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[Columns 63-64]

The cemetery in Zloczow


Chapter 4

The 19th century

The Jews found themselves in dire economic distress at the end of the 19th century without any hope that their situation would improve. During the first decade of the 19th century, the tax burden imposed by the authorities on the tax lessees and the Jewish population increased. The lags in tax payments also grew. Without considering the dire situation of the Jews, the finance ministry requested to equate the importance of paying off the debts accumulated from the Tolerance Tax to the debts accrued from the 1794 – 1798 war bonds. That resulted in an amount of 98,193 Florins, which was levied on all of the Jewish communities. Zloczow's war bonds obligation was 2,041 Florins, but the community only paid 1,711 Florins. The authorities added the difference to the debt from the Tolerance Tax of 1,290 Florins. All of the Jewish communities appealed to Emperor Frantz [Joseph I].

In its meeting, held on October 5, 1803, the finance ministry decided to force Zloczow's Jewish community to pay its debt in ten years. That debt included a war bonds debt of 330 Florins and a Tolerance Tax debt of 1.290 Florin. Despite that compromise, the Jewish community was unable to adhere to that order. The debts accumulated from the kosher meat tax and the tax on candles grew because the taxes during the later years of 1810 – 1812 increased. The Jews were also obligated to pay for state bonds imposed during the same period.

The taxes on kosher meat and Shabbat candles oppressed not only the lower classes but also the wealthy. Neither could afford to buy meat. For example, the cost of a Litra [327.6 gram = 12 Oz.] of meat for a Christian customer was 6 Kreutzers. The cost of a Litra of kosher meat was 20 Kreutzers. However, that was not the actual price paid at the counter because the tax lessees raised the price even higher since they did not have any competition. The kosher meat tax was a monopoly. The situation with the Shabbat candles tax was even worse. The lessees treated the Jews with horrendous cruelty. The Jews consider them “torturous devils” and “money suckers”.

The Jews were subjected to injustice with other taxes, both in terms of the allotment and collection.

In 1811 – 1819, the Jews in Zloczow complained about the tax assessors who were elected by the community to assess the supplemental tax (which was based on property and income). The Jews claimed that the assessors worked in collaboration with the leaders of the community. They also complained about the fact that the assessors had total control over the properties of the debtors. Their judgment was considered final, and they were the sole authority that assessed the taxes. Even the authorities could not intervene in the assessors' decisions. Among the various direct state taxes imposed on Jews during those days were the following:

  1. Tax on plots of land
  2. Building tax
  3. Personal tax
  4. Income tax
The Jews had to also pay a supplemental tax to cover the deficits from the taxes on kosher meat and candles.

These issues resulted in extortions, ongoing disputes, quarrels, and increased resentment in the community. It also led to the formation of permanent opposition. The multitude of appeals motivated the authorities in 1826 to propose eliminating the supplemental tax for that year. The government in Vienna approved that proposal. They realized that Jews paid as much as five times more income tax than Christian taxpayers (who paid only one Florin and 17.5 Kreutzers).

In 1805, the central government planned to establish a new updated Jewish Statute.

[Columns 65-66]

In doing so, they relied upon memorandums and notes issued to describe the status and influence of the Jews on the non–Jewish population. They also relied upon the social–economic activities of the Jews from the point of view of the state policy.

Schmidt, the Zloczow District's minister, delivered a detailed report, on 14 August 1806, with notes about “the Jews of Galitsia in light of the new Jewish Statute.”

In his opinion, an in-depth discussion about the Jewish problem was required. Following a general description of the population situation in the District of Zloczow, he emphasized that the Jewish residents were pious but insincere, immoral, and had drinking tendencies. He claimed that the estate owners were after large profits from their leased taverns, so they encouraged those tendencies.

He claimed that it would be erroneous to blame the Jews for the poor condition of their population. Although he painted the Jews as greedy and selfish, he stated that one needed to consider the conditions which made them a harmful factor in both cities and villages.

He mentioned that in the cities they needed to compete with Christian merchants and artisans. He considered their communities to be the reason for the Jewish problem. He claimed that the Jews' close communities strengthened their seclusion and coalescence as a nation. In a separate chapter, he wrote about Jewish commerce, which suffered from a lack of capital, which in turn, led to the need to seek high–interest loans. He also stated that a small group of Jews exploited the situation by offering loans with an exorbitant rate of interest. That group of people was taking advantage of any circumstance to increase their wealth and was getting richer at the expense of the borrowers.

In his report, Schmidt stated that court cases and feuds were common among Galitsia's Jews. He claimed that the Jews feuded in their private and public life. There were numerous disputes and controversies in every Jewish community. The oppression by the lessees of the candle and kosher meat taxes resulted in snitches and malicious informing. According to Schmidt, a Jewish family paid on average 28 Florins per year [in taxes].

Schmidt considered the tax burden to be one of the main reasons for the fact that Jews were immoral and for the fact that they resisted the authorities.

In a special review section Schmidt offered several concrete proposals to improve the situation, which should be used as a basis for the new Jewish Statue:

  1. Elimination of the Jews' influence on the general population and limiting their proliferation.
  2. Eliminating the [Jewish] national sentiment
  3. Changing the occupations of the Jews and transferring them to farming and crafts.
For turning the Jews into contributing agents, he proposed the following:

He proclaimed that the Jewish communities were superfluous. He suggested handing over the tasks of the community and the rabbinate to the municipalities. He stated that Jews must be immediately recruited to the military as the only way for them to adapt themselves and become regular citizens. He suggested that the military was one of the best educational institutions.

He further suggested establishing workplaces and to place there anybody who loathes working.

District ministers from other Galitsia provinces sent similar memorandums.

Papers were piling up at the office of Galitsia's governor and the offices of the central government, with various plans to convert the Jews into loyal and contributing citizens of the country. However, the issue of the renewal of the Jewish Statute was removed from the agenda and postponed for a few years.

Instead of corrections and improvements to the situation, which were extensively discussed and written about, the tax burden continued to grow more and more.

One of the components of that burden was the issue of military lodging, particularly during the years 1810 – 1811. Zloczow community submitted a complaint, in 1811, about the fact that the Jewish homes were assessed higher than their actual value so that the authorities could impose higher military lodging fees. The community appealed again in the same year about the tax assessment. They claimed that the assessment was unjustified and did not reflect the actual situation.

The authorities raised the tax quota significantly during the 1820s. Like other Jewish communities, the Zloczow community submitted a request to lower taxes in light of the economic downturn. The community particularly emphasized the cruel behavior of the lessees of the kosher meat and candle taxes. The governor adopted a conciliatory position at that time since he was very well aware of the deteriorating economic situation of the Jewish masses. He offered to give up on the supplemental tax but stated that to successfully collect the taxes, the community must correct the unrealistic ratio between the levies and the income of the tax debtors. Considering the grievance of the Jewish population – as demonstrated by the appeals, the governor did not shy away from taking another step and offered to eliminate the candle, supplemental, and special taxes. However, Vienna did not even wish to entertain that proposal. Vienna's response was unmistakably negative. Vienna blamed the lessees–collectors for the situation and suggested handing over the collection to the local authorities.

[Columns 67-68]

However, before the authorities made any decision, they asked the district ministers for their opinion.

Zloczow District minister, together with the district ministers of Ivano–Frankivsk [Stanislavov], Przemysl [Pshemishel], and Lviv, accepted Vienna's offer. However, in the end, nothing came out of that, and the tax system was not revised.

In A census of Galitsia's Jews that took place in 1810, 361 families were counted in the city of Zloczow. Among them, there were 674 men and 764 women, and a total of 1438 people.

6209 Jewish families were counted in the District of Zloczow in that census, 11864 men, 12,896 women, and a total of 24,760 people.

That constituted a significant increase compared to the year 1788.

Nine years later, in 1879, 6658 families were counted, among them 288 agricultural families.

It is worthwhile to note that the number of Jewish families in the District of Zloczow compared to the 1810 census, increased by 449 families in 7 years.

204,817 Christians and 30,134 Jews were counted in the District of Zloczow in the census conducted in 1826.

In 1827, out of a total; of 327,612 residents [in the Zloczow District], 31,936 were Jewish. That constituted an increase of 1802 [Jewish] people.

The censuses provide several additional details, although somewhat limited, about the occupations of the Jews during the 1820s

1820 there were the following merchants]:

  1. 3073 Jewish retailers in the whole of Galitsia. 284 were in the district of Zloczow.
  2. In 1824 there were 80 Jewish street vendors and peddlers in the District of Zloczow.
  3. 101 Jewish wood dealers in the District of Zloczow.

In 1820 there were 1842 Jewish merchants of all kinds in the District of Zloczow, among them, 708 were in Brody alone. 30 Jewish merchants owned their firms in the District of Zloczow (63 in Brody alone).

In 1820, there were the following Jewish artisans:

  1. Out of a total of 2015 Jewish alcoholic beverages distillers in the whole of Galitsia, 305 were in the District of Zloczow.
  2. Out of 1358 tailors in the entire Galitsia, 190 were in the District of Zloczow.
  3. Out of a total of 77 salesmen in Galitsia, 12 were in Zloczow District.
  4. Out of a total of 8 pillow makers in Galitsia, 3 were in Zloczow District.
  5. Out of 7194 artisans in the entire Galitsia, 989 were in Zloczow District (among them, 393 in Brody). One–third of the total number of artisans were distillers of alcoholic beverages, and another third included tailors, shoemakers, furriers, and cable weavers.
At the beginning of the 19th century, several new industries began to develop: fabrics, silk belts, paper, gunpowder, wax, candles, tanning, starch, and even iron casting plants (in the villages of Sialtze, Bonkova, and Ostafloptze). The plants existed for only a short time. The reasons for this were the lack of capital and shortages of raw materials and skilled workforce. Most of the plants were established with the support of the government and capital invested by outside people. The trade for the products of these plants was mostly concentrated in the hands of Zloczow's Jews.

In the first half of the 18th century, prominent families, who colluded with the tax lessees, ruled the Jewish community of Zloczow. They held on to that power for decades, despite the Jewish Statute of Emperor Franz] Joseph that dictated an election every three years. Somehow, the powerful always found an appropriate excuse to influence the district authorities not to follow the clauses of the Statute.

In 1821, the issue of the traditional Jewish attire occupied the attention of Galitsia's Jews. According to clause no. 47 in Franz Joseph's Jewish Statute, Galitsia's Jews had to abandon their traditional attire, which distinguished them from the rest of the population. Rabbis were the only ones exempted from obeying that rule. The Jews did not follow and did not even lift a finger to obey that decree. In light of that overt resistance, the authorities had no other choice but to abort the rule implementation.

During the period 1816 – 1821, the central government worked on preparing a new Jewish statute. They conspired to ban, as a law, the traditional attire of the Jews. Galitsia's governor, Baron Joseph von Hauer, recommended including a specific ban on Jewish attire in the statute.

Somehow, the Jewish public of Galitsia found out about these plots, which awoke a resistance movement among the masses. The Jewish community of Stryj was the first community to go against the governor's demand. All other Jewish communities of Galitsia followed the Stryj community's initiative and submitted a letter– request to Vienna demanding to allow the Jews to keep their attire. Zloczow community, who joined that request, sent a petition on its own as well. The merchants and the furriers submitted a memorandum highlighting the economic damage that a ban on Jewish attire would cause to the various Jewish and non–Jewish occupations. The Jewish intellectuals, except a group from Brody, joined the protest. In a special memorandum, a group of Jewish intellectuals from Brody explained their consent to Baron von Hauer's proposal.

[Columns 69-70]

A group of “Kadima” [Forward] members


They claimed that the change in the Jewish attire would accelerate the Europeanization process among Galitsia's Jews.

The Austrian merchants, the furriers, and the owners of textile and silk factories submitted a petition against the attire decree following a request by Galitsia's communities. An answer from Vienna arrived on April 1821. The government claimed that all of the explanations brought up by the Jewish communities against changing attire were invalid. As proof, they pointed at Moravia, where the expenses involved in abolishing the attire, did not cause any reduction in the collection of the meat–tax.

After all that, the governor's proposal was not approved, and the issue was postponed.

During the same years, the Hasidic movement in Zloczow and its surroundings gained so much popularity that the authorities became interested in its reach and influence on the Jewish population. The authorities paid attention mainly to the spread of Hasidism in the Zloczow District. In addition to the boycott against the Jewish intelligentsia that was announced in 1815 in Lviv, the authorities issued, with direct special instructions from Vienna, stringent commands to track after the Hasidim and their Tzaddiks.

Under the influence of the intelligentsia, the Jewish community leaders began to worry, in the 1830s and 1840s, about improvements in the political status of Galitsia's Jews. They also tried to lobby the authorities to eliminate the special taxes and reduce the tax burden.

In 1846, the District of Zloczow underwent a severe economic crisis due to uprising preparations by the revolutionary forces among the Poles in Eastern Galitsia. That was felt particularly in the provinces, Lviv, Ivano–Frankivsk [Stanislavov], Sambir [Sambor], and Zolczow.

In the District of Zloczow, the rebels planned to organize themselves in company and platoons to attack Zloczow. However, these platoons had to disperse due to the resistance by the farmers (who were mainly Ruthenians) to the aspirations of the revolting Polish nobles. That situation caused significant interruptions in economic affairs, and the Jews were the people who suffer from that the most.

The leaders of all Jewish communities gathered in 1847 in Lviv, by the initiative by the Jewish community of Lviv, which was led by people with academic education. The gathering objective was to consult and discuss the state of the Jews. Representatives of the Zloczow's community attended the gathering. They attended the meeting even though the leaders were orthodox Jews who have not yet recognized the positive side of political activism. At that gathering, it was decided to submit a petition to the central government that would contain a description of the actual state of the Jews. That petition was submitted only on behalf of the large Jewish communities.

A hospital was established in Zloczow in the 1830s. It was maintained, for some time, through charitable contributions. However, the hospital was later neglected due to a lack of financial means. After the cholera pandemic and the spread of other diseases, which besieged the poor, the Jewish community leaders had decided to request the district authorities to add one Kreutzer to the price of a Litra of kosher meat, to support the hospital.

Vienna government agreed. On March 4, 1845, a ¼ Kreutzer was added to the price of kosher meat to pay for the maintenance of the Jewish hospital.

A district hospital for syphilis patients, under the management of the Jewish physician Moshe Rekhen, the municipal orthopedical, also operated from 1874.

On July 1, 1849, the physician reached an agreement with the municipality to operate that hospital as a general hospital for the broad population. The physician made all the arrangements, including adequate lighting. According to the agreement, the town paid the hospital, from the municipal treasury,

[Columns 71-72]

an amount of 16 Kreutzers per day for every patient.

On 20 March 1853, the district bureau realized that the hospital did not address the needs of the city. They came to that conclusion based on the report submitted by the district physician, Dr. Carter. in 1853, Dr. Rekhen reached a new agreement with the city, under which the hospital was recognized as the official hospital of the city. Dr. Rekhen managed the hospital. After his death, his widow, Getzya Rekhen, managed the hospital together with Abraham Amper (under a confidential partnership with the orthopedic physician Dr. Max Deutsche). Since the financial situation of the hospital did not improve, the state committee contributed 3000 Florins for a new building more suitable for its purpose. A building committee consisting of representatives of the city residents was established. However, the committee was not active and did not achieve any progress. Only in 1872, did the district committee buy a dedicated building, where the city relocated the municipal hospital.

The events of 1848 did make a significant impression on Zloczow's Jews, as they did on the Jews of Lviv, Ivano–Frankivsk [Stanislavov], Zolkiew, and Brody. Along with the rest of the Jewish communities in Galitsia, The Jews in the Zloczow district stopped paying the special taxes upon issuance of the new constitution in March 1848. They based it on clauses 25 and 27 of the constitution, which guaranteed freedom and equality in the payment of taxes.

However, the city authorities had a different opinion.

The communities in the District of Zloczow received explicit instruction from the district bureau. After receiving complaints from the lessees of the candle and kosher meat taxes, the authorities found it necessary to announce that the news about the discontinuance of these taxes was a false rumor. They stated that the Jewish community leadership must alert the Jewish residents and the residents of the neighboring villages to ensure that there would be no disruptions or stoppage of tax payments to the lessees.

Fearing the loss of their profits, the lessees acted behind the scenes and demanded that the authority take drastic measures. That had happened not just in Zloczow and Galitsia. Similar instructions were issued throughout the Austrian empire, which angered the Jews. They mobilized to fight the hypocritical policy of the government. They claimed that the government interpreted the spirit of freedom of religion, faith, and equality differently for the Jews.

The elections for the first parliament, which was supposed to decide upon the first constitution, were held in June 1848. Since the Jews in Zloczow were not allowed to elect their own representative to the parliament, they did not participate in any political activity like the Jews in Ivano–Frankivsk [Stanislavov], Brody, and Lviv.

The Greek–Catholic Gregory Levitzki (a Ruthenian) was elected as the representative in Zloczow. Little is known about the participation of the Jews in the election. No details are available about whether they went to the polling station or whom they had voted for. During the first session of the parliament, in 1848, an article was published in the [German Language weekly] magazine, “Oesterreichishes Zentral Organ Fuer Glaubensfreiheit, Cultur, Gescchichte und Literatur der Juden” [The Austrian Magazine for Jewish Faith, Culture, History, and Literature]. The article called for all the Jewish communities of Galitsia to submit a petition to the parliament. That petition should highlight their [dire] state of affairs and emphasize the limitations imposed on the Jewish population and the [heavy] tax burden, especially the candle and the kosher meat taxes. The article suggested that the communities present their demands for equal rights at the end of that petition.

That initiative was successful, and all the Jewish communities signed the petition. The leader of the Zloczow's community, Dov Bear Landau, signed it. The petition was given to the district's representative. A copy of the petition was sent to the Jewish representatives from Galitsia, Rabbi Dov Bearish Meizlish, the preacher Mannheimer, and Abraham Heilperin. A copy of the petition was also sent to the Polish representatives who were known to support the cause of equal rights for the Jews. It was also sent to the Jewish representatives from outside Galitsia, Dr. Adolf Fischhof, and Dr. Goldmark.

The Jewish members of the large communities, such as Brody, Lviv, and Zolkiew, joyfully accepted the news that the Kremsier Parliament decided to abolish the special taxes imposed on the Jews. The representative from Brody, the Jewish Viennese preacher, Mannheimer, should receive the credit for the effort.

We could not find any acknowledgment of the news in the period's Jewish newspapers. They treated them indifferently without appreciating the fact that their faith was tied to them.

There were no signs that anything changed in the life of the Zloczow's Jews, even after 1848. The management of the community was at the hands of the Haredim who managed the community affairs in the spirit of the Jewish tradition without taking any steps to improve the state of the masses.

The influence of the few intellectuals in the city was minuscule. Therefore, it is no wonder that the community leaders treated apathetically the political actions taken by the representatives from the Jewish communities of Lviv, Ternopil [Tarnopol], Ivano–Frankivsk [Stanislavov], and Brody. These activities were taken to improve the political and social standing of Galitsia's Jews. It included the efforts made in 1853 to repeal the law, from 2 October 1853, that limited the ownership rights of the Jews, which was awarded in 1848. It also included the effort to rescind the 1803 law prohibiting employment by Jews of Christian wet–nurses, apprentices, and trainees.

[Columns 73-74]

The Austrian army barracks


That law was canceled in 1848 but renewed in 1853.

The Jews were allowed to purchase real–estate in 1860. It is worthwhile to note that, in contrast to other communities, where quite a few Jews submitted applications to buy lots, houses, estates, and plots of land, only two applications were submitted by Jews in Zloczow. The two were: a) The community leader, Herman Burshtein indicated that he had served as the community leader for thirty years. He received the permit in 1862. b) Moshe Schwadron, who received the permit in 1864.

Commerce and industry bureaus were first established in Austria in 1850. Among them, one bureau was for Galitsia. It was located in Brody and represented the districts of Ternopil, Chertkiv [Chertkov], Berezhany, and Zloczow. Meir Kalir from Brody was elected as the president of that bureau.

According to the new organization of the court network in Galitsia, only 106 lawyers were allowed to serve in the courts. That number included 20 Jewish lawyers. Only one Jewish lawyer, Dr. Adolf Rekhen, was allowed to appear in Zloczow. The court in Zloczow was the district court.

No changes were made in the leadership of the Zloczow Jewish community. Dov Bear Landau held the leadership post from 1831 until 1850.

Later on, the post was held by Herman Burstein, who ruled with a strong arm until 1863. However, the Maskilim [generally educated people] managed to gradually capture the leadership of the community. The Maskil Neteh Schorr became the leader after Burstein. From then on, the Maskilim, one after the other, served as the leaders of the community: Neteh Schorr, Yehuda Finkelstein, Yosef Kuten. These Maskilim were fierce Mitnagdim [opponents to the Hasidim]. They did not hesitate to implement many plans against the will and wrath of the zealots. Fierce disputes often erupted between the Hasidim and the Mitnagdim.

In 1860, the community leaders discussed the possibility of establishing an elementary school similar to those in Ternopil, Lviv, Brody, and Bolekhiv [Bolekhov]. The community turned to the school in Bolekhiv, headed by Shlomo Rubin (1823 – 1910), to send the bylaws of their school to them. Bolekhiv management complied with the request. However, the leadership of the Zloczow's community did not progress beyond discussion and consultation. The masses, incited by the Hasidim, treated the idea with hostility and would have avoided sending their children to that school. Although going to school was compulsory by law, people always found ways to evade it.

In January 1866, the community leaders turned to establish a charity fund to help the poor.

A discussion was held at the rabbi's home, and a decision was made to collect the required capital. Yosef Zeev Shuger, Zalman Halberthal, Yaakov Shmuel Laks, and Shmuel Auerbach went from house to house soliciting contributions. [Following Genesis 44:12 – “He started with the eldest and finished with the youngest…”] – they started with the affluent and ended with the destitute. They “sweet-talked” people to commit to contributing weekly as much as they could afford [following Deuteronomy 16:17 “Every man shall give as he is able…” ]. They succeeded to collect 40 Guldens weekly for the charity organization for the poor – “Lemish'an Lekehm”.

The leaders of the Zloczow Jewish community, the Maskilim, Yehuda Funkelstein, and Yosef Kuten, were influenced by the spirit exhibited by the initiatives of the Lviv–based organization – “Shomer Israel” [“Guardian of Israel”]. That organization led to a substantial change in the political lives of Galitsia's Jews. The main objective of the organization was to structure the Jewish communities based on proper and updated bylaws. The organization's commission demanded that the Jewish communities go through a reorganization to modernize themselves. The “Shomer Israel” organization made efforts to stabilize the status of the Jewish communities by establishing uniform countrywide bylaws approved by the government and by unifying the communities into a single countrywide organization. The communities were requested to participate in the “Communities Day” event, organized by “Shomer Israel”, which took place in Lviv on 18 – 20 June 1878. Zloczow's community was represented in that event by Shmuel Auerbach and Yosef Kuten. They took an active part in the discussions at the conference. Yosef Kuten was also elected as a member of a committee tasked with overseeing the execution of the conference's resolutions.

After “Communities Day,” the Haredim started a stubborn war

[Columns 75-76]

against any attempt of renewals in the communities and grouped themselves in an organization called “Makhzikei Ha'dat” [“Keepers of the Religion”], which was led by Rabbi Shimon Sofer of Krakow, and the Admo”r from Belz. The Jewish community of Zloczow protested against that organization's initiatives.

A substantial change occurred in the lives of Jews following the award of equal rights to them. On the other hand, the orthodox Jews were befuddled. They feared that freedom would be tied to compulsory service in the military, which would substantially harm the Jewish way of life and tradition.

Even the community's non–ultra-orthodox feared the freedom of attending general education schools and universities. They feared that the intellectuals would grow in numbers and would capture the power in the community.

The Parnasim [leaders] of the community in that period were: Shmuel Auerbach, Mordekhai Moiter, Eliezer Swartz, and Avraham Garfunkel.

Eliyahu Vashitz (the father of Dr. Efraim Vashitz) served as the community secretary and the vital records registrar from 1895.

Zloczow, together with Brody, voted for their representatives in Vienna by direct elections during the years of the Austrian Parliamentarianism (1873 – 1919).

Dr. Joachim Landau from Brody, who served in the parliament until 1879, was elected in the first direct elections in 1873. The Christian Hausner served after him. In 1885, the palace advisor Dr. Edward Sutor Freiheger von Frodrichstal was elected against the Jewish candidate, the manager of the train tracks, Karl Ludwig, who was supported by the Hasidim. The Christian Hausner served after him. The latter served until 1891. After him, the head of “Shomer Israel”, Dr. Emil Bik (1845 – 1906), advanced his candidacy against Dr. Sutor, who was supported by the Rabbi from Belz, although he was non–Jewish. Dr. Bik won and joined the Polish faction. He served as the representative of Zloczow and Brody until his death in the summer of 1906. The main factors in that election were bribery, bargaining, and purchasing of votes.

A special election was held in 1906, after the death of Dr. Bik. At that time, the Zionists nominated a candidate – Adolf Shtand. Jewish physician from Zloczow – Dr. Yosef Guld, ran as the candidate of the assimilators. The latter was supported by his father–in–law, Yosef Guld, who was the leader of the Zloczow community. Dr. Guld was elected under the pressure exerted by the authorities and shameful coercion. Dr. Guld served in parliament until the spring of 1907.

* * *

Rabbi Khaim Burstein served as the city's rabbi from the middle of the 19th century until 1883. After him, Rabbi Yoel Ashkenazi, a decadent of Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi, the author of “Khakham Tzvi” [“The Wise Man Tzvi”] served as the city rabbi.

Zloczow's native, Rabbi Yeshayahu Zeev Rosenberg, served as the head of the rabbinical court from 1860. He was a prominent scholar and had exceptional virtues. He was the teacher of Rabbi Shalom Schwadron, the rabbi of Berezhany.

Rabbi Menakhem Mendel Meizel was nominated to serve as the head of the rabbinical court after the death of Rabbi Yeshayahu Zeev. He previously served in Bila Tserkva [Belaïa Tserkov], Ukraine, but, as an Austrian citizen, he could not secure a residence status there so he had to return to Zloczow to his father–in–law, Rabbi Moshe Schwadron. Rabbi Menakhem Mendel, a Sadgora's Hasid, arrived in Zloczow together with Rabbi Feivel Rohatyn. The latter was a “Mitnaged” [Someone who resisted the rise of Hassidism]. It was difficult for both of them to serve together.

Rabbi Feivel Rohatyn (1858 – 1910) was born in Lviv. He was the student of Rabbi Abner (a prominent scholar in Lviv) and also a student of Rabbi Yitzkhak Ettinger of Lviv. Rabbi Feivel was the son–in–law of the magnate, Moshe Griss, from Kulykiv [Kulykov]. Rabbi Feivel was ordained as a rabbi at the age of 16 by Rabbi Tzvi Orenstein, Rabbi Yitzkhak Ettinger, and Rabbi Yitzkhak Shmelkes. He served as the rabbi in Narayiv from 1878 – 1883. In 1883, he was elected as a rabbi in Zloczow. He devoted himself to general studies and prepared for a high school matriculation examination. In 1893, he successfully passed the final exams in Zloczow's high school and received the diploma, which greatly angered the Hasidim. He was accepted to the university in Lviv and studied philosophy. He received his university diploma in 1898. He later received a doctorate in philosophy after completing research about Ramba”m [Maimonides].

Despite his secular studies, he did not neglect his rabbinical work and studying the Torah. He published a religious law book by the name “Mishpat Mekhokek”. Rabbi Rohatyn was the first orthodox rabbi who gave a speech in Polish at the synagogue during a public celebration.

Rabbi Feivel Rohatyn kept connections vigorously communicated in writing with Jewish scientists such as Prof. D. H. Miller, Dr. Gidman, and Salomon Buber. He was also involved in religious responsa communication with the greatest rabbis of his generation. He took an active role in Zloczow's public affairs, served in the municipality, and taught Talmud lessons. Despite his secular studies, he did not neglect his rabbinical work and studying the Torah.

In 1901, a fierce business conflict erupted between Rabbi Rohatyn and Zloczow's famed tycoon, Yosef Kuten. The authorities invited bidding on building an army barrack. Yosef Kuten was a professional contractor, and so was the rabbi.

[Column 77]

Rabbi Rohatyn's bid, which was probably cheaper, was accepted. The authorities nominated him to build the barrack. Kuten did not forgive Rabbi Rohatyn for that and joined with his opponents – the Hasidim. Rabbi Rohatyn was forced to leave the city because of conflict. Only after several years, in 1907, he returned and served as the rabbi until he died in 1910.

During Rabbi Rohatyn's period, Rabbi Menakhem Miller, a native of Terniv [Ternov], served as the head of the rabbinical court. As mentioned, he encountered resistance from the Hasidim, who considered him the assistant and supporter of Rabbi Rohatyn.


Chapter 5

Under the Austrian Conquest

When Austria annexed Reisyn, Zloczow was a ravaged and depleted city, lacked residential houses in proper conditions, and had a sparse population.

That was why the Austrians did not consider Zloczow to be a city. Officials reported the city residents to be considered in the middle between city residents and village dwellers.

The city's rehabilitation and development began with the appointment of Von Tannhauser to the position of district minister.

The district office resided in Brody. In 1783, the government discussed the possibility of transferring it to Zloczow. Brody's Jewish community requested to leave the office in Brody in consideration of the economic interests of the city. The authorities delayed the transfer until 1787. It is unknown as to whether the delay was caused because of due Brody's request. The Pole Bojakowski, who served as the district minister in Brody until 1782, was appointed district manager. He relocated to Zloczow in 1783.

The district office was transferred from Brody to Zloczow even though Zloczow was smaller than Brody in terms of its population and economic importance. The district officials were against the transfer. They claimed that Zloczow was too small and lacked the resources for hosting the offices. Only the office of the district minister remained in Brody.

A period of development began when Zloczow became a district city.

Tannhauser had to temporarily locate his office in Berezhany [Bzhezhani] due to the poor residential situation in Zloczow. When the appropriate conditions for maintaining offices developed, the office returned to Zloczow. The office organization consisted of the following: The district minister, 3–4 commissioners, a secretary, two clerks, 1–2 apprentices, and two messengers.

For a certain period, Zloczow had only one physician, one orthopedic, and one midwife. For a while, there was no pharmacy in the city. That situation lasted until the pharmacy of the Dominican Monastery moved to Zloczow from Podkamen.

Unlike other Austrian officials sent to Galitsia, Tannhauser was not a follower of the pan-German movement. He was non–partisan and treated the Poles with sympathy. Unlike other district ministers, his main activity was in the economic area. He objected to the oppressive approach to collecting taxes. The first governor [commissar] in Zloczow, Golbakh, held the same opinions as Tannhauser. The population considered the district ministers the symbol of the regime and the state government arm, serving the nobility, church, Jews, and peasants.

Tannhauser recognized that Zloczow's area was an important industrial center, particularly in the field of weaving. Indeed, many artisans were in the area – shoemakers, tailors, and bakers who sold their products to Jewish merchants.

Tannhauser lobbied the kingdom to provide financial assistance to the city's needy because he determined that the earnings were too low.

In particular, Tannhauser investigated the economic state of the estates. He realized that the medium and small estates were better positioned financially than the large ones, although their farms were still primitive. The large estate owners accumulated debts and had to lease their villages.

Due to the cessation of the ties with Gdansk [Dantzig], the wheat trade underwent a severe crisis. However, the situation gradually improved later as new markets were found. Due to that disconnection, the estate owners, who maintained wood potash kilns industries in their village, suffered. Tobacco cultivation, which brought substantial profits to the farmers and Jewish traders, received considerable attention in Zloczow. With the establishment of the state monopoly, tobacco cultivation ceased. The Jews leased the tobacco monopolies, which were established outside Zloczow and Galitsia. Cultivation of potatoes began in 1783 under encouragement by the authorities. Substantial progress was achieved in growing apples, planting fruit orchards, and raising cattle, particularly oxen. Armenian and Jewish wholesalers bought the oxen and exported them to Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Austria.

City councils were established in Galitsian cities after the Galitsian Sejm passed the City Regulations Act in October 1868, following a debate on the issue during 1862 – 1868. Thirty members served in the Zloczow council.

[Columns 79-80]

Among them, 14 were Catholics (Poles), 3 were Greek Catholics (Ruthenians), and 13 were Jews.

The Jewish physician Dr. David Bilt was elected as the mayor at the end of the 19th century. Dr. Yosef Guld, the son–in–law of the Jewish community leader, Yosef Guld, served as a mayor during 1906 –1914.

The established families captured influential positions among the Jewish public in Zloczow and filled critical roles in the community, organizations, and overall social life. The Landau family ruled the community for many years. Dov Bear Landau was notably known. His name as the “Regirend” [“Ruler” in Yiddish], preceded him in Eastern Galitsia during the 1830s and 1840s of the 19th century.

Dov Bear Landau was an orthodox Jew and a Hasid. We should also mention Dvorah Landau from the Landau family. She was married to Moshe Schlager. He was a scholar, intellectual, and one of the famous contractors in Zloczow. The mother of Dvorah was Freida, the daughter of Rabbi Rubinstein of Zolkiew. When she arrived in Zolczow after her wedding, she brought a special medicine for the eyes (Nux-Vasser), which she used to provide, free of charge, to eye patients. She was a known communal leader and was cherished by the poor and the needy.

Another established family was Auerbach. The head of the family, Shmuel Auerbach, was not only wealthy but a scholar and learned. His son-in-law was Meir Rapoport, the grandson of the rabbi of Lviv, Rabbi Khaim Rapoport. Rabbi Khaim was known for his participation in the debate with the Frankists. Meir Rapoport was an orthodox Jew but also a scholar. He knew a few classical languages and was knowledgeable in general literature.

Burstein, Weinberger, and Halberthal families, who were all related, were also among the established families. The family of Arye Winebarger was devout. He and his father-in-law, Halberthal, bought estates that used to belong to “Zloczow Developer” [Sobieski], along with their forests, fields, and the palace. Later on, they suddenly lost their fortune. Seltzer, the father-in-law of Dr. Itamar Eidelberg, bought the estates.

The son–in–law of Arye Weinberger, David Lvov, was also among the wealthy people in the city. He owned a store for agricultural machinery,

The family of Yosef Kuten belonged to the affluents. He was not a native of the city. He came to Zloczow in 1818 from the town of Kuzyn in Volyn. He ran away to Brody to evade recruitment to the Russian army. He went to Zloczow to hand over a letter to the community leader from the rabbi of Kuzyn and stayed there.

His grandfather, Rabbi Azriel from Kuzyn, was a loyal student of the famous Tzadik Rabbi Leib Sara”s.

When he arrived at Zloczow, he was received by Rabbi Dov Bear Landau, who hosted him in his house and took care of his needs. Kuten continued with his Torah studies, and a short while later married Khava, the daughter of Rabbi Landau. His father-in-law opened a textile store for him.

Later on, he received the contract of providing food to the local jail on behalf of the court and supplying grocery items to the railroad officials. He gained fame as a contractor for supplying food, woods, and gravel for road construction. He established queries for that purpose around Zloczow. He went from strength to strength and became the contractor for constructing buildings for the government. His profits increased more and more. When he became rich, he bought himself an estate.

Kuten was initiative and full of energy throughout his entire life. He fulfilled critical roles in the life of the Jewish community. He served as a community Parnas, and a deputy leader. He also served as the head of the community's committee and was its representative at the “Communities Day” held [in Lviv] in 1878. Kuten contributed substantially to Jewish organizations. His home was traditional, and he educated his son traditionally. He died in 1897.

His wife Khava, was a typical daughter of an affluent Jewish family in the 19th century. She cared for the city poor, providing them with woods and potatoes for the winter, and clothes for their children. She always hosted two high school students at home. She died in 1905.

Yosef and Khava Kuten had a son, Eliezer, and a daughter Rachel. The daughter married the lawyer Dr. Gross. The son, Eliezer, actively participated in the affairs of the Jewish community.

The national sentiment was already apparent within the affluent families of Moshe Schwadron, Avraham Yaakov Igel, Fishel Reis, Nakhman Gritz, and Zeev Yosefgebrg. The latter was the husband of Elka, a community activist and the granddaughter of the head of the rabbinical court, Rabbi Yeshayahu Rosenberg.

Against these families stood Yosef Guld, who was very wealthy, but a character of a tough guy, who did not shy away from any means to achieve what he wanted.

One of the veteran families was Tzukerkendel. The patriarch of the family, Avi Tzukerkendel, was a lessee of alcoholic beverage distillers in 1797. One of his great-grandchildren, Wilhelm Tzukerkendel, opened a bookstore in 1870. A short time later, he founded a printing and a folk publishing business.

[Columns 81-82]

The Jewish public soup Kitchen


His business specialized in publishing Polish classic books and international translated literature based on the precedent set by Reklad publisher in Leipzig.

Tzukerkendel's business captured a respectable position in the Polish publishing industry. By 1914, it published more than a thousand books and many translations of Roman and Greek masterpieces.

Three “Talmud Torah” schools [religious schools], containing three hundred pupils and three teachers, were counted in the census, held by the authorities in 1869. There were also fifteen private “Kheders” [religious schools for preschoolers]. The census data does not mention the number of students in public schools.

The famed Viennese scholar and preacher, Rabbi Dr. Adolf Jellinek, had the initiative to establish a fund named after Barone Hirsch. The fund secured capital of 25 million Francs. It aimed at establishing vocational schools for the Jewish youths in Galitsia and Bukovina. Twenty–one elementary and vocational schools were established by that fund in towns throughout Galitsia and Bukovina during 1891 – 1893. As many as 5000 boys and girls studied in these schools. Additionally, 3000 boys who studied in various organizations were supported by the fund.

The fund also supported the establishment of a Jewish elementary school in Zloczow.

The fund management in Lviv established a local committee in Zloczow, headed by Dr. David Bolt [to oversee the school]. Worlenger was nominated to manage the school. Mordekhai Dreyfuss, Shmaryahu Imber, and Yitzkhak Marhgaliot served as teachers.

Since the central management of the fund in Lviv was at the hands of Jewish assimilation extremists, the Jewish studies in that school were neglected, against the regulations. That caused quarrels with the parents, who claimed that: “to educate gentiles, the general schools would suffice and there was no need for a school that carries the name of Barone Hirsch”. Due to the firm position of the parents, the management was forced to establish special Hebrew courses. The teachers, Mordekhai Dreyfuss, and Israel Meshir taught these courses. However, that by itself did not satisfy the leaders of the Jewish national intelligentsia in the city.

In 1905, the parents' association established a “general Kheder” [a school combining religious and general studies] under the management of the intellectual Israel Meshir. The association was headed by Shmuel Wildengur, Nathan Negelberg, Merdekhai Semel, Israel Wolfskoit, and Moshe Auerbach. Hundreds of children studied in the “general Kheder”.

Meshir himself taught the Bible, Hebrew, grammar, and Jewish history. Jewish history was taught according to [historian Heinrich] Graetz (translated by [the Jewish scholar] Saul Pinkhas Rabinowitz). The Kheder encouraged people to establish a Jewish school. The idea materialized when Dr. Simkha Bunim came to live in Zloczow. Under his initiative, a committee supporting the concept of a Jewish school was formed. The committee members were: Dr. Hirschorn and his wife – Sara, nee Tartakover, Dr. Gruber, and Dr. Groskopf.

[Columns 83-84]

The school – “Safa Brurah” [“Clear Language”] headed by Naftali Zigel, was established in the same year as a memorial for Rabbi Feivel Rohatyn.

In 1880, the number of Christian residents in the district of Zloczow reached 107,221 and the Jews – 19,208. Among them, 21,243 Christians (80.4%) resided in 10 cities and towns. 1,791 Jews (28%) lived in 131 villages.

In 1890, the number of Christian residents in the district of Zloczow reached 127,417 and the Jews – 20,947. Among them, 24,389 Christians (19.1%), and 15,834 Jews (75.6%), resided in 10 cities and towns. 2,225 Jews (29.8%) lived in 130 villages.

In 1900, the number of Christian residents in the district of Zloczow reached 140,622 and the Jews – 21,548. Among them, 27,358 Christians (19.5%), and 16,380 Jews (76%), resided in cities and towns. 1,927 Jews (26.4%) resided 130 villages.

In 1921, the number of residents in the district of Zloczow was 107,079. The Jews numbered – 10,522. Among the Jewish residents, 7,476 (41.8%), resided in cities, 1,257 (19.2%) in other urban communities, and 1,819 (2.2%) in villages.

In the city of Zloczow itself there were:

In 1869 – 3200 Jews (44.7%)
In 1880 – 4,046 Jews (48.5%)
In 1890 – 5,086 Jews (50.3%)
In 1900 – 5,401 Jews (45.6%)
In 1910 – 5,243 Jews (39.6%)
In 1921 – 5,744 Jews (51.6%)

The actual number of Jews increased from 3,200 people in 1869 to 5,744 people in 1921. However, the Jewish population percentage decreased from 44.8% in 1869 to 39.6% in 1910. Only in 1921, did that number increase to 51.6%.

The following are the numbers of the Christian residents:

  Poles Ruthenians Others
1880 2,219 (26.6%) 2,048 (24.5%) 34 (0.4%)
1890 2,190 (21.7%) 2,826 (27.9%) 11 (0.7%)
1900 3,302 (25.6%) 3,356 (28.4%) 53 (10.4%)
1910 3,946 (29.8%) 4,003 (30.3%) 42 (10.3%)

The Jewish property registered as real–estate in the deed office reached a total of 6,562 Hectares [1 Hectare = 2.471 acres or 10 Dunam] in 1869 (9.2%). That number reached 11,874 Hectares (17.8%) in 1902.

The number of Jewish real estate owners in 1869 was 13 out of a total number of owners of 101 (94 Christians and 4 public owners). In 1902 there were 22 Jewish owners out of 86 owners (56 Christian owners and 8 public owners).

The JCA [“Jewish Colonization Association], established a credit union in January 1905. The objective was to ease the economic hardship of the retailers and artisans.

In 1906, the credit union included 338 members, 292 loans amounting to 75,230 Krones were issued, 59,493 Krones were paid on these loans, and 1,200 Krones of administrative expenses were incurred.

In 1907, there were 439 members. 327 loans totaling 101,610 Krones were issued. 83,356 Krones were paid on these loans, and 1,522 Krones of administrative expenses were incurred.

In 1908, there were 537 members, and 437 loans totaling 120,210 (?) Krones were issued, 114,889 Krones were paid on these loans, and 2,093 Krones of administrative expenses were incurred.

During the years 1906–1908, 1,342 loans totaling 353,262 Krones were issued, and until 12/13/1908, 284,822 were paid on these loans.

Besides the JCA credit union, there were 25 other credit unions in 1908. Among them, 9 were Christian and 16 Jewish. There were also 47 loan–associations based on Schultz's method. Among them, 17 were Christian, containing 30,768 members, and 30 were Jewish, consisting of 29,863 members. The total amount of the members' stocks in the Jewish associations reached 734,485 Krones in 1908. The reserve fund reached 167,375 Krones and the savings – 2,021,483 Krones. The total amount of loans issued reached 4,264,434 Krones while the administrative expenses reached 115,268 Krones

Among the Jewish community organizations devoted to the needs of the population was the hospital. The construction of the building was completed only in 1885 after numerous and hard efforts. It took a while since “many of the wealthy among us, kept their distance from the charity needs. Their love for their fortune caused them to be always aloof in any effort that was a useful and good endeavor. So they were hard-hearted in this case, and could not be trusted as to support the needs of the people”.

For those reasons, the inauguration of the hospital was delayed until December 1886. Representatives from the government and the officer corp and distinguished people from the Jewish and non–Jewish communities attended the inauguration.

[Column 85]

Rabbi Rohatyn gave a speech in German. After him, the government representative spoke. He praised the diligence of Jews. Dr. Stein, Dr. Shenkar, and Dr. Gross also delivered speeches.

Besides the hospital, there were other public-supported organizations: “Moshav Zkenim” [nursing home], “Talmud Torah” [Torah school for boys], and “Khevre Kadisha” [burial society]. However, they were in a miserable situation due to the apathy of the heads of the community. Only after World War I, did improvements in their state had begun.

To the list of public organizations, we should add “Yad Kharutzim” [Artisans organization] and “Ezrat Yisrael” [organization to help the poor].

The number of academically educated intellectuals grew during the beginning of the 19th century.

The fame lawyers in the city were: Dr. Itamar Eidelberg, Dr. Meiblum, Dr. Yitzkhak Mitelman, Dr. Alter Bernhard, dr. Groskopf, Dr. Menashe Epstein, Dr. Heinrikh Hirschhorn, Dr, Hesel, Dr. Louis Rotenberg, Dr. Halpern, and Dr. Lukah Anzelem.

The fame physicians – Dr. Yosef Guld, Dr. Deutsch, Dr, Bendel Sigmund, Dr. Planer, Dr. Haan, Dr. Baradakh, and Dr. Mintz.


[Columns 85-86]

Chapter 6

Intellectuals and Authors

The Jewish Enlightenment Movement [Haskalah in Hebrew] was late in arriving in Zloczow, despite its proximity to the two Galitsian enlightenment centers, Brody and Ternopil. Although a few in the city were fans of the new movement, at the beginning of the 19th century, they were just a small minority. The Hasidism and the apathy of Zloczow people towards general studies delayed the process of the enlightenment.

We have learned about the following case that occurred in the 1830s:

The book: “Bokhen Tzadik” [“Examine the Righteous”], by Yosef Perl, was published (in Prague) in 1838, without mentioning the name of the author. Similar to Perl's earlier book: “Megaleh Tmirin” [“Revealer of Secrets”] (Vienna, 1819), the book was written as an exchange of letters (between R' Moshe Umanir and Ovadia Ben Ptakhia). In that book, Perl mocked the Hasidim and criticized the failings of the Jewish society in Galitsia as a whole. He pointed at the need for changes by going back to nature – becoming workers of the land. The location of his story was Abdaro (Brody). Perl disliked Brody's rabbis, maggids [preachers], and Torah students on one side and the educated assimilators on the other. One enlightened person from Brody protested sharply against the author. In his critical article, he protested that the book's author was mimicking the book “Megaleh Tmirin” by Perl. He also criticized the author for daring to defame all the Jews in Galitsia, especially in Brody. The article's author suspected that the book's author belonged to the people who opposed the Enlightenment Movement. It took another article, authored by an enlightened intellectual in Zloczow, signed as W.L.K., to reveal that the author of “Bokhen Tzadik” was also Perl. That article had nothing but praises for the book.

The first enlightened people in Zloczow belonged to the generation of the Galitsia Enlightenment Movement's epigones. They appeared after the sun of movement had already set.

One of the first members of Zloczow's enlightened generation was the teacher and melamed, Barukh Stern. He was an educated researcher and a wise Torah student. He was admired by the Hasidim. He educated a generation of enlightened people in the city.

An established circle of enlightened people has already existed in Zloczow in the 1860s – 1870s. Neteh Schorr, the head of the Jewish community, Yehuda Funkenstein, and Shlomo Auerbach belonged to that circle. They all acquired a general and Jewish education. Funkenstein's house contained a rich library of Hebrew, German and French books and served as the center for that camp. The enlightened people and youths of Zloczow who were thirsty for general education would gather there.

The organization, “Khevrat Khokhma Ve'Haskalah” [“Wisdom and Education Association”], was established in 1878. Zealous Hasidim destroyed their center a short while later. Unfortunately, the enlightened people failed to resurrect the association and its reading hall for several years. In the meantime, the whole generation of youths, graduates of general public schools and universities, became adults.

In 1885, the “Wisdom and Education Association” was revived by Itamar Eidelberg and Aharon Rapoport, who founded a Hebrew library with a reading hall filled with Hebrew magazines. The association leaned towards the movement of “Khibat Tzion” [“Love of Zion”]. Unfortunately, the association did not last long and disintegrated with time.

The most prominent figure among Zloczow's enlightened people, Yehuda Funkenstein (1820 – 1890), was a member of a renowned family in the city. One of his ancestors was a community leader at the beginning of the Austrian regime. He was a partner of Kalman in leasing the kosher tax and was embattled in fights with his competitors.

Yehuda Funkenstein – a staunch community character, received a general education. He was particularly hostile against ignorance and superstitious. He went against Admo”rs [a prominent Hasidic rebbe] and tzadikim [righteous and pious people] with a firmness, very reminiscent of the Ternopil Enlightenment Movement's pioneer – Yosef Perl. In Funkenstein's eyes, the latter symbolized the enlightened who stubbornly fought against the rebels who resisted the light.

[Columns 87-88]

Funkenstein did not shy away from any means in his fight with the tzadikim.

Rabbi Uri Ben Pinkhas of Strelisk was the founder of the Hasidic Admo”r dynasty. The story about what Funkenstein did to the Rabbi was well known.

Rabbi Uri was invited to stay with his Hasidic followers in Zloczow, whose numbers were substantial. Rabbi Uri accepted the invitation and came. What did Yehuda Funkenstein do? He used his courageous ties with the authorities to keep the Rabbi afar from the city on Friday night. With this deed, he imitated his mentor, Yosef Perl. In 1829, Perl led to the expulsion of the head of the Hasidic sect, Hirsh Eikhenstein (nicknamed “Hirsh Zydachover” [from Zhydachiv]). He prevented the Rebbe from visiting after the Rabbi was invited, by

Zbarazh, the leader of the Jewish community to spend the Sabbath in the city.

Rabbi Uri Strelisker was forced to spend the Sabbath with his followers in a neighboring village.

Following that event, the Hasidim spread a false rumor that Funkenstein was going insane and that his family was struck by nerve disease.

The intellectual and educated Funkenstein was also an author, He published articles and essays in the [Jewish journal] “HaMaggid”, under a pseudo name “Ivry” [“Israelite”].

As mentioned, the library of Funkenstein, which was filled with Hebrew, German and French books, served as a center where the Enlightened gathered for discussions and debates about literature matters and public issues.

He owned multiple businesses, and his condition was financially sound and integrated with the economic life of Eastern Galitsia.

His son–in–law, Mordekhai Muter, also belonged to Zoczow's Enlightened Camp. Mordekhai was born in 1840 in Berezhany. His mother was married (second marriage) to Simkha Bunim Eiger, the son of Rabbi Akiva Eiger of Poznan. Rabbi Akiva educated Mordekhai. After his marriage, Mordekhai became a banker in Zloczow. He was a learned and educated person. He lectured on Sabbaths about the weekly Torah reading in the “Shulelekhel” [the small synagogue], near the big synagogue. He published articles in Hebrew newspapers and was a public activist. He served continuously for several years as a member of the council of the Jewish community council. He also served as the leader of the community during the years 1908 – 1909.

A completely different character was Ben–Tzion Dreyfus (1843 – 1910), a native of Zloczow. He was an orthodox Jew and scholar. He was also a fan of general education and Hebrew literature from the Enlightenment period. He was one of the friends of the linguist Shulboim. He published articles about the Torah and wisdom. He also authored some language innovations in the [Hebrew magazine] “Ivry Anokhi” [“I am an Israelite”] and the magazine “Ha'Et” [“The Time”] edited by Shulboim.

His son, Ya'akov–Mordekhi (born in 1861), was also one of Zloczow's Enlightened. He published articles in Hebrew journals, including the story, “Doresh Tov Le'Amo” [“Advocating for the Interests of his People”]. He wrote the story against the background of the history of Jews in Switzerland. Ya'akov Mordekhai Dreyfus also served as a teacher in the Zloczow's school named after Barone Hirsch.

Yosef Shalit was also a member of the Enlightened camp. He was born in Zloczow in 1848. He received a traditional education from his father, who was a melamed. However, he was later “enlightened” and published articles in Hebrew newspapers “Ivry Anokhi” and “Ha'Maggid”. Yosef Shalit left Zloczow in 1871 for Vienna, where he learned German. While making a living as a junior clerk at a bank, he continued to publish articles in Viennese newspapers.

Several years later, Yosef Shalit was appointed a senior clerk at the bank. In 1884 he left the bank and used his connections with the Austro–Hungarian finance minister Kalai to establish a private bank with a partner. The bank dealt mainly with the sales of stocks.

At the same time, a German newspaper in Hebrew letters, “Vinner Israellit”, was published in Vienna under the editor, Weiss. The newspaper was established with the help of the Austrian prime minister Traaffe [Taaffe?]. The objective of the newspaper was to influence the Jews towards the conservative orientation of the government. After the death of Weiss, the newspaper was purchased by Ritter Von Stofle. Due to the substantial debt accumulated by the newspaper, Von Stofle sold it to Shalit. The latter published and edited the magazine until 1892. Shalit converted it into a Jewish magazine, which stood guard over the interests of the Jews in Austria, but not according to the spirit of assimilation. Shalit wrote most of the articles by himself. He joined the first Viennese association of the organization “Khibat Tzion” [“Love of Zion”], which advocated settlement in Eretz Israel. Later on, he joined Herzel's Zionist movement[3].

Neteh Schorr also belonged to the enlightened family. He was a pious man who acquired general education. Schorr was an admirer of Rabbi Shraga Rohatyn, a known activist within the Jewish public.

Israel Meshir, a friend of the Teller brothers, was the first enlightened who built a general-education school. Children were taught [Hebrew] grammar and the bible in that school. Meshir contributed substantially to the dissemination of enlightenment in the city with his knowledge and activities.

[Columns 89-90]

We should also count the two Teller brothers among the enlightened as learners and spreaders. They were active in their native city for several years.

Another apprentice of Zloczow's enlightened people was the poet and author of [the Israeli anthem] “HaTikvah”, Naftali Hertz Imber (1856 – 1910). He was born in Zloczow, on Hanukkah Sabbath 5617 (1856), to his father Ya'akov and his mother Hodah. His father, an orthodox Jew and “Mitnaged” [opposing Hasidism] educated him traditionally. Because his mother pampered him, he tended to be capricious. He knew the Bible by heart at the age of ten. At that age, he wrote a poem by the name “Beit Tefilati” [“My House of Prayer”], dedicated to the Prussia–Austria war and the constitution proclamation in Austria (1866). When the story about the song reached Zloczow's enlightened people (via his friend Wagner), they began taking an interest in him. They invited him to stay in their houses. He was especially drawn near the enlightened camp by Yehuda Funkelstein, Shmuel Auerbach, and Neteh Schorr (who was, then, the head of the community). Shmuel Auerbach's daughter taught him reading and writing, and Yehuda Funkelstein invited him to his library. He borrowed reading books from the library and advanced his knowledge in general subjects that way.

When the Hasidim found out about him, they started to harass him. Once, when he was asked by his friends and admirers to give a sermon at the big synagogue, the Hasidim mobilized their followers to prevent it. However, the enlightened people, headed by the community leaders, Neteh Schorr and Yehuda Funkelstein, begged him not to retreat. They encouraged him to give his sermon, despite the resistance of the Hasidim. A harsh feud nearly ensued, but Imber withdrew from delivering the sermon thanks to his mother's intervention.

In 1874, Imber wrote a Hebrew poem dedicated to Emperor Frantz Joseph on the centenary of the annexation of Bukovina by the Austrian Empire. Imber sent the poem to the emperor's court. In response, he received a thank–you letter and a cash gift of 25 Gulden. After receiving the prize from the court, Imber's acclaim rose. The enlightened continued to like him for his conversations and sayings.

After his father's death, the Hasidim increased their harassment and it became very difficult for him to stay in the city. For that reason and to ease the burden on his poor widowed mother, who was taking care of five orphans, he left Zloczow for Brody, and from there, to Lviv.

A new chapter in his life, which was not connected to his native city Zloczow, began. It would be worthwhile to shortly describe it:

In Brody, Imber met Avraham Kromkhel, Rabbi Nakhman Kromkhel's son, who was already a well-known author and researcher. He also met Yehoshua Heshil Schorr, the author of “Ha'Khalutz”, and Yermiyahu Mozen, the author and grammar scholar. As mentioned, Imber later moved to Lviv from Brody. In Lviv, the preacher [Rabbi] Yissaskhar Ber Lunstein, drew him close, hosted him in his house, and hired teachers to teach him general studies.

When his mother found out that he was becoming assimilated, dressing in German clothes, she traveled to Lviv to save her son from the sin of secularism. After many persuasions by the rabbi, she agreed to leave her son with him. However, half a year later, she traveled to Lviv again and took her son back to Zloczow. Imber stayed only a short time in his mother's home. He left her and traveled to Vienna, where, in 1858, he was received by Emperor Franz Joseph for an interview for the third time. Again, Imber received a large cash prize from the emperor. He sent part of the money to his mother and used the rest to travel to Romania through Hungary and Serbia.

In the city of Iasi, Romania, he made a living by giving private lessons. In Iasi, he met Barone Moshe Walberg, the brother of Rabbi Walberg of Yaroslav. The Barone was an orthodox Jew and the author of the book: “Kakh Darka Shel HaTorah” [“That is the Way of the Torah”]. The Barone drew Imber close and hosted him in his house.

According to his own testimony, Imber wrote his song, “HaTikvah”, in 1878, at Barone Waldberg's house. Several years later, when the first colonies in Eretz Israel were established, the song became the national anthem.

In 1879, he moved to Istanbul and made a living by selling haberdashery. In Istanbul, he met Sir Laurence Oliphant while offering him his merchandise. Sir Oliphant, who was an enthusiastic fan of “Khovevi–Zion” [“Lovers of Zion”], conducted negotiations with the Turkish government about allowing for a large settlement movement in Eretz Israel. Oliphant decided to settle in Haifa and offered Imber to be his secretary for Jewish affairs. Imber accepted the offer and traveled with Sir Oliphant to Israel. Oliphant and his wife became Imber's good friends and did not do anything without consulting with him.

Imber lived in Eretz Israel for five years and was very active in helping the new Jewish settlement movement. He felt rejuvenated himself. Like a “troubadour”, he inspired the settlers, whom he called pioneers, with his national poems. He tried to instill courage, pride, and confidence in them. He also helped them in their fight with the officialdom of Barone Rothchild, who tyrannized them as they pleased.

Imber left Haifa (in 1884), due to a fight with Sir Oliphant, and moved to Jerusalem. Oliphant and his wife visited him and tried to appease him, but he refused to go back.

[Columns 91-92]

During that time, Imber published several secular songs and feuilletons, in the magazine “Khavatselet” [“Lili”] against the Christian mission, which was active among Jewish refugees from Russia who lived in Jerusalem.

After a short while, he returned to Oliphant's house in Haifa.

He prepared a collection of Hebrew songs for publication. It was published in 1886 (under the name “Barkai” [“Morning Star”]) with the help of Yekhiel Mikhel Pinnes, who wrote an introduction for the book.

He also began to publish songs in the magazine “HaTzvi” [“The Deer”] of Eliezer Ben Yehuda. However, since Imber supported the rabbis on the issue of the first “Shmita” [1889], a fight broke between him and Ben Yehuda. Imber left the magazine “HaTzvi” and continued to publish his songs and articles in the periodical “Khavatzelet” [“Lili”] of Frumkin.

Imber left for Egypt for a short period before returning to Eretz Israel. After the death of Oliphant, he left Eretz Israel and ended up in London after many wanderings in various countries. In London, he met the famous author, Israel Zangwill, who taught him English. In return, he taught Zangwill Hebrew. He mastered talking and writing English until he secured a permanent position as an author for a local Jewish–English newspaper. He also published Yiddish songs.

However, after a while the spirit of wandering awakened in him again. and he left for America in 1892. He lived pennilessly and in poverty until he became acquainted with Judge Meir Sulzberger from Philadelphia. The judge appreciated his talents and allocated him a decent monthly allowance. As a result, his economic situation had improved.

In America, he published songs and articles in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English in various journals. His essays were written with abundant talent and excelled in their originality. For example, in his research article published in a medical journal, he proved that Professor Koch's therapeutic invention against tuberculosis was not new. He demonstrated that the medication was known from as early as the time of the Tanaim. His article about Jesus spurred a lot of clamors but bought him many enemies.

At the beginning of the 20th century, he prepared a new collection of his Hebrew songs by the name of “Barkai Khadash” [“The New Morning Star”]. The collection was published in Zloczow in 1903. A short time later, he published his third collection by the name “Barkai Shlishi” [“The Third Morning Star”], in New York. That collection contained an English translation.

In 1905, he translated part of the famous Persian poet Omar Khayyam's “quatrains” to Hebrew. He used an English version translated version by Fitzgerald

Besides poems, songs, and articles, he published researches about the history of the coin, ghetto music, mystery, and more.

He received a professor degree for his essays: “The Letters of Rabbi Akiva” (1896) and “Education in the Talmud”, which the US government published at its expense. Later on, he published an English monthly magazine, in Boston, by the name of “Uriel” which dealt with the occult [Kabbalah].

In 1909 he fell sick with kidney disease [due to his chronic alcoholism] and died in New York, poor and impoverished, at 53.

Imber's entire life, activities, and certainly his poetry reflected a single ideal – Zionism. He was devoted to the idea of the revival of the Jewish people in their land in Eretz Israel until his last day.

The love of freedom fueled his dissatisfaction with all norms of society. That made him an eternal wanderer, tempestuous and eaten by yearning, who could not find his place in Eretz Israel nor America.

A characteristic common thread in his life and his poetry had been the tendency to use somewhat intelligent rhetoric. However, he did contribute to Hebrew poetry quite a bit. He could be considered to be the first romantic poet of the new Hebrew literature.

His love for his nation and its land was throbbing throughout his poetry. It also reflected the longing of the nation for returning to Zion.

A short time before his death, he asked his friend, who visited him at his death bed, to sing the “HaTikva”. Imber was convinced that his “HaTikva” would not go down with him to his grave and that it would survive a long time after him. Before his death, he wrote his last song, in which he asked to “bring his bones to Eretz Israel, and bury him in his city – Jerusalem”.

His last request was fulfilled upon the establishment of the state of Israel.

The Teller brothers, Israel Yehuda (born in December 1839) and Tzvi–Eliezer (Born on 18 July 1840), were also natives of Zloczow. They became two of the pioneers of the Enlightened movement in their native city. They received a traditional education at their Rozhin Hasidic home. However, the parents allowed them to study the Bible and Hebrew grammar, German language and generally applied sciences.

Israel spent several years at the court of the Admor of Sadigura although he had already distanced himself from Hasidism, and was already affected by the Enlightened movement. He kept in touch with the Enlightened in Sadhora [Sadigora]. When his ties with the Enlightened movement became known, he was defamed and was not welcomed by Rebbe and his followers. He moved to Botosani in 1868 and worked as a teacher there. Later on, he worked as a teacher in Bakoi, and Focsani and in 1888 in Galatz, where he resided until his Aliya to Eretz Israel (in 1897).

[Column 93]

While in Romania, he joined the movement “Khovevei Tzion”. He was one of the movement's first activities and among the people who initiated the congress in Focsani. That congress convened on 8 Kislev 5646 (30 December 1887). The temporary central committee of “Khovevei Tzion” in Romania was elected at that congress. Teller, who served as the deputy chair, published the congress's resolutions in the Hebrew newspapers “HaShakar” and “HaMaggid”. In a special article, Teller called Jews in Romania to join “Khovevei Tzion”. His call aimed at increasing the revenues of the organization. He urged the members to help in doing “the noble and inspiring holy work, none of which existed in the Jewish life for thousands of years since we arrived at the diaspora”.

Teller also played a leading role in preparing for the large congress held in Focsani on 30–31st December 1882. He was the one who gave the opening and closing speeches in that congress.

His activities and education contributed substantially to the movement's support of the settlement in Eretz Israel. In 1886 he wanted to make Aliya together with the founder of the colony Zikhron Yaakov. However, “Kovevei Tzion” did not let him leave the movement, which was still in its beginning stages. They feared that without his activity, the movement would fall apart.

He was the driving force at the national conference of “Khovevie Tzion”, which convened in Galatz on 7– 8 January 1895, and at the second conference. He also served as the secretary of the central committee of the organization.

He always stood on guard and invested substantial efforts to settle the conflicting views and personal feuds that broke between the leaders, Dr. Karl Lippa and Shmuel Pinnles. He also published essays and reports about the happenings at “Khovevie Tzion” in Romania. At the conference itself, he brought up practical proposals to enhance the collection of contributions and amplify the information dissemination among the Jewish public.

Israel Teller also devoted himself to his literacy work besides his public engagement and teaching work. He was a linguist and grammarian and published many linguistic pieces of research. His research concentrated on improving the Hebrew accent and the restoration of the grammar theory and corrections in vowel dotting. He advocated the abolition of the use of the “dagesh forte” [consonant–doubling] and the Hebrew grammatic law of “begedkefet” [non–emphatic consonants lenition], both of which complicate speech. He collected his linguistic research in a book, “Torat HaLashon” [“The Theory of the (Hebrew) Language”], published in Jerusalem in 5673 (1912). He published poems in newspapers and literary supplements and later, issued them in a collection called – “Higaion Lev” [“ The Logic of the Heart”] in 5663 (1902). His other publications included: “Otzar Balum” [“A Treasure Trove”], Jaffa 5682 (1921), and “Binah Be'Toltdot Avoteinu” [“Wisdom in the History of Our Ancestors”], [Jaffa, 5676 (1915/6)]. He also published the book “Ben-Oni” issued in memory of his son Yehuda –a teacher in Rehovot that died at the young age of 24.

[Column 94]

Dr. Reuvan Schwager


The brother of Israel Teller, Tzvi–Eliezer, was a Hebrew teacher, in the Jewish school in Botosani, from 1866 to 1866. That school was established by the intellectual Hillel Kahana (1827 – 1908), a native of Galitsaia. Tzvi Eliezer was also active in public life.

During the 1860s, the situation of the Romanian Jews worsened. The conditions continued to deteriorate by the day due to the persecution by the regime. The Jewish public started to consider immigration. An argument emerged among Romanian Jews: Where to immigrate, America or Eretz Israel. The Hebrew author, Aharon Yehuda Leib Horwitz (AIL” H), was one of the principal supporters of immigrating to America. He made himself an example for others by moving himself to America in 1870. He worked there in the Hebrew newspaper “HaTsofe BeEretz Khadasha” [“The Observer in a New Land”]. He also authored the book “Romania and America” (Berlin, 1874).

The first group of 30 families immigrated to America in 1872. Another group of 500 families was organized in Botosani. The objective of the group was to work the land in America. Tzvi–Eliezer Teller, who published articles from Roamina in the magazine “Ha'Maggid”, was one of the group's organizers. He and David Yeshayahu Silberbusch established the monthly magazine “HaOr” [The Light”] in Botosani, in 1872.

Following the pogroms in Russia in 1881, Tzvi Eliezer concluded that the flow of Russian refugees should not be directed to America, from one diaspora to another, but Eretz Israel,

[Columns 95-96]

to settle it and revive the historical homeland.

Tzvi Eliezer Teller, who like his brother Israel was a rhymer, published the song “Shuvah Israel” [“Return, Jews”]. In that song, he came out against the trend of assimilation and the mockery of Jewish nationalism and Hebrew among the Enlightened.

Tzvi Eliezer Teller was nominated (in 1892) as a Hebrew teacher, when the schools funded by the fund of Barone de Hirsch, were established. He taught at the school in Boryslav. Immediately upon his arrival, he became active in public affairs. His first act was to establish a national association, “Bnei Tzion” with a library and a reading hall.

The management of the Barone Hirsch schools was at the hands of the assimilators. They tended to put obstacles to the teaching of the Hebrew language. That led to frequent quarrels between Teller and the management. However, he did not balk and continued to criticize the neglect of the Hebrew studies. He continuously and sternly demanded to remedy the situation.

Tzvi Eliezer moved from Boryslav to the school in Pomoryani [Pomorzhani] and taught there until he died in 1920. When he lived in Romania, Tzvi Eliezer Teller published articles and songs in Hebrew journals. He was also interested in the political situation of the Jews in the Balkan. In his article: “Teudon Israel” ([“Jewish Aspirations”] Brody, 5638 –1878), Tzvi Eliezer requested equal rights for the Jews of the Balkan. He published poems for various festivities and Jubilees, like the poem “Ben Porat Yosef” [“ Beloved Son”] in honor of the visit to Galitsia by the crown prince Rudolph (Lviv 5642 – 1881/2). Other poems include “Masah to Galitsia” [“A Trip to Galitsia”], on the occasion of the trip to Galitsia by Rabbi Immanuel Vinitsiani [Secratary of Barone de Hirsch] (Drohobych, 5648 –1888), a collection of songs “Siftei Renanot” [“Lips of Songs”] (Drohobych, 5652 –1891/2), “Tziona”, national and Zionist songs on the occasion of the fifth [Zionist] Congress in Basle (Drohobych, 5662, 1901), and his second collection of his songs “Hed HaAm” [The Echo of the People] (Drohobych 5673 – 1912/3)

The following are some of his stories: “Mistarim” [“Concealed”] (Drohobych, 5641 – 1880/1), “Nakhalat Avot” [Patrimony] (5655 – 1894/50), about the leader Khaim Shternbach from Boryslav, “Shlomim” (5665 – 1904/5), “Osher Shamur” [“Guarded Wealth”] (5667 – 1906/7), and “Ekharti Lavo” [“I Came Late”] (Lviv, 5668 – 1907/8). He was also the editor of the Jewish periodical “HaEitanim” [“The Forceful”].

Tzvi Eliezer translated to Hebrew the play “HaYehudim” [“The Jews”] by Lessing (Vienna, 5641 – 1880/1), and “Kesher Ben Nethania” [“A Plot by Nethania's Son”] by Ludwig Phillipson (Krakow,5648 – 1887/8). He wrote “Shem Olam” [“World Renown”], describing the life of the preacher from Lviv, Bernard Levinstein (Krakow, 5649 – 1888/9). As an author, Tzvi Eliezer Teller was a typical intellectual. He considered literature as a meaningful way of preaching and guidance.

Yitzkhak Maragliot, the son of Berl Broder Margaliot (the founder of “Brody Singers” 1815–1868), was at the same age as Naftali Hertz Imber. He was born on 8th November 1855 in Podkamin, studied there in a Kherder, and later on in Brody. After the death of his father in Iasi, he moved to Zloczow with his mother. There he studied in the “Beit HaMidrash”. A turning point in his life occurred when he was exposed to Enlightened books. He began to study German. In 1892 he became a teacher at the Jewish school in Sasov and later on in Zloczow. As an educator and teacher, he knew to attract the youth and influence them to become productive according to the national spirit.

He started to publish Hebrew songs from a young age in the periodical “Ivri Anoki” [“I'm an Israelite”]. Later on, he published feuilletons, stories, and songs, in Yiddish, under pseudo names such as Y”Sh [In Hebrew acronym of fear of Heaven] and “Yam Tzioni” [“Zionist Sea”]. He published in the periodicals “Karmel” of Reuven Asher Broide, “Veker” [“The Spectator”] of Eliezer Rokeach, and in the Yiddish daily newspapers.

In his stories, Margaliot described the Jewish folklore in Galitsia's Jewish shtetels during the latest years of the 19th century. In his articles, he preached productization, organization of craftsmen, and changes in the life of the Jewish people. He was a nationalist and Zionist.

When World War I broke, he ran away to Vianna, where he wrote romances, plays, and Hasidic stories, which were kept hand–written. His son, who lives in New York has them now.

In 1918, he returned to Zloczow and passed away there on 23rd December 1919.

Arye Leib Schwartz, a native of Zloczow was a completely different character. He published a collection of Hebrew songs translated to Yiddish called “Shirei Emunim” (Lviv, 1881, 100 pages) [“Songs of Faith”]. The publication received the approval of tzadikim and the leaders of the religious association of “Makhzikei HaDat” [“Keepers of the Religion”].

In his poetry, Schwartz, a zealous Hasid, highlighted the fight of the Glaitsia's Enlightened against the Haredim. He attacked the seculars and the Enlightened who mock the pious. He warned against the influence of the assimilators and the Enlightened intellectuals, which could lead, in his opinion, to the collapse of Jewish life in Galitsia. He blamed them for creating a deep void between the old generation and the new. He especially poured out his wrath upon the religious youth, who read Enlightened books to learn Hebrew and thereby fall into the atheists' net. He referred to those who publish Hebrew songs only to spread their ideas. He directed his anger particularly against the poet and singer “Velvel'li Zbarazh'er ([Benjamin Wolf] Ahronkrantz [from Zbarazh]) whom he named “chief evil”. He referred to him as someone whose pen was abounding with mockery and venom towards the pious. He also came out sharply against the boycott on Yiddish imposed by parents who pushed their children to learn Polish and German.

[Columns 97-98]

In the second part of his song collection “Shirei Emunim”, Schwartz described the sorrow state of the Jewish merchants.

Anshel Schorr, also a native of Zloczow (born in 1871), received traditional education at home. His father was a zealous Hasid and a melamed of the Mishnah and Halakha. However, Anshel studied Polish and German secretly. Anshel established the worker association “Shiloh” (power) at the end of the 1880s. He wrote the Yiddish play “May di shvueh bay der royter fon” [“May Oath to the Red Flad”] and showed it to the members of the group.

Anshel became an actor and joined the theater of Gimpel in Lviv. In 1890, the famous actor, Yaakov Adler, took him to America, where he first served as a prompter and later–on actor. He returned to Zloczow because he missed his parents. In Zloczow, and joined a troupe of actors who performed in Galitsia and Romania. In 1900, he returned to America, where he wrote songs for operettas and plays. He toured in the cities of America and Argentina. He died on 1 June 1942.

The following are additional authors and poets who were born in Zloczow:

  1. Shmuel Yaakov Imber, son of Shmaryahu and the brother of Naftaly Hertz, was one of the first modern Yiddish poets. Born in Sasov on 24 February 1889, he received a Jewish education at home. Shmuel Yaakov studied at a high school in Zloczow and Lviv. Later on, he attended the University of Lviv and obtained a doctorate in philosophy. In his youth, he published songs in Yiddish and Polish. In 1909, he published a collection of his songs: “Vos ikh zing un zag” [“What I sing and say”]. Two years later, he published the poem “Ester'ke”. In 1914 he published a second song collection: “Royzenbleter” [“Rose Petals”]. Following his visit to Ertez Israel, he published “In Yudeshen Land” [“In the Jewish Land”] (Lviv 1912) and “Heym Lider” [“Songs from Home”] (1918). He edited and published the journal “Litearishe Flugshriftn” [“Literary Pamphlets”]. He also published in the Yiddish and Polish newspapers. During 1933 – 1938 he published two polemic books against racism and anti–Semitism, using satirical and witty language. He was killed by the Nazis in 1942.
  2. Moshe Leib Halpern (1886 – 1932) was born in Zloczow and received a Jewish education. He was a student at the Jewish school in Zloczow. At the age of 12, he was sent to Vienna to learn the craft of sign painting. He was influenced by the modern German language there. When he returned, he began to write, in Yiddish, under the influence of Imber and Yaakov Memshal, He wrote for the Lviv's daily– “Tagblet”, and later on in the “Yiddeshe Arbeiter” [“The Jewish Worker”]. He immigrated to America in 1908 and participated in the periodicals: “Yiddishe Falk” [“Jewish People”], and “Yiddisher Kemper” [“The Jewish Fighter”]. He published literary anthologies together with Moshe Nadir. Moshe Leib was a representative of the “Yung Yiddish” (Young Yiddish) authors movement. He started as a satirist and humorist but went through a turning point upon the publication of his poem: “The Goldeneh Paveh” [“The Golden Peacock”], in which he demonstrated a philosophical skepticism.
  3. Yaakov Mestel was born in Zloczow in 1884. He completed his studies at the teacher school in Lviv and became a teacher. In 1907 he moved to Vienna and studied drama, and during 1910 – 1914 he worked in the Yiddish theater there. During the years 1914 – 1918, he served as an officer in the Austrian military. He was injured on the front and was awarded a medal. In 1918 he immigrated to America and joined the theater of Morris Schwartz.
    He became active in Yiddish literature in 1903. He edited the periodical, “Yung Galitsisher Almanakh” [“Young Galitsia Almanac”] along with Dr. Tzvi Shpitzer. He also published the collections of songs, “Ferkhlomteh Shaah” [“Dreamt Hour”] (1909), “A Lebens Li'ed” [“Life Song”] (1911), and “Dimyonot” [“Images”] (a dramatic trilogy). He also issued notes from the war: “Milkhama Natizen fon a Yidesheh Ofitzer” [“Notes from the War by a Jewish Officer”]. He wrote the following books: “Yiden in der Nieste Deutscher Literatur” [“Jews in the latest German Literature”] and “Yidesheh Ofitzern in der Estreikhisher Armey” [Jewish Officer in the Austrian Army”].
  4. David Shrentzel was born in Zloczow in 1897 to pious parents. He served in the Austrian military, at the Italian front, during World War I. Upon his return from the war, he became one of “Poalei Tzion” [“Workers of Zion”] organization activists. He took an active role in the organization newspaper and also published a song collection: “Oisen Hartzen” [“Out of Mind”].
  5. Moshe Pitznik was born in Zloczow in 1895 to his banker father. He published articles and feuilletons in Lviv's “Tagblat” and the “Yiddisher Arbeiter”. During the Ukrainian regime in Eastern Galitsia, he published a weekly in Zloczow named “Folksblat” [“People's paper”]. He took interest in folklore and published several articles on the subject. He translated the “Odyssey” by Homer to Yiddish with a commentary. He also published two novels in ancient Yiddish “Sefer Reb Kalman Ani” [“A Book about the Poor Mr. Kalman”] and “Moshe Kabtzan” [“Moshe the Beggar”]. The subject of these books was the Enlightenment movement.
  6. The famed Hebrew publicist and author, Dr. Avraham Schwadron–Sharon, was also a native Zloczow, a member of an old and honorable family in the city. He was born to his father Yitzkhak Schwadron on 12 Elul 5647 [should be 5638] (1883 – [should be 1888]) in the village of Bieniow near Zloczow. He was educated according to Jewish traditional–national spirit. Avraham excelled in his abilities as a child and was considered a prodigy.
[Column 99]
    He arrived at “Yoreh De'ah” at the age of 6 – 7. Later on, he studied at the yeshiva of his uncle, Mordekhai Schwadron Ha'Kohen the Rabbi of Berezhany. He graduated from high school as an external student. Later, he studied chemistry at a university in Vienna. He was one of the founders of the student association “Ha'Tkhia” [“The Revival”] in Vienna. He started to collect hand–written notes of Jewish greats. The Chief Rabbi of Vienna, Dr. Mordekhai [Moritz] Giudemann, sent him a citation letter. In that letter, the rabbi praised Schwadron for his commentary on a Hebrew manuscript, which the rabbi had a problem in deciphering in his book: “HaTorah and Khaim Be'Artzot Ha'Ma'arav, Be'Yemei Ha'Beina'im” [“The Torah and Life in the Western Countries During the Middle Ages”]. That citation encouraged Schwadron to start with his lifetime project, which later became the foundation for the national collection of autographs, portraits, and manuscripts of prominent Jews [The Rabbi's letter became the first document in his collection]. Schwadron invested several decades of effort and a substantial amount of money researching and purchasing the collection documents.
    After he made Aliya to Eretz Israel in 192 Schwadfron donated his entire valuable collection to the Israel National Library. The collection was established as a unified assemblage in memory of his parents, and he was nominated to manage it. By 1954, the collection grew to 17,000 autographs, portraits, and manuscripts of prominent Jews from as early as the 15th century.
    He began to publish articles and essays, in German, about the fundamental problems, faced by the Zionist movement, when he was still a student. He expressed his opinions, which were extreme and free from any party affiliation, wittingly.
    He advocated “Cruel Zionism”, which denounced the diaspora and demanded all the Jews to leave their countries and make Aliya to Eretz Israel before they were forced to leave. He suggested expelling all the Arabs from Eretz Israel to Arab countries to avoid a potential future irritant for the Jewish state. He also advocated that the land would only be for the Jews.
    In 1957, a short time before his death, he arranged all of his writings in two volumes.
    The following are some of his major publications:
    His chemistry research, which published by the Sciences Academy of Vienna in 1911
[Column 100]
  1. Dr. Avraham Sharon was also a musician. He composed the melodies for nine of poet Rachel's songs published in two pamphlets during the years, 5694 – 5696 (1933/4 – 1935/6).


Chapter 7

The Zionist Movement

In 1894, Zionism publicity effort began in Zloczow. At an assembly that took place in August of that year, M. Ehrenpreis and Yehoshua Thon gave speeches, and a committee, which was tasked with preparations for Zionist activities, was established. Moshe Aharon Neiger, Yitzkah Schwadron, and Avraham Yaakov Igel were nominated to head the committee. The first act of the committee was to establish a Zionist association by the name “Degel Yeshurun” [” The Jewish Flag”]. Despite the objections of the Haredim [ultra-orthodox Jews], the new association unified within its ranks the best of the progressive religious Jews.

The following is some information about the founders:

Moshe Aharon Neiger received basic traditional education at home. His father was a wise man who was knowledgeable about world affairs and had secular knowledge. In his youth, Moshe Aharon was known to be a diligent student who studied day and night. He knew the Jewish literature thoroughly. He was also well-informed about the research books concerning the Middle Sges. Despite his piousness, he was one of the firsts to join the Zionist movement and devoted himself to public activism. Many Haredim followed him and joined “Degel Yeshurun”. He moved to Tarnow, where, in 1906, he assembled the first conference of the “HaMizrakhi” [religious Zionist party].

Yitzkhak Schwadron, a known industrialist in Galitsia who owned a wine factory, was born in 1848 in Bereslavka [Yanovka]. Together with his brother, Rabbi Shalom Mordekhai (who later became one of Galitsia Torah greats and the rabbi in Barazhani), he received a traditional Jewish education at home. However, Yitzkhak also learned sciences and was one of the fans of the new Hebrew literature. Despite his piousness (he was a Hosiyatin's Hasid), he was among the first Zionist activists in his town and stood guard over the national ideology.

Schwadron was among the admirers of Dr. Herzl and sent him a gift of wine bottles from his factory. In his letter from February 2, 1889, Dr. Herzl thanked him for his generous gift, however, he noted not to be accustomed to these “spiritual” beverages. Schwadron was a representative in the eleventh Zionist Congress in Vienna and was the Chairman of the “Bnei Tzion” {“Sons of Zion”] association.

[Columns 101-102]


The District Court in Zloczow


Shmaryahu Imber (1866 – 1950), the brother of Naftali Hertz and the father of Dr. Shmuel Yaakov Imber, served as a teacher for many years at the school named after Barone de Hirsch. He educated the youth in the spirit of Nationalism and Zionism. Together with Teller, Shmaryahu came out against the elimination of Hebrew in these schools. He was active in the Zionist movement during his entire time in Zloczow. After he escaped to Vienna in 1914, he continued his Zionist activity there. He made Aliya to Eretz Israel in 1933. He was among the founders and activists of “Brit HaRishonim” [“The Founders' Covenant”], an association of the Zionist founders. Shmaryahu published a selection of his brother's writings (Tel Aviv, 5689 – 1929). He also wrote articles and feuilletons I Hebrew and Yiddish.

The first Zionist ball, organized by “Degel Yeshurun” took place during the holiday of Sukkot 5655 [1894]. The Hebrew author Reuven Moshe Broides, Yitzkhak Schwadron, and Khaim Neiger gave speeches at the ball.

One of the initial activities of the Zionists was to wage a war against the management of Barone de Hirsch's school. That management had purposely neglected the teaching of the Hebrew language. In protest, Rabbi Feivel Rohatyn quit the school committee. The Zionist committee members, Grafein and Tzukerkendel, also resigned.

In that fight, the Zionists were helped by the teacher, Shmaryahu Imber, one of the first teachers in that school.

Moshe Aharon Neiger and Yitzkhak Schwadron were among the influential activists of the association. They devoted most of their time and effort to publicizing the idea of a national home for the Jews and encouraged support of the settlements in Eretz Israel.

The following people were among the founders and first activists of the association: Yitzkhak Butcher, Israel Yetzes, David Meir Shalit, Ben-Tzion Lehrer, Hirsh Rosenboim, and Avraham Yaakov Igel.

In 1898 the association had already 102 members. The association began to sell stocks of the “Jewish Colonial Trust” in 1899. About 400 stocks were sold In Zloczow.

In 1899, representatives of academic students from Zloczow participated in the academic conference in Galitsia. It took place in Lviv on 25-26 July. A resolution passed at the conference called for giving national rights to Jewish students.

Preparations for the Viennese Parliament (in four curiae) began in Galitsia in 1900. In the second curia, encompassing cities, an election of a Jewish representative for the district of Brody-Zloczow seemed feasible.

Adolf Shtandt turned to Dr. Herzl on September 9, 1900, about that election, as he thought that Zionist should participate. He proposed that the Zionist executive committee publish a proclamation containing general principles in preparation for the election. He further proposed that Dr. Herzl, the leader of the Zionist movement, would issue a request for all Jews to adhere to those principles. However, the executive committee decided against it, and Galitsia's Jews did not participate in the election campaign. In Lviv, the Zionists supported the candidate, Ernest Breiter.

Initially, Dr. Shaul Refael Landau, who had quarreled with Herzl, arrived in Brody and Zloczow. He requested to become the Zionist candidate opposing the candidate from Zloczow, Dr. Emil Bik. He presented himself as the candidate on behalf of the organization “Yudisher Falks-Ferein” [“The Union of The Jewish People"] in Vienna. He told the president of the “Bnei Tzion” association that he received 15,000 Guldens from the Union for expenses associated with the election. He claimed by using that fund he would certainly be able to bit Dr. Bik. However, it became evident, pretty quickly, that he also presented himself as a Jewish national socialist before the Jewish socialists.

“Bnei Tzion” association, and Yitzkhak Schwadron himself,

[Column 103-104]

turned to the Zionist Executive committee in Vienna, in a confidential letter, to ask for instructions.

Dr. Landau, who realized that he encountered a frosty reception, removed his candidacy. Dr. Emil Bik was elected in the Brody-Zloczow district.

Dr. Yaakov Grosskpf, who headed the organization “Ahavat Tzion” [“Love of Zion”], was active in the Zionist movement in the region during 1901 – 1904. During that time, the association of “Poalie Tzion” [“Workers of Zion”] had already existed. Its leader was Yaakov Rekht. A Zionist women association, “Ohel Leah” [“Leah's Tent”], headed by Sara Vashitz, was also established.

The association of “Tzeirei Tzion” [“Youths of Zion”] encompassed the high school students. The association organized courses for learning the Hebrew language and Jewish history.

In 1911 four Zionist high school youth organizations contained 80 members.

In 1907, the union - “Bakhurei HaTalmud” [“Talmud Youths”], which served the religious students of Beit HaMidrash - “Hashakhar” [“The Dawn”] was established in Galitsia. A branch for that union, headed by Yosef Miller, was established in Zloczow. Yosef Miller also created a district committee for the entire district.

In 1910, a branch of “HaMizrkahi”, headed by Nathan Schorr, was already active in the city. Two representatives of the branch, Binyamin Zusman and Tzvi Weitzman, were elected to the central state committee. Their election took place during the founding conference of the “HaMizrkahi” party in Galitsia.

The Zionist movement waged a war against the assimilated during that period. The movement also raised the issue of national autonomy for the Jews with the government. The movement expanded throughout the entire Jewish population in Galitsia and helped to create an atmosphere of nationalism pride among the Jews. It clearly demonstrated that the aspiration for independent national existence was alive and deep-rooted. A strong demand to recognize the Jews as a nation was issued in every gathering. The Jews of all Galitsia's cities, including Zloczow, signed a petition, requesting as much. The petition was submitted to the central government in Vienna.

That movement worried the assimilated people and the activists of the Jewish community, who hatefully tried to choke any Jewish national aspirations.

in their eagerness to weaken and suppress the Zionist movement, Dr. Bik and his colleagues did not shy away from drastic steps, which led to the closure of Zionist companies and even Hebrew schools by the authorities.

On February 7, 1906, the presidents of the Zionist associations in cities throughout Galitsia, including Zloczow, received an order to close all Zionist associations and their affiliated schools.

The Austrian Parliament representatives, Dr. Shtraukhel and Ernest Breiter turned to the interior minister. They protested against the ploys of the Galitsian authorities, which acted entirely against the constitution. The query was supported by representatives from various parties, except the Social-Democrats.

In its political activities, the Zionist movement experienced even a more difficult struggle with the assimilated and the authorities following Dr. Bik's death, on July 23, 1906. His seat, representing Brody and Zloczow, was vacated upon his death. The Zionist Union was thereby allowed to withstand a test of its might in its first political fight.

The first [Zionist] rallies in Zloczow and speeches, which were

filled with pure enthusiasm and national courage, invigorated the Jewish masses. The leaders of the Jewish community were stunned to see the robust cheers of the crowd. They realized that, for the first time, that they were dealing with a popular movement, which had already stroke deep roots in the hearts of the masses. The Zionists in Brody and Zloczow selected their leader, Adolf Shtand, as their candidate. Against him, the assimilated elected Dr. Yosef Guld, positioning him as a national-Polish candidate. The physician, Dr. Guld, lucked any political experience and did not have any Jewish public standing. Even with the help of the authorities, the assimilated leaders could not suppress the enthusiasm that the masses exhibited towards the Zionist candidate. The Jews saw him as a symbol of their freedom from the traditional leadership of the Jewish community. Despite all of that, the Zionists failed.

Unprecedented and despicable coarse forgeries and deceptions helped Dr. Guld to receive most of the votes. He was elected to be the representative to the parliament.

Despite their failure, the Zionist passed their first political test successfully. They were the real winners. They inspired the Jews and instilled faith in the power of the Jewish nation in them.

The passing of the new election law in the Austrian Parliament, which granted all the citizens, the right to vote, resulted in a turning point in political life.

[Column 105-106]

The Zionists elected Adolf Shtand as their candidate Brody / Zloczow. The Assimilated elected Dr. Wahrlrand, a senior official in the treasury department of Galitsia. Dr. Wahrland was a wealthy man, but he had no political experience or recognition. Early on, he approached the Zionist Union with a promise to donate several thousand Krones to their campaign and to adopt the political policy of the Zionists. His condition for that support was that the public would only find out about that contribution after the election when he would not depend anymore on his Polish superiors. He wrote a letter with that offer to the Zionist, Dr. Tsiper. Obviously, his offer was rejected. He then turned to the assimilated. However, his letter to Dr. Tsiper was published, and as a result, he came out of this demoralized.

As many as 5876 people participated in the election in Brody-Zloczow. Dr. Wahrland received 1517 votes. The Jewish Social-Democrat, Dr. Heinrikh Lunherz-1244 votes and Shtand – 1493. Since no candidate received an absolute majority, the authorities called a special election between Shtand and Wahrland. In those elections, Adolf Shtand was elected with a large majority.

Election to the community was held after the election to the parliament. The following people were elected: Yosef Guld, Dr. Yitzkhak Mitelman (Zionist), Avish Garfunkel, Nakhman Gritz, Markus Sitter, Nathan Schorr, Leizer Schwartz, Dr. Yaakov Groskopf (Zionist), Dr. Itamar Eidelberg (Zionist), Dr. Bermard Alter, Shaul Roller, and Lipa Maar. Yosef Guld was elected as the leader and Eliezer Kuten as his deputy (During the years 1913 – 1914, Dr. Yitzkhak Mitelman served as the deputy). The following people were elected to the community's central management team: Avish Garfunkel, Nakhman Gritz, and Markus Khoter [Sitter?].

The elected Zionist representative challenged the archaic regime of the assimilated. They demanded to modernize the community's orientation and character to address the needs and aspirations of the Jewish population.

Dr. Guld, who was elected as a mayor for the city, participated in a national referendum about the Jewish question, held in January 1911. The referendum was held by the state committee of the Galitsian Sejm. Only two Zionist representatives were invited to participate: Adolf Shtand and Avraham Kurkis.

However, Dr. Guld supported the assimilated position who warned the Poles not to support Hebrew schools. They wanted to prevent Zionism from spreading. The referendum resulted in some [positive?] resolutions. However, these resolutions stayed on paper and did bring any changes in the state of the Jews.

Election the Austrian Parliament was held in the same year – 1911.

Ernest Breiter was elected in Zloczow but he gave up his seat since he was also elected in Lviv. Special elections were therefore held in Zloczow in November 1911. Henrik Rittses (1878 – 1931), who was supported by the Zionists was elected. Rittses served as a representative in the Austrian parliament until the collapse of the monarchy in 1918. He was a Jewish nationalist and stood guard to defend and advance Jewish interests. During World War I, he was among the people who organized assistance to the Jewish refugees from Galitsia.

In 1910, a branch of the Zionist bank “Unia Kredytowa” was established in Zloczow.

In the election to the municipality, which took place in 1912, three Zionists were elected: Dr. Eidelberg, Dr. Yaakov Grosskpf, and Dr. Landsberg.

During that period, the Zionists were active in all Jewish life affairs. The Zionist movement in the area was headed by Dr. Eidelberg, Dr. Hirschhorn, Dr. Feldman, and Dr. Groskopf.

The Zionist influence increased to such an extent that in December 1913, when the Zionists organized protest rallies against the relief society “Hilfsferein” policy against Hebrew in the Technion Institute in Haifa, the assimilated joined the protest movement in Zloczow. Dr. Guld participated in the protest rally in Zloczow on behalf of the assimilated people.

The Zionist organization played a crucial role in directing and defining the Jewish public life in the city before World War I.

The Zionist Union made preparations for another election campaign [when the war broke].


Author's Note:
  1. Shalit was the father of Isidore Shalit, Hrezl private secretary, and Leon Shalit, a famed author who wrote in English and German and the one who translated John Galsworthy's writings. Return


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