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Rescue the Surviving SoulsThe Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century$
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Adam Teller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161747

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161747.001.0001

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On the Road

On the Road

The Struggle for Survival

(p.223) Chapter Twenty-One On the Road
Rescue the Surviving Souls

Adam Teller

Princeton University Press

This chapter details the experience of flight from Poland to Germany and what it meant in real terms to be a Jewish refugee on the roads of central Europe. This is a crucial issue because that kind of forced travel is such a fundamental part of what refugees have to endure that unless it is examined, they themselves cannot be understood. Though the whole refugee experience was fraught with danger and terror, the most difficult moments for many came right at the beginning, when the individuals or small groups of refugees had to evade the enemy troops from whom they were fleeing. Even if refugees managed to evade the hostile soldiers, their lives remained in danger from people acting out of hatred of Jews, simply wanting to rob them, or both. Nighttime was particularly dangerous, especially if Jews were staying at an inn run by a non-Jew. The chapter then highlights the personal chronicle of Yuda ben Ephraim Ḥayim of Piła in Great Poland, who fled to Silesia during 1656 to avoid being attacked by the forces of Stefan Czarniecki.

Keywords:   Poland, Germany, Jewish refugees, central Europe, forced travel, refugee experience, Yuda ben Ephraim Ḥayim, Silesia, Stefan Czarniecki

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