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political world

Jews and 1830 Poles insuraction

jan peczkis|Friday, September 11, 2015

The author identifies himself as a German, or at least one of German extraction. (p. 94). He served as a cadet in Grand-Duke Constantine’s Imperial Russian Body Guard


THE POLISH NOBILITY

Author Harring confirms the fact that the Polish nobility, unlike that of other countries, was not stratified according to rank, and that it constituted a much larger percentage of the population than its counterpart in other nations. He writes, (quote) The nobles form only one body. The distinction of high and low nobility is not legally recognized. The richest magnate in the law, not a more important person than the poorest knight,---EQUES POLONUS PAR OMNIBUS, NEMINI SECUNDUS. The nobles are extremely numerous—At least 60,000 families belong to the class of which, however, only about a hundred are wealthy, all the rest are poor. (unquote). (p. 253).

THE NOVEMBER 1830 INSURRECTION

One of the reasons for this Insurrection had been the growing heavy-handedness of the Russian authorities against Poles, notably in just the last several years before the event. For example, a large group of Poles had been beaten, imprisoned, or sent to Siberia merely because a boy had scratched this message on a wall, “Long live the Constitution of 1791.” Harring describes his personal impressions of the tsarist Russian repressions just before the Insurrection, (quote) I was an eyewitness to the misery and affliction with which thousands of families were then visited. The overwhelming sentence fell on the most distinguished families of the land, far and near. (unquote). (p. 83).

The author has little to say about the Insurrection itself. However, towards the end of the book, Harring mentions the privations of the Poles following the recently-concluded and failed November 1830 Insurrection. (p. 275).

A TWO-SIDED GENERALIZATION ON JEWS

Author Harro Harring avoids the tendency to see Jews exclusively as victims or exclusively as ones responsible for the fact that they are disliked. He comments, (quote) The Franciscan Street in Warsaw is like those busy districts occupied by the Jews in Frankfort, Prague, Rome, Amsterdam, and Leghorn. In short, wherever the Jews congregated together, they are characterized by the same peculiarities, viz, uncleanliness, and the love of finery, avarice, and dishonesty: while the persecutions and insults to which they are exposed render them real objects of pity. (unquote). (p. 188).

SPECIFIC INCIDENTS INVOLVING JEWS

The author describes two events to which he was an eyewitness. In one of them, a Jew was caught stealing an item, and was beaten, by a Russian officer, for allegedly having stolen an earlier item. (pp. 207-on).

In another incident, the Jew had entered an unauthorized area, and had engaged in attempted exploitation. Harring describes the event, (quote) Entrance to the Lazaretto, as well as to the barracks, is prohibited to all but officers and soldiers. The Jews in particular, are strictly kept out, and the sentinels drive them back whenever they attempt to enter. Notwithstanding the rigor with which this regulation is enforced, a Jew now and then contrives to slip into Uyazdov accompanied by a soldier, and under the pretext of having been sent for by an officer. In this manner a Jew peddler once found his way into the apartment occupied by the seven officers above mentioned, and offered his wares for sale. I asked the price of a pair of scissors, and Baron R--- asked the price of a comb. The Jew according to custom demanded twice their value. “Dog, villain!” exclaimed the Baron, “Do you think we are fools? I will make you remember this. Alexiyeff! Here is a florin for you. Give this fellow a thrashing, and drive him down stairs.” (unquote). (p. 215). He did, and beat the Jew very savagely.  
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