Jan Matejko's painting studio in Krakow, Gottlieb was influenced by his historical scenes. He felt happy to have been able to study with a great painter like Matejko. But his emotional satisfaction did not last long. As a Jew, he wanted to create a bridge between Jews and Poles with the help of art. Although he did not speak Polish with elegance, he felt himself to be a Pole with all his heart and soul. He believed he could create works of art on Polish historical themes. However, he was very disappointed by the hostility of his fellow students, who humiliated him because he was a Jew. His teacher Matejko did not defend him. Because of these conflicts, Gottlieb returned to Vienna to continue his studies with Professor Wurzinger. In his artistic creations, however, he remained under the influence of Matejko.

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In Vienna, too, he failed to find artistic satisfaction. After a visit to Drohobycz in 1875, where he painted several portraits of members of various families, he moved to Munich. The academy of painting in Munich under the direction of Karl von Piloty excelled in historical paintings and established a great school of historic painters; it was one of the most famous academies in Europe at that time. In Munich, Gottlieb laid the basic foundations for his later work. There he painted his famous pictures Ahashuerus, a self–portrait, Shylock and Jessica, and The Drunkard, which was greatly influenced by Rembrandt.

In 1876, Gottlieb worked in his native city, completely involved in his creations. He did fifteen portraits of his family members. They are characterized by a precise rendering of personality, diversity, and appropriateness of color.

In 1877, his picture, Shylock and Jessica, exhibited at the historical exhibition in Vienna, received much critical praise and recognition. In Vienna in 1877–78, he painted Uriel Da Costa and Judith Vanderstraten, The Old Woman, Shulamit, and Portrait of Dr Ignaz Kuranda. He fell in love with Leora, a girl from Lwów. He sent her letters filled with longing. He asked her to come to Drohobycz to marry him. This love continued for many months. In the end, Leora left him, and returned all his letters. This disappointment left him in shock for a long time.

In 1877–78, he painted many portraits, including one of the Hungarian–Jewish statesman Moritz Wahrmann, and representatives in the Hungarian parliament. He also did many illustrations for publishing houses. He became disappointed in his life in Munich because of the anti–Semitism he encountered there, and returned to Vienna. There he painted his famous works Jesus among the Fisherman at Capernaum, and Jews Praying. In the latter picture, he immortalized his memories of childhood in Drohobycz. The scene is set in a synagogue in Drohobycz. Most of the figures are residents of Drohobycz; the Jew leaning on the pillar of the bima (reading desk) is Gottlieb himself.

After he finished these pictures, he decided to go to Rome. Dr Kuranda managed to obtain a scholarship of 500 gulden for him. Before his trip, he spent his vacation in Drohobycz and in Truskawiec, painting portraits of his father, his sister Anna, Count Władysław Tarnowski, and others. At that time, his father lost his possessions and their house burned down, as well. Gottlieb asked the Drohobycz community to lend him 500 gulden, but the executive of the community council replied that the community would prefer to support a mason rather than a painter. When Dr Kuranda once more extended assistance and Gottlieb was able to go to Italy.

He worked energetically in Italy, in part on themes related to Jesus of Nazareth. He also painted Jankiel from the poem Pan Tadeusz. He got great satisfaction in joining the festivities arranged by Polish painters in honour of Jan Matejko, who visited Rome at the end of 1878. At this dinner, the Polish painter Bolesław Łaszczyński championed the works of the Jew Gottlieb, who had proved that Jews could also contribute to spreading the good name of Poland abroad. In his reply, Gottlieb stressed that his hope was to eliminate hatred and the Jewish suffering and to establish peace between Poles and Jews, since the history of both groups was filled with troubles. At the invitation of Matejko, who suggested that he paint a picture of Kazimierz the Great in the act of granting rights to the Polish Jews, Gottlieb traveled to Krakow. But in July 1879 he caught cold; his throat became inflamed, and despite a successful operation, he died on 17 July 1879.

His artistic work was characterized by his emphasis on the Jewish themes. He aimed to bring about reconciliation between Poles and Jews, by showing that the history of both people was filled with hardship and suffering. However, he was unable to convince even the greatest Poles to divest themselves of all prejudice regarding Jews.

His brothers Marcin, Filip, and Leopold also devoted themselves to painting. Marcin was born in Drohobycz in 1867 and died in Vienna in 1931. He too was interested in Jewish themes. He painted two pictures, Fire in the Synagogue and Woman Lighting Sabbath Candles, as well as portraits of Viennese Jews. His most famous picture is: Jan Kochanowski (the famous Polish poet) beside the body of his daughter Ursula. [204] He devoted most of his time to copying the pictures of brother Maurycy.

Philip, who was born in Drohobycz in 1870, studied painting at the academy in Munich. From there he emigrated to America, where he disappeared.

Leopold was one of the greatest Jewish painters. He was born in Drohobycz in 1883 after the death of his brother Maurycy, and died in Paris in 1934. He studied in Paris before the First World War, lived for an extended period in Toledo, and then lived in Palestine as a teacher in the Bezalel Art School. During the First World War, he joined the Polish legion in Austria, and became famous as a portrait painter. His most famous works in this field were: the portraits of his mother, T. Daubier, A[ndré] Salmon, Władysław Reymont, Stefan Zromasky, Jan Kasprowicz, G. Paskin, Sholem Asch, A. Neuman, Jozef Pilsudski and others. Among his pictures on Jewish themes, The Funeral, Tisha b'Av and Tashlich are well known.

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In drawing and graphics, Efraim Moshe Lilien excelled with his characteristic originality. He too was a native of Drohobycz (1874–1925). After he completed his studies in Vienna and Munich, Lilien was one of the first contributors to the literary and artistic journal Jugend and to Süddeutscher Postillon. After a few years he moved to Berlin, where he illustrated Juda, the work of Freiherr von Münchausen [205] and the poems of Rosenfeld, Lieder des Ghetto. [206] His greatest artistic works were his drawings for the Bible.

Another native of Drohobycz was the world–famous scholar in the field of classical language research, Professor Dr Leon Sternbach (born 1864), grandson of Yehoshua Sternbach, one of the leaders of Drohobycz Jewry at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Sternbach studied classical linguistics in Vienna and Leipzig. At the age of twenty–five (1899) he was appointed as lecturer at the University of Lwów. In 1892, he became professor at the University in Kraków. His research concentrated on Greek literature from Homer to the latter Byzantines. Among his chief works, we should cite a Greek anthology, an edition of Aesop's fables, his research on the Byzantines based on little known versions and manuscripts, and his work on the Greek sources of Virgil and on Aristophanes.

Dr Sternbach was a member of the Academy of Sciences in Kraków and for many years was a lecturer on educational subjects. In that capacity, he opposed the study of the Hebrew language in the framework of religious education in high schools. He was an extreme assimilationist and a bitter, hostile opponent of Zionism.

In the field of literature, one should cite Dr Hermann Sternbach. He was born in Drohobycz in 1880. After he completed his studies at the Universities of Lwów and Vienna, he was a teacher in Sambor (until 1935) and later in Lwów. Dr Sternbach was a poet; in 1904, he published Dunkle Stunde [Dark Hours], a volume of poems. In 1906, he wrote Ein Erntelied der Liebe und des Lebens [A Harvest Song of Love and Life], followed by Wenn Die Schakale feiern [When the Jackals Revel] (1917), Sommerfeier [Summer Party] (1918), Aram der Mensch [Aram, the Man] (1925), and Tag der Mutter [Mother's Day] (1929).

Sternbach translated elegies of Propertius and Tibullus into German, as well as epigrams of Martial and poems of Catullus. He was a nationalist Jew; he published articles on literary matters in Zionist journals and newspapers. He died during the Second World War.

* * *

In the years 1901–1914, Drohobycz was an important industrial and commercial center, in which the Jews played a valuable role. Their numbers reached 15,313 in 1910 (44.2 percent of the population). From a cultural point of view, the Zionist movement caused ferment in Jewish life. Courses were set up for the study of the Hebrew language; in 1908 a Hebrew school was founded. It was improved and expanded in 1909–14 under the direction of the Hebrew teachers Naftali Siegelbaum and Kramarov. The national movement encompassed many circles among the intelligentsia, clerks and merchants. Among the working class, the activities of the Po'alei Zion party, led by Dr Max Rosenfeld and Dr Z. Barchasz were much in evidence. An intellectual renewal was felt in all public life, thanks to the activities of the Zionist intellectuals led by Dr Chaim Tartakower, Dr Silberstein, D. Lustig, Dr Drimmer, Dr Süssman and several young attorneys and doctors.

All this ceased at the end of July 1914.

With the outbreak of the First World War, the Russians entered Drohobycz. The suffering of the Jewish residents was great, as it was in the other places conquered by the Russians. Much of their suffering was caused by the Cossacks who murdered many Jews. For many years, the murder of Reuben Hoffner was remembered; he was killed while defending a woman whom the Cossacks were trying to rape. [207] The Russian authorities abolished the Jewish community, Jewish property was confiscated, and all the merchandise in Jewish stores was pillaged. Elderly and ailing Jews were mercilessly dragged into hard labour and cleaning the streets. The officials and officers treated Jews with enmity and real cruelty. The city underwent difficult times, especially during the stiff battles between the Austrian and Russian armies in May–June 1915. Many houses in the centre of town were bombed and destroyed. On 3 June 1915, the Russians were forced to retreat to the banks of the Dneister, and the Austrians reconquered Drohobycz and its environs. Slowly life returned to normal in the city. Work in the factories and the oil wells was renewed, government offices, banks, and the offices of industrial enterprises resumed operation, A government commissar Raimond Jarosz was named mayor, with the assessor Steuerman as his assistant. The Jewish rescue committee in Lwów set up a branch in Drohobycz which tried, by setting up welfare institutions, to make things easier for the Jews whose homes had been destroyed in the war. The basis was also laid for family rehabilitation. Slowly, the Jewish residents who had fled to more distant Austrian provinces returned to the city, and it seemed as life was really returning to normality. But this was not to last for long.

With the end of the war and the collapse of the Hapsburg monarchy, a difficult period began for the Jews of Eastern Galicia. The founding of the Western Ukrainian Republic and the Polish–Ukrainian war brought great suffering to the Jews of Drohobycz.

At first it seemed as if the Ukrainians would treat the Jewish population justly and honestly. Indeed, initially Jews were permitted to elect their national institutions. A National Council (instead of the former kehilla) was established within the state government with a Supreme National Council (National Committee) based in Stanisławów.

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On 18–20 December 1918, the first assembly of the national councils was held, with the participation of representatives from Drohobycz. Because of the decisions of this assembly, vigorous work was begun in every city in the field of Jewish public life, especially in education. But in this respect the council in Drohobycz ran into serious difficulties. In February 1919, the council informed the national committee in Stanisławów that the administration of the gymnasium (high school) in Drohobycz denied Jews any right to carry out the assembly's decisions in the field of education, with the claim that the Jews had no right to national–cultural autonomy. The director of the gymnasium even demanded that Jewish religious studies be taught in the Ukrainian language and the supervisor of the educational system of Drohobycz opposed hiring Hebrew language teachers in elementary schools at the government expense, as promised by the central government. Petitioning the authorities was of no avail, since each city was sovereign and did not have to obey the orders of the central government.

From an economic point of view, the Jewish population lacked work and had no opportunity to make a living. The authorities did all they could to ruin Jewish commerce and trades. The workers were unemployed. Nationalization of the oil fields removed Jews completely from this economic sector.

The Jewish council in Drohobycz tried to ease this economic distress. It set up welfare institutions and tried to create opportunities for employment. In May 1919, the first elections for the local Jewish council were held in Drohobycz. Of fifty members, thirty were Zionists and Mizrahi; twenty fell to Po'alei Zion, haredim and tradesmen.

In May 1919, there were many attacks on Jewish stores and apartments, with burglary and robbery, by Ukrainian soldiers. As the front lines approached Drohobycz, the predicament of its Jewish residents grew even worse.

In June, the city was conquered by the Polish armies; the Jews of Drohobycz were about to face hard times, as the Jews of East Galicia came under Polish rule.

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Footnotes & Photographs

[Page 50]

List of Sppendices

I The Township's complaint of 1663. [Polish] (Page 50–51)
II The agreement between the Township and the Jews, 25 September 1664. [Polish] (Page 51–52)
III The agreement of 13 June 1682. [Polish] (Page 52–53)
IV The township's complaint of 8 February 1685. [Polish] (Page 53)
V King Jan Sobieski's directives of 18 March 1686. [Polish] (Page 53–54)
VI The order of King August, concerning Zalman Wolfowicz. [Latin] (Page 54–55)
VII The verdict concerning Zalman and his son. [Polish] (Page 55–58)
VIII The pledge of the Drohobycz community leaders to deposit a guarantee for the release of Zalman and his son. [Polish] (Page 58–60)
IX List of the heads of the community in Drohobycz in the years 1716–1765. [Hebrew]

[Page 60]

List of the Leaders of the Jewish Community in Drohobycz in the years 1716–1765. [Hebrew]

According to the Pinkas [register] of the Drohobycz Community
Pages 31, 33, 34, 42, 73, 86, 93, 182, 184, 202 (manuscript 36)

1716

Heads:
Yona Kropivnitzki – President and leader
Leib Matroskowicz
Wolf from Przemyszl
Leib Jonawicz Kropivnitzki

Honoured members:
Old Szymon
Wolf Ze'ev
Yechiel

Treasurers:
Leib Kremanero
Eliyahu
Zalman
Yona
Leib Howitzki
Izak

Judges I:
Isser Haran
Ber
Hersz Katz

Judges II:
Mendel from Dolina
Jakob
Matityahu

1728

Leib Jonawicz Kropivnitzki – President and leader

The year 1730

Heads:
Zalman Wolfowicz – President and leader
Moshe
Shlomo Segal from Lesko
Oszja Katz
Josef
Ber

Honoured members:
Shmuel Eliaszowicz
Chaim Herszkowicz
Eliasz Getzel

The year 1734

Heads:
Zalman Wolfowitz – President and leader
David Moszkowicz from Komarno
Izak Herszkowicz
Oszja Josefowicz Katz
Szymon Israelowicz
Hersz Chaimowicz

Honoured members:
Abisz
Yechiel
Leib from Stryj
Leib from Stebnik

The year 1735

Heads:
Josef Moszkowicz – President and leader
Dov Ber – vice president
David Moszkowicz from Komarno
Yosef Dawidowicz
Abish
Jona Herszkowicz
Josef Isakowicz

Honoured members:
Hirsch Isakowicz
Chaim Herszkowicz
Shimon Israelowicz

The year 1752

Heads:
Zalman Wolfowitz – President and leader
His son Abish Leib – vice president
Aszer Anszel Leybowicz
Wolf Jacob
Moshe

Honoured members:
Chaim Herszkowicz
Wolf
Izak

The year 1755

Heads:
Asher Anszel ben Leib – president and leader
Yehoshua Moshkowicz
Leyzor Leybowicz
Abraham Eliasz Aronowicz
Wolf
David Leybowicz
Chaim
Wolf Buynowicz

The year 1765

Heads:
Aszer Anszel Leibowicz – president and leader
Wolf
Nachum
Hersz from Sambor
Abraham Abish

Honoured members:
Wolf
Ze'ev Wolf
Yakov Isakowicz


Endnotes

The endnotes are those which appear in the original Hebrew edition by Dr N.M. Gelber, unless identified as added by Alexander Sharon or the editor (Valerie Schatzker). Some of the references may be difficult to decipher because of the editing style used by Dr Gelber. Whenever possible, the bibliographical information has been modified and expanded to aid the researcher. The transliteration of Jewish names or place names often presents problems in the text. Whenever possible, they have been reproduced as spelled in contemprorary texts. Not until the late eighteenth century did Jews in Galicia begin to adopt official family names; they used patronymics In Polish, the patronymic was polonized, as in Aron Izakowicz. Dr Gelber often uses the Hebrew version, Aron ben Yitzhak.

  1. Drohobycz is first mentioned in witten records in 1387. It received Magdeburg rights sometime during the fifteenth century. Magdeburg Law or rights were laws based on Flemish laws that governed the autonomy of urban centres in central Europe. –Ed. Return
  2. Casimir IV (1427–1492) of the Jagiellonian dynasty was King of Poland from 1447 until his death. –Ed. Return
  3. Władysław Jagiełlo (1362–1434), was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1377–1381. Through his marriage to Jadwiga, the young queen of Poland (1373/4–1399), he became King of Poland, reigning alone after her death. –Ed. Return
  4. Zygmunt I the Old 1 (1467–1548) reigned from 1506–1548. –Ed. Return
  5. Zygmunt II August (1520–1572) reigned from 1548–1569. –Ed. Return
  6. Jan Albrecht (1459–1501) reigned from 1492–1501. –Ed. Return
  7. Aleksander Jagiellończyk, (1461–1506) reigned from 1501–1506. –– Ed. Return
  8. Ignacy Schipper, Studya na stosunkami gospodarczymi żydów Polsce podczas średniowiecza (Lwów: Fundusz konkursowy im Wawelberga, 1911), 154. Return
  9. Łan: In 1616, the mayor of the town, Mikołaj Daniłowicz, allowed Jews to build houses outside of the town's borders. The area allocated to the Jews measured one royal łan (about 30 morg or 180 square miles), hence the name of the suburb. Later, Łan became part of Drohobycz, located in the middle part of the town, but not in the town centre. –Ed. Return
  10. Władysław II Jagiełło (ca 1351–1434) reigned from 1386 –1444. –Ed Return
  11. The region that later was known as Galicia in the Austrian Empire was called Red Ruthenia or Russyn during the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Reisin by the Jews. –Ed. Return
  12. Detco Judaeus tenetur (civitati) 19 marc. Pol super quibus receipt quitatationem regale (Antoni Prochaska, Materyały archiwalne wyjęte głównie z metryki litewskiej od 1348 do 1607 roku, No. 52, rok 1425 (Lwów: Jerzy Sewer Dunin Borkowski, 1890), and Schipper Studya na stosunkami gospodarczymi żydów Polsce podczas średniowiecza, 136. Return
  13. Mathias Bersohn, Dyplomataryusz dotyczący Żydów w dawnej Polsce na źródłach archiwalnych osnuty (1388–1782) No. 85 (Warsaw: E. Nicz 1910), 67–8. Return
  14. De non tolerandis Judaeis; This was a privilege sometimes granted to royal cities during the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries by rulers of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and some other countries, such as Austria. The law forbade Jews from residing in the city and from entering the city, except on specified days, usually when fairs and markets were held. Jews who were in the king's service or those with special privileges, such as doctors, bankers, etc., were exempted. The law was often broken. It did not apply to private cities. –Ed. Return
  15. Feliks Gątkiewicz, Z archiwum Drohobycza zbiór przywilejów, aktów, dekretów granicznych, lustracyi, memoryałów, itp. / wydał Feliks Gątkiewicz, No. 41 (Drohobycz: nakł. gminy m. Drohobycza 1906): 122–4. Return
  16. Stefan Batory (1533–1586) reigned from 1576–1586. –Ed. Return
  17. “Item ut nemo iudeorum audeat tam in oppido nostro Drohobicensi, quan etiam extra oppidum permanere, nec arendas suscipere neque etiam mercantias quasi contrahere seu vendere aut emere, excepto tamen tempore nundinarum, si vero aliquis iudeorum advena seu hospes in oppidum aliunde advenerit, post decursum trium dierum tenebitur exinde discedere sub poena mille marcarum, concivis vero, qui ilium I domo sua celeravitac proconsuli et consulibus eum nonrevellaverit luet poenam centum macarum, cuius medietas pro fisco nostro, altera vero consulatin ad repraionem eiusdem oppidi harum, quasmanu nostra subscripsimus et sigillum regni nostril appendi iussimus testimonio literarum.” 20, III, 1578. Gątkiewicz, Z Archiwum Drohobycza, 46: 131–4. Return
  18. Grodzkie i ziemskie z czasów Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: z archiwum tak zwanego bernardyńskiego we Lwowie w skutek fundacyi śp. Alexandra hr. Stadnickiego, 20 (Lwów: skł. gł. w księg. Seyfartha i Czajkowskiego, 1909): 89. Return
  19. Mikołaj (not Jan) Danielowicz (1558–1624) was the starosta, who, in 1616, established Na Łanie, the suburb of Drohobycz where Jews were permitted to live. –Ed. Return
  20. Aleksander Kuczera, Samborszczyzna: ilustrowana monografia miasta Sambora i ekonomji samborskiej. (Sambor: Księg. Nauczycielska 1935), 1: 305. Return
  21. Starosta: the head of a community or a county, subject to the authority of the province. –Ed. Return
  22. Jan Franciszek Lubowicki z Lubowic, h. Śreniawa (1630 – 1674). –Ed. Return
  23. Jan II Kazimierz (1609–1672) reigned from 1648 to 1668. –Ed. Return
  24. See Appendix 1, 5–1. Return
  25. Władysław IV (1595–1648) reigned from 1632–1648. Return
  26. “Apart from this debt, the municipality owed Isaac and David Jusowitz 4,500 gold pieces. Isaac Jusowitz, the son–in–law of Aron Josefowitz, also demanded payment of an old debt from the municipality; he requested the auditor's committee, which came to Drohobycz on 30 September 1681, to order the city to repay that debt. The committee ruled that the city had to pay all its debts to the Jews from the city's income and not from leasing fees. Gątkiewicz, Z Archiwum Drohobycza 80: 250–3. Return
  27. Wojewoda: the governor of a province. –Ed. Return
  28. Reb Josef Segal Kharif, son of Reb Moshe ben Shlomo Segal Kharif, the rabbi from Połonne, was the son–in–law of the Gaon Rabbi Moshe Arje Yehuda Leib, judge of the religious court in Przemyśl, known by the name of Reb Leib Hasid. His son Yekutiel Zalman, the rabbi of Drohobycz, was the father of Moshe Meir Halevi, religious court judge of Dobromil, father–in–law of Rabbi Nathan, the third son of the Gaon, who wrote Pnei Yehoshua. Shlomo ben Isaac Avraham Harif of Przemyśl, a student of Rabbi Yehoshua Falk, was rabbi in Połonne and in Lwów; he died in 1638. His son Rabbi Jacob Isaac (1700–1762) was the son–in–law of Rabbi Jonathan Eibeshütz, and was rabbi in Dukla. In the controversy between Emden and Eibeshütz, he first supported Emden and later joined Eibeshütz, and excommunicated his opponents (1754). In 1756–59, he was rabbi in Zülz, and in 1759–62, he was rabbi in Pressburg. He wrote Amri Ravrani in three parts. He was known by the name of Rabbi Itzakl Dukler.
    Dr Gelber included a partial family tree for the rabbis discussed in this note:

    Return
  29. In 1729, Rabbi Yisrael Hershkowitz went to Frankfurt am Oder. There he became acquainted with a medical student, Isaac Rawitz, the son of the rabbi who wrote “The Crown of Yosef.” Isaac Rawitz, born in Berlin, was a great scholar. In 1732, he obtained his certification as a medical doctor. Rabbi Yisrael drew up a contract for Rawitz to marry his daughter, promising a cash dowry of 4,000 gold pieces, two houses in Kamieniec Podolski, worth 12,000 gold pieces, one house in Drohobycz worth 3,000 gold pieces, jewellery, and a letter from the wife of the wojewoda (governor) in Lublin promising an annual income of 8,000 gold pieces. The doctor sent his brother to Kamieniec to check on the validity of the promises. When the brother arrived in Kamienec, the rabbi showed him his daughter. He later found out that this was not the rabbi's daughter, but another girl. The rabbi sent two Jews from Drohobycz to bring the doctor to Kamieniec. Along the way, they took his trunk with all his possessions and his diploma from him and sent it back to Drohobycz. They brought him to Kamieniec. When he refused to marry the daughter, he was arrested and kept in jail for eight months, until he agreed to marry. For a brief time, he practised as a doctor in Kamieniec, then moved to Brody, where he practised until his death in 1775. Apart from his medical practice in Brody, he was obliged to give a lesson in the Talmud once a week. His son Moshe was also a well–known medical doctor in Brody. Dissertation with Meir Balaban, MS. no. 36 in the archives of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, and N. M. Gelber, History of the Jews in Brody, 98–99, 175. Return
  30. King Augustus III (1696–1763) reigned from 1734 to 1763. –Ed. Return
  31. M. Bersohn, Dyplomatarjusz dotyczący żydów dawnej Polsce, na fródlach archiwalnych osnuty (1388–1782) No. 300 (Warszawa: 1910), 369, 181. Return
  32. I. Bartal, “The Records of the Council of the Four Lands” [Hebrew], in Pinkas va'ad arba aratsot, arranged and annotated by Israel Heilprin, (Jerusalem: 1990), 400. Return
  33. Gątkiewicz, Z Archiwum Drohobycza, 87: 257. See Appendix III: 52. The spelling of the names is reproduced from the document reprinted in the appendix, which also includes Matys Zelik Lwowski in the list. Return
  34. See Appendix 4, 53. The spelling of the names is reproduced from the document reprinted in the appendix. –Ed. Return
  35. Gątkiewicz, Z Archiwum Drohobycza 85: 262–3: 86: 264–5; 87: 265–6. Return
  36. The permit from King Zygmunt August that leased him the right to propination is reprinted in M. Bersohn, Dyplomatarjusz dotyczący żydów dawnej Polsce, na fródlach archiwalnych osnuty (1388–1782) no. 35 (Warszawa: E. Nicz 1910): 67–8. Return
  37. M. Ṿishnitser, Ber Bolekhowers zikhroynes (5483–5565), (Berlin: Klal–farlag 1922), 53. See also Mark Wischnitzer, The Memoirs of Ber of Bolechow (1723–1805), (London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press 1922). 53. Return
  38. This Dr Gelber's explanation of Bolechower's original text. – Ed. Return
  39. Dr Gelber translated Bolechower's text to read “Austrian currency,”probably gold coins equal to twenty silver kreuzers. – Ed. Return
  40. Bolechower's word for the area means Hungary. Return
  41. Zalman Wolfowich, more about him to follow. Return
  42. In the chronicles of the kehilla, there is a list of pew holders in the synagogue from 1680, which date back to an even earlier period. Jakób Wikler: Z dziejów Żydów w Drohobyczu, (Warsaw: ŻIH 1900) 4: 27. This is a dissertation with Meir Balaban, MS 36 in the archives of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Return
  43. Gątkiewicz, Z Archiwum Drohobycza, 77: 242. See Appendix III, 52. Return
  44. Gątkiewicz, Z Archiwum Drohobycza, 82: 257. Return
  45. Manuscript 36, p. 30. Return
  46. I. Schipper, “Beiträge zur Geschichte der partiellen Judentage in Polen,” Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums 6 (1912): 467. Return
  47. Meir Balaban, Z zagadnień ustrojowych Żydostwa polskiego (Lwów: Towarzystwo Miłośników Przeszłości 1932), 23. Return
  48. The trial document states: “Zelman Wolfowicz, kusznierz z ubogiej i podłej kondycji urodzony.” (A furrier from a poor family living in shabby circumstances). Return
  49. Franciszek Zych, Zelman Wolfowicz (Lwów: Nakl. autora 1890), 7, and Majer Balaban, Z historji Żydów w Polsce (Warsaw: B–cia Lewin–Epstein i s–ka 1920), 120–146. Return
  50. Tarlo: a town in the Lublin region. –Ed. Return
  51. Homantowska: feminine form of the name Homantowski to refer to the late starosta's widow. –Ed. Return
  52. Dissertation with Meir Balaban, MS 36: 136. Return
  53. Bartal, “The Records of the Council of the Four Lands,” 511, no. 988. Return
  54. Balaban, Z historji Żydów w Polsce, 132–5. Return
  55. Ibid., 140. Return
  56. Printed in Zych, Zelman Wolfowicz, 20–1. Return
  57. Dissertation with Meir Balaban, MS 36: 43. Return
  58. I. Schiper: “Finantsieler khurban fun tsentraler un prowintsieler oitonomie fun Yidn in altn Poiln (Financial Destruction of Jewish Autonomy in Old Poland), in Ekonomishe shrift fun Yivo 2 (1932): 18. Return
  59. At the time of my visit in Drohobycz in 1931, I studied the chronicle of the kehilla, which was then in the hands of its president, my friend Dr Tannenboim. I made several notes. Return
  60. (Between endnotes nos. 57 and 63, there is a note that has not been indicated in the text. It is Gątkiewicz, Z Archiwum Drohobycza, 96: 289–91.) Ed.) Return
  61. Dr Gelber did not identify Rawa, which could be Rawa Mazowiecka, a large town, which was the capital of Rawa Wojewodztwo during the rule of Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk. Rawa Ruska, north east of Lwów was a smaller place, established on the busy merchant's route to Lublin and Lwów. –Ed. Return
  62. In the Hebrew text, the word “wax” is not identified as beeswax, but considering that the innkeepers distilled their own mead made from honey, it seems probable that they sold beeswax. –Ed. Return
  63. Wiśniak: a liquor made from sour cherries. –Ed. Return
  64. Innkeepers dealt in oats because to sell to travellers for their horses. –Ed. Return
  65. Józef Kleczyński, Liczba głów żydowskich w Koronie z taryf roku 1765, ed. by Józef Kleczyński i Franciszek Kluczycki (Krakow 1898), 11. Return
  66. Sabbatai Zevi or Shabbetai Tzvi (1626–1676), a native of Smyrna, claimed he was the Messiah. Despite the resistance of traditional rabbis, he attracted large numbers of Jews in the Middle East as followers. His influence and teachings spread to several European centres, including Galicia and other parts of modern–day Ukraine. The Sabbataean movement dissipated, when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV, threatened by his extravagant claims, ordered him to submit to death or convert to Islam. –Ed. Return
  67. Jacob Frank (1726–1791), born in Podolia, then in eastern Poland, now Ukraine, was raised as a Sabbataean. After visiting the centres of the movement, Salonica and Smyrna, where he became acquainted with its leaders, Frank returned to Podolia, where he and his followers incurred the wrath of the local religious leaders. Having successfully appealed for protection from persecution to the civil and Christian authorities, Frank declared himself the successor to Sabbetai Zevi, Frank proclaimed that his followers must convert to Christianity. By 1790, 26,000 Jews were baptized in Poland with the enthusiastic support of the Roman Catholic Church and the Polish nobility. Despite his thirteen–year imprisonment by factions of the Church, who were suspicious of Frank's religious ideas, Frank's and his movement's popularity increased and even attracted interest from powerful people, including Empress Maria Theresa and her son, Joseph II. The influence of the Frankist movement dissipated during the Napoleonic conquest of Europe. –Ed. Return
  68. Khumash: the Torah in a printed version. –Ed. Return
  69. Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer (1698–1760), called the Baal Shem Tov or Besht, is considered the founder of khasidism. –Ed. Return
  70. Amulets were either slips of paper or objects with Hebrew letters or phrases written as a magic charm on them. –Ed. Return
  71. Ostrava is a city currently in the Czech Republic, east of Krakow. –Ed. Return
  72. Batlanim: Title of the ten men of leisure who, unoccupied by business of their own, devote their whole time to communal affairs and are particularly relied upon to attend divine service regularly at the synagogue. –Ed. Return
  73. Bet hamidrash: house of study. –Ed. Return
  74. Magid: an itinerant preacher. –Ed. Return
  75. Horochów: a town north–east of L'viv. –Ed. Return
  76. In the book, S.A. Horodetzky, Shivchei HaBesht [Praise of the Ba'al Shem Tov] (Berlin: 1922), 52–3, and in other books of tales of the hassidim (Dvarim Arevim 1:29), wonderful stories, tales of his miracles, and articles entitled “The Path of My Commandments” are told. On him, see Shem Hagedolim Hekhadash (Warsaw: 1879); Arje Leibush (Menachem Mendel) Bieber Mazkeret Legedolei Ostraha [In Memory of the Great Men of Ostroh] (Berditchev: 1907), 148–9; Joseph Lewinstein, Dor va–dor ve–dorshav (Warsaw: Bi–defus Shuldberg, 1899), 35. M.H. Kleinman: Zikaron la–Rishonim (Pietrekov: 1911), 9; S.A. Horodetzky, Hsidizm [Hassidism] (Berlin: Klal–Verlag 1924), 1: 20; 4: 112. Return
  77. He had five sons: Yosef of Yampol, Mordechai of Kremenets (Krzemieniec, Pol.), Isaac of Radziwillów, Moshe of Zvil and Benyamin Wolf of Zbaraż. Return
  78. S. Abramson tells of him in the book Kolsire Rabi Semuel ha–Nagid (Tel Aviv: Mahberot le–sifrut 1953), 301–20; Abraham Yaari: Sheluḥe erets Yiśra'el: toldot ha–sheliḥut me–ha–Arets la–golah, me–ḥurban Bayit sheni 'ad ha–me'ah ha–tesha' 'esreh (Jerusalem: Mosad ha–Rav Kuk, 1950), 627–9; Geiger Gadol, Ostraha, 222. Return
  79. Ostróg: Now Ostroh, a city north–east of L'viv in Ukraine was a major Jewish town in Wolynia in the past. –Alex Sharon. Return
  80. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I. “Galizien Protokolle,”no. 91 (April 1776). Return
  81. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I, “Galizien Protokolle,”no. 32 (December 1773); no.150 (February 1776); 177, 180. Return
  82. Solec: in sxteenth century this town was known as Sól. It was located near Stebnik district, three miles south of Drohobycz. The name Sól is associated with salt, salt mines in this region, like other villages: Słońsko and Jasienica Solna. –Alex Sharon Return
  83. Pokocja: this place has not been identified. Sloboda Runguska is near Stanisławów, Peczeniżyn, and Kołomyja. In 1771 Mojżesz and Owadia Rozenkranz discovered crude oil the vicinity, near one of their salt wells. –Alex Sharon Return
  84. A.J. Brawer, Galizien wie es an Österreich kam (Vienna: G. Freytag 1910), 73. Return
  85. It is not certain that Josef Hecker, a salt inspector from Prague, was a Jew. –Ed. Return
  86. For further information on the beginnings of the oil industry in the Drohobycz area, see V. Schatzker, “Who was the Father of Petroleum,” The American Association for Polish–Jewish Studies, http://aapjstudies.org/manager/external/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Kuznits percent20Karlip/Father percent20of percent20Petroleum.pdf, and V. Schatzker. The Jewish Oil Magnates of Galicia (Montreal: McGill–Queens University Press, 2015). Return
  87. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I. “Galizien Protokolle,” no. 12 (April 1780). Return
  88. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I. “Galizien Protokolle,” October 22, 1783. Return
  89. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I. “Galizien Protokolle,” October 16, 1783, no. 91 (December 1783). Return
  90. Aba (father) Zalmanowicz contacted council member Basil Shmuelowsky and received the lease of the beverage tax under his name. Return
  91. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I “Galizien Protokolle,” no. 99 (November 1784). Return
  92. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I “Galizien Protokolle,” no. 78 (December 1786); no. 83 (June 1787). Return
  93. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I “Galizien Protokolle,” no. 78 (December 1786); no. 83 (June 1787). Return
  94. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I “Galizien Protokolle,” no. 22 (December 1783) No. 32, Acta no. 32. Return
  95. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I “Galizien Protokolle,” no. 21 (November 1781). Return
  96. For costs incurred as a shtadlan (interceder) in Poland, the kehilla owed him 750 florins, which was paid in 1786 from interest on a sum of 3,573 florins which the kehilla received as a return from the beverage tax [Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I “Galizien Protokolle,” no.152 (May 1786)]. Return
  97. Interior Ministry Archives, Vienna. A. M. d. I “Galizien Protokolle,” no. 101 (November 1784), 111, 149. Return
  98. A. M. d. I Galizien IV T. ad No. 201 ex Juni 30, 1804, Protokolle Galizien No. 47 (Mai 1774). Return
  99. Physiocratic theory: a philosophy that was developed by the Physiocrats, a group of mainly French eighteenth century French economists, who believed that the wealth of a nation was derived solely from the value of land development or agriculture. –Ed. Return
  100. This reference is not printed in the text. –Ed. Return
  101. See my article: N.M. Gelber, Zur Statistik der Juden in Polen am Ausgang des XVIII Jahrhunderts, “Schriften für Wirtschaft und Statistik, ed. Jakob Lestchinsky, 1 (1928): 188. Return
  102. A. M. d. I, IV T. 11 Carton 2580, 201 ex June 1844 1089/739.
    In the same period, in several districts in Galicia, the Austrian authorities set up several settlements of German colonists brought from Germany and from German Bohemia. In the Drohobycz district, two such settlements, Königsau and Neudorf, were set up in 1783; in 1784: Gassendorf; in 1785: Josefsberg, Sommerau–Letnia, and Ugartsberg; sometime before 1812: Dobrohostów; in 1833–34: Korost. Return
  103. A. M. d. I, IV T. 11 Carton 2658, 201 (1786–1792 ad Nr. 77 ex Dezember. 1802 Nr. 7260 ex 1801 Return
  104. When Galicia became a crown land in the Austrian Empire in 1772, it was divided into administrative areas called circles. Drohobycz was part of the Sambor Circle. In 1867, when Galicia was reorganized into districts, Drohobycz became the capital of the Drohobycz District. – Ed. Return
  105. A. M. d. I. 4, no. 2 ad. Carton, 2580 (1792–1804). Return
  106. Herz Homberg (1749–1841) was an Austrian pedagogue, a follower of the philosophy of Moses Mendelssohn. In 1784 under the reign of Joseph II, he was appointed as superintendent of the German–Jewish schools in Galicia. He attempted to introduce modern theories of education, the teaching of correct Hebrew grammar, and the study of German instead of Yiddish. The community leaders and rabbis strongly opposed his ideas. –Ed. Return
  107. Interior Ministry Archives, A. M. d. I. 4, no 11, Carton, 2658 (1786–1792). At the same time, the following people served as teachers in the Sambor district: in Turka, Hersz Lewinski, with an annual salary of 200 florins; in Komarno, Mendel Angstein, 200 florins; in Sambor, Moshe Weissbach, 200 florins. Return
  108. A. M. d. I, 4, no.11, Carton 2658, no. 6 (January 1794). Return
  109. A. M. d. I, IV T. 11, no. 2576, (ex. November 1793. Return
  110. A. M. d. I, Protokolle, no. 54, (May 1793); no 132 (June 1796); no. 100 (November) 235. Return
  111. A. M. d. I, Galizien Protokolle, no 132 (June 1793); no. 100 (November) 235. Return
  112. Acta, no. 22 (March 1793): 119. Return
  113. A. M. d. I, IV T.2, 2605, 10583/517, 114 (ex April 1882). Return
  114. A. M. d. I, IV T. 11b, 2663. (4 January 1820). In 1820, 22,815 [Galician] Jewish families (out of 44,929 families) were taxed: 659,525 florins and 18 kreuzer for meat tax; 326,467 florins for candle tax, together 985,992 florins, 24 kreuzer. Other taxes: 274,007 florins and 36 kreuzer. The total was 1,259,999 florins and 60 kreuzer. Return
  115. A. M. d. I, 4, no.11, carton 2582 (1811–1818), no. 143 (October 1812). Return
  116. S.H. Lauterbach in Bikurim, ed. N. Keller (Vienna: Keller 1865–1866),1: 212–13.
    A. M. d. I, 4, no.11, carton 2583 (1819–1824), 113 (April 1821). Return
  117. Admor: an acronym for the Hebrew words, meaning “our master, our teacher, our Rabbi, as a title given to scholarly leaders of a Jewish community. –Ed. Return
  118. Leopold Loew, “Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Chassidaer,” Gesammelte Schriften 2 (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1879), 77, 79, 97. Dezsö Schön, Istenkeresök a Karpatok allatt, a chaszidizmus regénye (Cluj : Uj Kelet Konyvosztalya, 1935), 13–22. Return
  119. 41 Archiwum Państwowe in Lwów, 2, Jüdensachen Allgemeine Sachen, Fasc. 11, no. 48122 e. a. 1848. Return
  120. Ferdinand 1 (1793–1875), Emperor of Austria, reigned from 1835 to his abdication in 1848, due to mental deficiency. He was succeeded by his nephew Franz Joseph. Return
  121. Franz Joseph I (1830–1916) Emperor of Austria and after 1867 Austria–Hungary reigned from 1848 until his death. –Ed. Return
  122. Austrian State Archive: Kabinettsarchiv: Protokolle der Ministeratsitzungen e.a. 1855, no. 1707 Protokoll, 5 (June 1855). Return
  123. A. M. d. I, 4, no. 2 (1861): Z. 21279/1576. Return
  124. Ibid., Z. 1154/426. Return
  125. Ibid. Return
  126. Ibid. 14323/1160. Return
  127. Ibid., Z. 2467/222. Return
  128. Ibid., Z. 22266/1781 Return
  129. Ibid., Z. 14562/1071. Return
  130. Ibid., Z. 14562/1041. Return
  131. Ibid., Z. 8323/870. Return
  132. Ibid., Z. 17389/1805. Return
  133. Ibid., Z. 18881/2124. Return
  134. Ibid., Z. 13346/1315. Return
  135. Ibid., Z. 371/63. Return
  136. Ibid., Z. 2574/354. Return
  137. Ibid., Z. 3751/505. Return
  138. Ibid. Return
  139. Ibid., Z. 8167/1022. Return
  140. Ibid. Return
  141. Ibid. Return
  142. Ibid., Z. 12813/1630. Return
  143. Ibid. Return
  144. Ibid. Return
  145. Ibid., Z. Return
  146. Ibid., Z. 13812/1977. Return
  147. Ibid., Z. 16166/2108. Return
  148. Ibid. Return
  149. Ibid., Z. 18435/2513. Return
  150. Ibid. Return
  151. Ibid. Return
  152. Ibid., Z. 27326/2811. Return
  153. Ibid., Z.18435/2513. Return
  154. Ibid., Z. 27326/2811. Return
  155. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, no. 6 (1905): 69–70. The following details on Schreiner were published years ago by Hugo Warmholtz in the German journal Vom Fels zum Meer: [Hugo Warmholz,.“Petroleum und Erdwachs Revier von Borysław in Galizien” Vom Fels zum Meer, Spemanns Illustrierte Zeitschrift für das Deutsche Haus 1, Oktober bis März (1884): 216–230] “In Drohobycz, I visited the factory of the firm of Gartenbach, Lauterbach, Goldhammer & Co.; the director was Van Haecht, a courteous Belgian, who showed and explained to me the production, preparation and treatment of petroleum. We discussed the discoveries of oil; he was angry at the Americans, who claimed for themselves the honour of being the first in the petroleum industry. He said to me, “I'll show you the father of petroleum. An injustice that shouts to the heavens has been done to him. He was the first who produced the oil in a distillery and brought it to market. The world owes to him this great and important industry, which has enriched many. However, he himself remained a pauper.”
    A few moments later, Abraham Schreiner, the “father of petroleum” entered, dressed in ragged but clean Sabbath clothes, a typical Galician Jew. He had a beard and wrinkles on his face, a testimony to his hard life. Thirty–five years ago, he owned a piece of land in Borysław. He would take a lump of soil and oil would come out. The peasants used it to cure sores on people and animals and also made wagon grease out of it. After a while Schreiner started experiments on the hunch that this oil could be exploited for entirely different purposes. One time, he fashioned the clods of earth into a ball, inserted a wick, which sopped up the liquid, and when he lit it, a red flame was emitted. This was the first oil lamp.
    From that time on, he was involved with the problem of how to extract the oil from the depths of the earth. He knew something about refining and its processes, since he was familiar with the distillation of brandy. He bought an iron pot and turned it into a refining vessel. He filled it with the oily clods of earth and put it over a fire, but the pot exploded, and his entire body was injured. This explosion did not keep him from pursuing his attempts. He obtained a distilling vessel from a pharmacist, and this time, the experiment succeeded. He extracted petroleum from the oil. He began to produce bottles with the liquid and offered it to pharmacists in Drohobycz, Sambor, and the pharmacist Mikołasz in Lwów. For every hundredweight, he took fifteen gulden. Mikołasz, who was a chemist, improved the refining process, and obtained clear, pure petroleum.
    In 1853, they attracted the attention of the supervisor of the Emperor Ferdinand's Railway, which had opened that year. He bought 300 kilograms at a price of twenty gulden per kilo to illuminate signal posts. Schreiner started to expand production, and in 1856, he dug the first wells, set up the refineries, and grew rich. Then, in 1866, a fire broke out, and all his buildings were totally burned. He lost everything.
    In the meantime, other establishments had been set up, and he did not recover from his losses. Now, at the age of 70, he earns his living from a small tavern.
    He showed me all his documents, which show that the petroleum industry began in Galicia years before it did in America. The Americans commemorate 27 August 1859 as the “birthday” of their oil industry.
    Schreiner, who made the discovery and the inventions, is now a pauper. He told me that he had tried to get a license to run a tobacco shop; he applied for an interview with the emperor, but his request was not granted. Others who began producing oil after him got rich, and are raking in the profits.
    As I looked at the broken old man, wrote Warmholz, “I decided to tell his story, with the assumption that someone will be found who can succeed in repairing the injustice done to him.” (For an examination of the veracity of the above story, see Schatzer, Valerie, “Who was the Father of Petroleum? A Galician Mystery,” The American Association for Polish–Jewish Studies, http://aapjstudies.org/index.php?id=3.) Return
  156. Stearin: fatty acids used in candle–making. –Ed. Return
  157. Selig Hacohen Lauterbach, “Drohobycz” in Bikurim, ed. by Naftali Keller (Vienna: 1865), 216. Return
  158. By 1870, most of the workers in the hydrocarbon industries in the Drohobycz–Borysław area worked in the ozokerite (wax) industry, since the price of European–produced oil sank, due to large quantities of cheaper oil being shipped to the European market from the United States. –Ed. Return
  159. Hamevaser 43 (1866), 334. Return
  160. Ozokerite ceased to be mined in large quantities at the turn of the century. Because the surface resources had been greatly exploited, it became costlier to dig for wax. Also, new processes had been developed to use crude oil for products which had earlier been made from wax. –Ed. Return
  161. Lauterbach, “Drohobycz” in Bikurim, ed. by Naftali Keller (Vienna: 1865), 212. Return
  162. A.H. Zupnik, “News in Israel,” in Hashakhar 4, 187. Return
  163. Hamevaser, no 13 (1866), 102. Return
  164. This note (65a) appears in Dr Gelber's endnotes but is not indicated in the text. Hamevaser, no 22 (1866), 174. . –Ed. Return
  165. A. M. d. I, 4, Vol. 1, 1867, 14667/369. Return
  166. Ibid. Return
  167. Gub. Zahl 29031; Stöger 1, 80. Return
  168. Michael Stöger, Darstellung der gesetzlichen Verfassung der galizischen Judenschaft (Lemberg: Kuhn u. Millikowski, 1833), 1:180. Return
  169. The Lemberg city councillor's name, rendered as Kasztanowiec, may not be the correct transliteration of the Hebrew version of his family name. –Ed. Return
  170. Count Richard Belcredi was Minister of State and Prime Minister of Austria from 1865–1867. –Ed. Return
  171. According to the directive of 7 September 1792, a Jewish home owner or craftsman could be elected Return
  172. Boruch Werber, born in Brody, who founded the journal Haivri in 1865. –Ed. Return
  173. Hashahar 7 (1876): 319–25, 369–74, 433–36. Return
  174. Hashahar 7, (1876): 433–36. Return
  175. Eliezer Rokach (1854–1914) in his Hebrew weekly Yizrael, and in Yiddish, Di Hofnung, published in Jassy. Return
  176. His articles on the woeful state of the financial direction of the Haluka (division in Eretz Israel of charitable funds collected abroad) are in Hashahar 9 & 10. Eretz Zvi, letters on the journey to Palestine and life there by a resident of Eretz Israel to one of the lovers of the Gates of Zion. Return
  177. Hanuka light (a Hanuka speech), printed in his book Minhat Erev (Drohobycz, (1891), 31. Return
  178. Asher Selig Lauterbach died in the year 1906. –Ed. Return
  179. Kochvei Yitzhak 21, 67–70 contains a letter to his father–in–law with commentaries on Biblical verses. In Kochvei Yitzhak 22, 46–9, there is a condolence letter to Shlomo Chajet on the death of his father. In Kochvei Yitzhak 23, 3–4, there is a song for Simchat Torah, a translation of a German song by Yelinek. Return
  180. His first Hebrew work, which was published in Kochvei Yitzhak, was a translation of a sermon by the Viennese preacher Y.N. Mannheimer of 1834, titled Divrei Hefetz, Kochvei Yitzhak 28 (1862), 39–45. In 1864, he published four poems: in Hazvi Israel 30, 61–2. When the editor of Kochvei Yitzhak did not print the poem's motto, he had it printed once more in Hanesher 4 (Lwów), 77–8, and sent Stern the proverb “to a goring ox” (which was published in Hanesher 31, 2). In volume 31, 46–51, his poem “Feelings of a Man During the Grape Harvest” appears on pages. 87–9, a translation of the German poem by the maskil Michael Zeidman of Kolomea, “The Storm in the Carpathian Mountains.” In volume. 31, pages 91–4, there appears the poem “Life and Death.” In 1865, the poem “Sharon” appears in volume 32, on pages 51–2, and “The Bird in the Cage” on pages 52–3. In 1869, on pages 33–7 of volume 36, “The End of Love and the Lechery of Lust” from Bolivar, and on pages 74–9, a dirge on the death of his sister Hendel (who died at an early age in Nisan, 1865), titled “On the Grave of my Sister.” Return
  181. Dr S. Gruiński, Materjaly do kwestji żydowskiej (Lwów: 1910; Dr Ignacy Weinfeld, Ludność miejska Galicji i jej skład wysnianiowy 1887–1910 (Lwów: 1912). Return
  182. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums 48, no. 32 (1884): 507. Return
  183. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums 58 no. 38 (1888): 599. Return
  184. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums 37, No. 21 (1873): 344. Report from Drohobycz from 30 May. Return
  185. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums 37, No. 45 (1873): 740. Return
  186. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums 37, No. 47 (1873): 773. –Ed. Return
  187. The transliteration of this name is not certain. –Ed. Return
  188. Hamagid 7 (1873), 59. Return
  189. Ibid. Return
  190. Hamagid, 17 (1874), 145. Samueli sharply debated the report of the committee to set up a rabbinical seminary. He accused the committee and the lecturer Emanuel Fränkel of lacking courage by proposing a resolution that blurred the issue of a rabbinical academy Return
  191. “Verfassung der israelitischen Religionsgesellschaft,” Regierungsblatt 57, (Reichsgesetzblatt für die im Reichsrathe vertretenen Königreiche und Länder, Jahrgang 1890, XVIII, 57: 109. Number eight of thirty–six articles. Apart from this, implementation orders were issued for Bohemia, Bukowina, Dalmatia, and on 2 April 1891 for Galicia, which had 252 communities. A model regulation for the Galician kehillot was published by the Ministry of Religion and Education, adjusted to the general regulation of 21 March 1890. Return
  192. Hashahar Vol. 4, 5632, p. 187. Return
  193. Ivri Anochi (Brody), No. 26, 16 September 1887): 285. Return
  194. Das Judentum und seine Strömungen in der Gegenwart. Return
  195. Hamagid 49 (22 December ,1887), 388–9. Return
  196. See Dr Gelber's article: “Prae–Zionistica Galiciana,” and the accompanying note on pages 152–4. Return
  197. In Borysław, Dr Herman Liebermann learned about the life of the wax miners and oil well workers. He studied in Drohobycz, and completed his gymnasium studies at Stryj. In his youth, he joined the PPS [Polish Socialist Party] movement and organized young people. After completing his gymnasium studies, he went to Paris, where he studied for two years, keeping in touch with PPS leaders: Stanisław Mendelson (son–in–law of Nahum Sokolov), A. Devsky, and Vitold Yudko, and with Russian revolutionaries. He was arrested on charges of revolutionary subversion and spent several months in jail in Paris. After he returned to Galicia, he studied at the University of Kraków; he was arrested and jailed for his socialist activities. After completing his studies, he worked as an attorney in Rzeszów and later in Przemyśl. He took an active part in the PPS movement. He excelled in political law. In 1907, he was elected to the Austrian parliament, where he served until 1918. In 1917 and 1918 he was defense attorney in the trials of the Polish legionnaires. In restored Poland, he was a member of the Sejm; after the May revolution of 1926, he was arrested, put in a concentration camp, and sentenced to prison. He escaped and fled to Paris, where he lived until his death [1941]. Return
  198. Drohobyczer Handelszeitung 11 (1892) (3/IV) Return
  199. The transliteration of this name is not certain. –Ed. Return
  200. The transliteration of this name is not certain. It could be Kettner. –Ed. Return
  201. Wolf Kramarov was a Russian Jew who came to Galicia to escape the draft. He began to teach Hebrew in Rohatyn, and later was sent to Borysław where he taught from late 1906 to 1907. He taught in Drohobycz from 1907 to 1908, when he and his wife, the daughter of Dawid Russ of Borysław, emigrated to Paelstine. He changed his name to Ze'ev Carmi and continued his teaching career. See: The Way of an Educator (in Hebrew) at https://benyehuda.org/carmi_z/ and https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/drohobycz/families/dawid–russ–family.html. –Ed. Return
  202. Blumental published a kind of catechism in 1884, called Zasady religji mojzeszowej (in 2 parts). Dr Jelinek's newspaper in Vienna wrote about this book: “Dieses Buch ist ein trauriges Zeugnis von der Bildungsstufe eines Religionslehrer… ein Wahres Tohu wabohu … Auch die polnische Sprache is karrikiert. (This book is a sad testimony to the level of education of a teacher of religion … truly chaotic … the Polish language is also caricatured.) Neuzeit 19 (1884): 181. Return
  203. Mizrahi: a religious Zionist organization, founded in 1902. – Ed. Return
  204. There seems to be no evidence of a painting Jan Kochanowksi over the Body of his Daughter Ursula painted by Marcin Gottlieb. There is a painting of this subject by Jan Matejko. – Ed. Return
  205. The author of Juda (Berlin: F.A. Lattman, 1910) was Börries Freiherr von Münchhausen–Moringen (1845–1931). –Ed. Return
  206. Lieder des Ghetto (Berlin: Marquardt, 1902). was written by Morris Rosenfeld (1862–1923) in German. The poems were translated into Yiddish by Berthold Feiwel (1875–1937). –Ed. Return
  207. Jüdisches Archiv, Wien, 1916, H. 6–7, 18. Return

 

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