Latvian Jewry

Translation of
Yidn in Letland

Edited by: Mendel Bobe

Published in Tel Aviv 1972




This is a translation from Yidn in Letland (Latvian Jewry),
Editor: Mendel Bobe, Published Tel Aviv 1972 (Y 368 pages)

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Latvia (1972)

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Translated by Yocheved Klausner

Foreword 9
The Beginnings and Development of the Jewish Settlement in Latvia (from the 16th cent. to 1918)
The Development of the Baltic Region 13
The geo-political situation
The Livonian Order
The social structure of the Livonian Order
The collapse of the Order
Political Changes in the Latvian Region 16
The geographical sections of Latvia
The legal situation of the Jews
Courland 18
The residence of the Courland Bishops
Magnus of Holstein, the “King of Livonia”
The situation in the Pilten region during the Polish period
Jews in the Courland Dukedom
Conflict of interests among the various sections of the population concerning the Jewish immigration
The Jewish part in the Monarchy income
Deportation and other punishment for illegal residence
“Protection tax” for the right to reside in Courland
Concessions for craftsmen
Duke Johann von Biran
The opposition of the local merchants to the Jewish merchants' petition
The dark period of Duke Carol; the return of Duke Biran
The polemic concerning the Jewish Problem
The Jews in Mitau
The liquidation of the Courland Dukedom
Lipland - Riga 32
The social structure of the Riga residents
“Commerce-tax” for Jews; the ghetto-like “Jewish Quarter” in town
Riga under Russian rule
The deportation in 1742
Jewish Achievements during the Rule of Katerina II 38
Jewish mediators in the colonization of “New-Russia”
“Protection-Jews” in Riga
The Jewish Community in Riga and its Elders
“Legal citizens” of the summer-resort Schlock
The growth of the Jewish settlement in Riga - its organization between 1813-1822
Courland and Lipland - Riga under Russian Rule 46
The number of Jews in Courland; their economic situation
The legal conditions of Courland Jews
Decision of the Senate
The proposition of the Mitau Jews
Rights granted to the Courland Jews in 1799
The “Pale of Settlement” law of 1804 and its consequences
The 1835 Law
The interpretation of the 1835 Law in Riga
The six-year struggle of the Riga Jews for their rights
Latgale 55
The history of Latgale
Jewish immigration to Latgale
The number of Jews in Latgale in the 18th century
The Period of Czar Russia 57
Historic overview of the development of the Jewish settlement in Russia until the 18th century
The epoch of Katerina II (1762-1796)
The “Pale of Settlement”
Jews in the villages of the “Pale”
Double taxes
Special tax payments
Tax payments in Riga
Changes in the taxing laws; introducing “light-tax”
Unique tax laws in Riga and Courland
The social attitude toward the general tax and light-tax
Jewish army service during the reign of Nikolai I
Liquidation of the communities
Elimination of the Jews from civil, military and other government branches
On the Threshold of the Twentieth Century 67
Political and economical changes during the reign of Alexander II (1855-1881)
Change in the attitude toward Jews
Increase in the number of the Jewish population; their contribution to the economic development of the Baltic region
The community in Riga; the main branches of Jewish economic activity
The reactionist tendencies in the 1880s; their consequences concerning Jewish rights of residence in Riga and Courland
The number of Jews in Latgale and their professions
The Cultural Situation of Jews in Courland, Riga and Latgale 75
Cultural situation of the Courland Jews
Traditional life in Courland; the Lithuanian influence
The Courland type of Latvian Judaism
The Jews in Riga; the influence of the German culture
The Jews from the “Pale of Settlement”
Religious life in Riga
Cultural and Social Institutions
Cultural and religious life in Latgale
Political and National Movements 89
The social and revolutionary movement in Russia
Pogrom instigation against Jews
The Zionist movements
Latvian Jews in the Hovevei Zion movement
First settlement in Hadera
Latvian Jews in the Zionist movement
Tze'irei Zion
The “Bund” in Latvia
The 1905 Revolution
The beginning of the Zionist-Socialist idea
The underlying theoretical principles of the Zionist socialism
The Zionist-Socialist parties
Pogroms and self-defense
The Struggle for Equal Rights; Jewish Representatives from Courland in the Duma; The 1909 Kovno Conference 109
“Association of Jewish Equal Rights”
Jewish Representatives from Courland in the four “Duma"s
The 1909 Kovno Conference
The First World War 114
The attitude toward Jews at the beginning of the war
The deportation of the Courland Jews
The Aid Committee in Riga
The “Guarantee-Jews”
Latvia under German occupation; the attitude toward the Jews
The Era of Independent Democratic Latvia (1918-1934)
The first Years of Independent Latvia 123
The significance of the Era for the Jews
The proclamation of Independent Latvia
The struggle against foreign powers
Jews in the Latvian War of Liberation
The Latvian rule
Parties and political power-relationships in the Sejm (Parliament)
Minorities in Latvia
The number of Jews during and after the war-years
The distribution between towns and villages
Social and Political Activity in Independent Latvia 131
Construction work; The Central Committee of the communities and thr “JOINT”
The Jewish Press in Latvia
The Hechalutz movement in Latvia
Sports Associations
Jews in the Judicial Institutons of the Country
The collaboration between the Jewish Representatives; the attempt to establish a council
Specific Jewish problems in the Sejm
Economic and Cultural Life in Independent Latvia 166
“Active” and “passive” Jews in the economical activity in the country
Jews in the economic life in Latvia
Jewish banking institutions
Jewish Credit-Cooperatives
The cultural autonomy
The Fascist Revolution (15 May 1934), World War II and the Holocaust
The Era of Decline 183
The Fourth Sejm
The Concentration Camp in Liboy
Changes in the economic and cultural life
Soviet bases in Latvia
The Soviet annexation
Arrests and evacuation on the eve of the German-Soviet War
The Destruction 194
The flow of refugees during Hitler's invasion of the USSR
The annihilation methods of the “Einsatz-Gruppen”
Latvian collaboration with the “Einsatz-Gruppen”
Latvia as part of “Ostland”
The local Latvian administration
General regulations concerning the loss of rights
The ghetto in Liboy; the Courland province
The ghetto in Dvinsk; The small towns in Latgale
The great ghetto in Riga
The “Aktzia"s from November 30th to December 9th 1941 (10-19 Kislev)
The “little” ghetto
The arrival of German Jews to the Riga ghetto
The ghetto of the “Reichs-Juden” [Jews from Germany]
The internal organization of the Riga ghetto
Religious-cultural life; the relationship between the two ghettos
The resistance movement in the Riga ghetto
The “Reichs-Juden” at the head of the ghetto
The underground movement; the final collapse
The liquidation of the Riga ghetto
Concentration camps
Keiserwald concentration camp
Evacuation to Germany
The trial of the war-criminals
Janis Lipke and his helpers
The sad sum-total
The revival of Riga Jewry (October 1944 - September 1972)
The Jewish-Soviet Era 237
Riga Jews after WWII; overview of the Jewish-Soviet Era
Jews in the “Working-Guard” - and in the “Latvia Division”
Jewish partisans
The flight
The development of the Jewish settlement in Riga after the war
The expansion of the city and the Jewish community
National movement among the Riga Jewry
Soviet conduct toward Zionism
Jews in the USSR before World War Two
Anti-Semitism during WWII; the “Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee”
After-War-Years in Russia
The era of “snow-melting”
The renewed Reaction and its consequences in the Jewish sector
The Struggle for National Right 255
The Jewish situation during the revolutionary years and the Soviet regime
National-cultural activity of Riga Jews in the years 1957-1962
The active powers in the revival of the Riga Jews
The activity in Romboli - a symbol of Jewish revival in Latvia
Aliya to Israel after the Six-Days-War
The Leningrad trials
The Bruxelles Conference
The Delegation to Moscow (March 1976)
The press-conference that did not take place
New repressions, new restrictions
Biographies of Social Activists, Scientists, Artists etc.
People and Facts 283
Bibliography 355
Index 358


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