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Karaites In Polish Galicia Between The Two World Wars

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Chapter Summary

In 1919–1920, after the successful war with the Red Army and suppression of Ukrainian nationalists, Poland won back the Galician and Volhynian territory which had been taken during the partitions of the country at the end of the eighteenth century. The interwar period ushered in a new epoch for the Galician Karaites, an epoch which signified the end of their isolated existence as a small and obscure Jewish community in Austria, a time of modernisation of their communal life, and their entrance into Polish society. In the interwar Crimea, where the atheist Soviet authorities officially abolished all religious laws, there was a growing number of mixed marriages, often between Karaites and their Rabbanite neighbours. The internal state of the community after the end of World War I is illustrated by the highly ambivalent figure of the ḥazzan, Isaac Abrahamowicz.

Keywords: Galician Karaites; IsaacAbrahamowicz; Poland; Rabbanite neighbours; Ukrainian nationalists; World War I



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