Doctoral Candidate/The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Scholarship within the framework of the IQN-Program funded by the DAAD
Research Stay: 1 August to 31 October 2003
East European Powers and Jewish Settlements in Borderlands. A Comparison of Russian and Austrian policy to Jewish settlement in New Russia and Voevodina in the eighteenth century
Comparison of Russian and Austrian policy to Jewish settlement in New Russia and Voevodina in the eighteenth century
The subject of my planning research is comparison of Habsburg authorities' policy to the Jewish emigration to Voevodina since the first half of the eighteenth century with Russian policy to the Jewish emigration to New Russia in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Voevodina (or South Panonia) was finally captured by the Habsburg Empire during 1716–1718 war against the Ottoman state. That time in Voevodina lived only a small community of Sefard Jews. The big Jewish emigration in the region began in the middle of the eighteenth century when Jewish communities from Germany and from different regions of the Balkan began to come and settle in the fast developing Voevodina region.
Russian intervention and settlement in New Russia (Novorossia) in southern Ukraine began in the early fifties of the eighteenth century. After the Kutchuk-Kainardji peace with Turkey in 1772 the land came under the full jurisdiction of the Russian Empire. The first Jewish merchants were invited to settle in these wild lands by order of Catherine the Great in 1769.
In both cases authorities of the two largest East European empires had to deal with the conquest of huge and thinly populated territories after successful wars against the Ottoman Empire. Both countries were very interested in developing and populating the new lands. In order to achieve this aim both governments, Austria and Russia, supported from the beginning the colonization of these lands by foreign emigrants and by interior migrants.
Jews were traditionally not welcome in both empires. In this case economical interests prevailed over long time tradition in Jewish Policy and Jews were also invited to settle in the new lands.
This comparative research presents a study in one of the most important episodes of the Jewish history. It gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the policy of East European Bureaucratic Empires for the development of the European border lands in the eighteenth century after they had just come under their influence. This shows the transformation of these lands from military borders to peaceful life and the establishment of multi-ethnic societies in Voevodina and New Russia.
We will also analyze the policy differences between the Russian and the Austrian Empire.