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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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The End of the Crisis

The End of the Crisis

(p.286) Chapter Twenty-Six The End of the Crisis
Rescue the Surviving Souls

Adam Teller

Princeton University Press

This chapter explains that it is hard to say when the influx of Jewish refugees to the Holy Roman Empire from the mid-seventeenth-century wars in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth actually came to an end. The movement of Polish Jews into the empire never really stopped; it just changed character. The large wave of refugees that began to appear around 1655 seems to have continued for about a decade, particularly if the internal migration of refugees within the empire is also taken into account. These Polish Jews were fleeing not only the violence itself but also its aftermath—poverty, disease, and intensified hostility on the part of their non-Jewish neighbors. However, at some point, perhaps in the later 1660s, the waves of refugees began to be replaced by a movement of economic migration. With their country at peace and processes of reconstruction under way, Polish Jews left the Commonwealth not under duress but in the hope of bettering themselves in the burgeoning economies of the empire.

Keywords:   Jewish refugees, Holy Roman Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Polish Jews, internal migration, economic migration

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