Jewries in Galicia and Bukovina, in Lemberg and Czernowitz.
Two divergent examples of Jewish communities in the far east of the
Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
 
Galicia and Bukovina were strategically important border provinces of the Hapsburg Empire, constituting its extreme eastern frontier abutting the realm of the Russian czar, Prussia (subsequently the Deutsche Reich) and later as an internal border dividing the Cisleithanian (Austrian) and Transleithanian (Hungarian) halves of the empire. Galicia became part of the Habsburg-Monarchy in 1772 as a result of the partition of Poland, and in 1775 Vienna could add the former Turkish-ruled region of Bukovina to the new province the "Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria" as it was officially called. Until 1786, the region of Bukovina was under military rule; from 1786 to 1849, it was a county of Galicia; in 1850, its status changed to a that of a separate 'crown-land.' Although the two provinces were located in the extreme east of the Monarchy and a 'colonial setting' was characteristic for both of them, the Jewries in Galicia and Bukovina developed in two different directions. The differences will be indicated by language (language of everyday use), mentality and culture in the second half of the 19th century, the beginning 20th century up to the interwar period. After 1918, Lemberg and East Galicia became part of Poland. Czernowitz and Bukovina were governed by Romania and finally partitioned between Romania and the Soviet Union. Following the breakdown of the USSR, Northern Bukovina including Czernowitz became part of the Ukraine. Galicia came under Soviet rule in 1939 and was taken by the Germans in 1941 (Generalgouvernement, District of Galicia). After liberation from Nazi rule in 1944, East Galicia and Lemberg was absorbed by the Soviet Union. This region is now part of the Ukrainian. 

Can the concept of colonialism be applied to Galicia and Bukovina? Certainly not in the classic sense, although, in 18th century Vienna, Austrian interests in Galicia were certainly dominated by 'colonization.'1 The concept of 'internal colonialism,' however, can be applied quite properly to Galicia and Bukovina. This term was originally coined to describe the dependency of underdeveloped regions of the Third World following their formal political independence. Such a territory in an underdeveloped region is certainly not a colony in a political-administrative sense, though it certainly functions as one in its economic relationship to a center within a national framework. In the following discussion, this concept will be applied to developed or developing industrial nations: namely, to dependent development and growing economic inequality of peripheral regions in contrast to a dominant economic center.2 Thereafter, the concept of 'internal colonialism' will also be applied to cultural relations3, an aspect which can be illustrated with particular effectiveness in the context of this paper. 


© 1996 Lichtblau & John, Jewries in Galicia and Bukovina, in Lemberg and Czernowitz
 
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