social history of Galician Jews #galicia


Suzan & Ron Wynne <srwynne@...>
 

My book, Finding Your Jewish Roots in Galicia: A Resource Guide, published
in 1998 by Avotaynu attempted to briefly address the social and political
context in which our ancestors lived. The book went out of print last year
and I decided that, in revising the book for republication this year, I
would write about these issues in greater depth. My decision was based on
my observation that little had been written about these topics in English,
but that fact meant that I did not have a ready source of material to tap
into.

Yizkor books offered a great deal of information about Galician life, but
from the perspective of individuals who had lived in the 20th
century....and, of course, except for the material being translated through
the JewishGen project, 99% of these books aren't accessible to English
speakers. I dug into obscure general histories of Europe, some local
histories >from Poland that I had translated, plus a handful of recently
published books about the Austrian Empire, Ukraine, Poland, and the 1877
regulations for carrying out the 1875 Austrian law governing Jewish
registration of births, marriages and deaths. I created a timeline for laws
and significant events that affected all Galitzianers (as well as others in
the Empire), as well as Jews, as an outline to provide readers with a sense
for the level of restrictions and freedoms that Jews confronted in daily
life under the various Austrian rulers >from the beginning of Austrian rule
to the end and so, that became the framework for a much expanded chapter on
Jewish life in Galicia.

I will be discussing my findings at the International Association of Jewish
Genealogical Societies conference in July. Hopefully, Avotaynu will have
the book ready for the conference.

Suzan Wynne
Kensington, MD

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