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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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(p.95) Chapter Eight Introduction
Rescue the Surviving Souls

Adam Teller

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the Polish–Lithuanian Jews who were taken captive to be ransomed or sold into slavery. Once captured, these Jewish women and men found themselves trapped in two major international economic systems of the period. The first was the international trade in Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, and Circassian captives carried out by the Crimean Tatars with the support of the Ottoman Empire. The second economic system was piracy in the Mediterranean. Two major issues are at the heart of the discussion on the fates of these Jewish captives. The first concerns the slave trade itself and how its market conditions shaped the fate of the captured Jews. The second deals with the effort to ransom the Jewish captives from eastern Europe and is focused on the transregional Jewish philanthropic networks that raised huge sums and transported them the long distances to the slave market, examining them in terms of both their form and their function.

Keywords:   Polish–Lithuanian Jews, ransom, slavery, international economic systems, Crimean Tatars, Ottoman Empire, piracy, Jewish captives, slave trade, Jewish philanthropic networks

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