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Khazar Theory Vs. Racial Anthropology: Interwar Turkicization Of The Galician Karaites And Its Outcome During World War II

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Chapter Summary

Until the end of the 1920s, i.e. before the arrival of Seraja Szapszał in Poland, the Galician community was perhaps the most traditional and conservative of all Karaite communities in Eastern Europe. The spiritual life and ethnic identity of the Galician Karaites, however, were soon to experience the same dramatic changes that affected all the Polish-Lithuanian and Russian Karaite communities in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Most of these changes were implemented by Seraja Szapszał, who in 1927 was elected ḥakham. In the 1930s Szapszał started introducing his dejudaization reforms in all Polish-Lithuanian Karaite communities, including Halicz. This chapter examines the implementation of Szapszał’s reforms in Halicz, and analyses the essence and main features of his Turkic doctrine. It also provides a critical evaluation of the results of Corrado Gini’s anthropological expedition.

Keywords: Corrado Gini's anthropological expedition; dejudaization reforms; Galician Karaites; Halicz; Seraja Szapszal; Turkic doctrine



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