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Skizzen und Studien zur Geschichte der Juden in Polen,Majer Balaban, Berlin 1911

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  • Lot Number 54103
  • Title (English) Skizzen und Studien zur Geschichte der Juden in Polen
  • Note First Edition
  • Author Majer Balaban
  • City Berlin
  • Publisher Louis Lamm
  • Publication Date 1911
  • Estimated Price - Low 200
  • Estimated Price - High 500

  • Item # 2529694
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description:

First edition, quarto, 127 pp. 200:140 mm. wide margins, light age staining. A good copy bound in contemporary cloth, original wrappers bound in.


Detailed Description:   

Important history of Polish Jewry by one of the leading historians of Polish Jewry, Majer (Meir) Balaban. Dedicated to his father Alexander Sussman Balaban. Majer Balaban is considered to be one of the outstanding historians of Polish and Galician Jews. Table of content: 1. Isaak Nachmanowiez, ein polnischer Jude des XVI. Jahrhunderts; 2. Die Portugiesen in Lemberg und Zamosc; 3. Die Steuerexekution (Historische Skizze); 4. Dichtung und Wahrheit über den Eintagskönig von Polen Saul Wahl; 5. Der Schwedenfähnrich; 6. Das offizielle Protokoll der Frankisten-Disputation in Lemberg; 7. Ein Autodafé in Lemberg im Jahre 1728; 8. Die Brüder Abraham und Michael Esophowicz, Ritter von Leliwa; 9. Ein Prozeß der Lemberger Judengemeinde mit den Jesuiten, 1603-1608 (Zur Legende von der "Güldnen Rose"); 10. Die Sicherheit im Lemberg Ghetto. Text in German, Gothic script.

Majer (Meir) Balaban (1877–1942) was a leading historian of Polish Jewry. The Balaban family had been active in Lemberg and Zolkiew (Zholkva) as Hebrew printers from 1830 to 1914. After studying law at the university of his native Lemberg, Balaban taught for seven years in Galician towns in schools founded by Baron de Hirsch. He later returned to the university, devoting himself to the study of history. In those years he was active in the Zionist movement and served on the editorial staff of the Zionist weekly Wschód (The East). After graduating, Balaban continued teaching religion in various secondary schools. During World War I he served as a military chaplain in Lublin and as an official of Jewish affairs for the Austrian occupation authorities in Poland. From 1918 to 1920 he was head of the Jewish High School in Czestochowa. From 1920 to 1930 he directed the rabbinical seminary Taḥkemoni in Warsaw, and from 1928 lectured on Jewish history at the University of Warsaw, becoming associate professor in 1936. He was one of the founders of the Institute for Jewish Studies in Warsaw (1927) and served as its director for several years.

Balaban published about 70 historical studies and about 200 short papers and reviews in various periodicals. He was justly considered the founder of the historiography of Polish Jewry, especially of its communal life. His studies were based on a wealth of source material found in government and municipal archives, as well as in the archives of the Jewish communities. His first book, Zydzi lwówscy na przełomie XVI–XVII wieku (The Jews of Lvov [Lemberg] at the Turn of the 17 Century, 1906), received a prize from the University of Lemberg. In this work he displayed a thorough grasp of his subject, scholarly meticulousness, and a capacity for presenting lucidly the various aspects of life in great detail. These characteristics also mark his second monumental work Dzieje żydów w Krakowie i na Kazimierzu, 1304–1868 ("A History of the Jews of Cracow," 2 vols., 1931–36). His book on the Jews of Lublin, Die Judenstadt von Lublin (Berlin, 1919), is a vivid survey of history of the Jews in that city. A series of articles on the organization of the Jewish communities in old Poland reflect his vast legal knowledge. These papers first appeared in Russian but were later revised and published again in Polish in the monthly publication of the Jewish community of Warsaw (1937–39). To the 11 volume of Istoriya yevreiskogo naroda ("A History of the Jewish People," 1914), of which he was a coeditor, Balaban contributed an exhaustive study of the Council of the Four Lands. Collections of his articles and treatises, containing the biographies of rabbis, doctors, and communal leaders, and the history of printing houses, blood accusations, and the Karaites in Poland, were published in German, Polish, and Yiddish. Balaban contributed over 150 articles to the Russian-Jewish Encyclopedia Yevreyskaya Entsiklopediya. Particularly significant are his studies on the Shabbatean and Frankist movements, summarized in his Le-Toledot ha-Tenu'ah ha-Frankit (History of the Frankist Movement, 2 vols., 1934–35). He also wrote a book on the synagogues and other antiquities of the Jews in Poland, Zabytki historyczne Żydów Polsce (Jewish Antiquities in Poland. 1929). A summary of the history of the Jews in Poland until the end of the 18 century is contained in the second and third volumes of a textbook entitled Historja i literatura żydowska (The History of the Jewish People and its Literature, 1925; first of 3 vols. also in Hebrew, 1931); most of the historical chapters are included in Beit Yisrael be-Polin (vol. 1, 1948). His studies of the history of the Jews in 19-century Poland are confined to Galicia. From the outset of his scholarly career Balaban applied himself to collecting a bibliography on the history of the Jews in Poland; his first prizewinning publication in this field appeared in Polish in 1903. The first part of his own bibliography for the years 1900–30 appeared in 1939. When the Nazis overran Poland, Balaban refused to flee. He died in Warsaw in November 1942 before the liquidation of the ghetto and was thus vouchsafed burial in the Jewish cemetery

Hebrew Description: