Knowledge of German among Hasidim in Eastern Galicia #galicia


Carol Sicherman <csicher@...>
 

The central figure in the collection of 101 postcards with which I am
working was educated entirely by Hasidic rabbis. His wife grew up in
a Hasidic family, but as a girl had more social leeway. Nearly all the
cards that he wrote to her during World War I are in German in Gothic
script; Yiddish was their mother tongue, and he wrote three cards in
Yiddish and well as one in Hebrew. The postcards in Polish are all
written by women. As German was the official language of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, many people would pick up an oral
knowledge. But how would he have learned to write German? Can
anyone explain the educational context for girls?

Thank you,

Carol Sicherman

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