Re: Why they left the Pale #general


Jules Levin
 

At 02:18 AM 7/16/2012, Aubrey Jacobus wrote:
Being the child of an immigrant I am always conscious of the fact that but
for my father's decision to leave Poland to avoid the Czar's army (where
all his brothers had served), I would certainly not be alive today.

My father always spoke nostalgically of his home shtetl and never spoke
of a fear of progroms although he was well aware of them occurring
elsewhere in the Pale.
Compare the actual numbers killed in pogroms before WW I with the total
Jewish population, and it is clear that most Jews did not live in dread of
their neighbors >from day to day. It might be interesting to compare those
numbers with the population of Chicago and the numbers of people killed
there by gang violence each year. I suspect the ratios would be embarrassing.

Also, I don't know the actual laws applicable, but in general a young man
whose brothers had served should have been exempt >from military service.
Economics was the main reason to leave; material conditions were bad in
the shtetlach, and the high Jewish birth rate was producing many young men
unable to find work.

Jules Levin
Los Angeles

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