Part II: Bukovina and Czernowitz/ Cernauti/ Czernowtsy/ Chernivtsi 
3. A Final Hegemonial Attempt to Construct a German-Jewish Symbiosis the Bukovina Settlement 

Although the separation of Jewish and German interests was a fait accompli following the turn of the century, hegemonial energies displayed resurgent power in the so-called Bukovina Ausgleich (settlement) of 1910/11 which had to do with electoral reform of the Bukovina Provincial Legislature. As in the case of the electoral reform in Moravia and in accordance with the wishes of Ruthenian, Romanian and Jewish political leaders in Bukovina, legislative districting were to be revamped to take national criteria into account. In view of the heterogeneous population of various groups living commingled with one another, this was an extraordinarily complicated undertaking. At the suggestion of provincial politicians, electoral constituencies specifically allocated for national groups were created. For the very first time, Jewish voting blocs were demanded. However, the government formally rejected the creation of Jewish constituencies since this would have meant the recognition of the Jews as a nationality. On one hand, they thereby acted in accordance with the wishes of the powerful, non-nationalist Jewish groupings such as the Austrian-Israelite Union. On the other hand, they did not want to give in to the efforts of the anti-Semites who called for the segregation of the Jews in all spheres of society. The central argument, however, was that the Jews, in the future as in the past, should not be recognized as a separate people and would thereby not be accorded the special rights due to such nationalities66. In a compromise plan, though, a few separate Jewish electoral districts were created; formally, Jews continued to be grouped together with the Germans for electoral purposes67. Despite protest assemblies and widespread disappointment, this solution had to be accepted. This was the final hegemonial demarcation point of the Hapsburg Monarchy which linked together the Jews of Bukovina and the Germans. 

The first elections for the provincial legislature conducted according to nationality criteria took place in 1911. However, both the Germans (in German Liberals and German Nationalists) as well as the Jews were deeply split. On the Jewish side, the powerful group of the Nationalist Party headed by Benno Straucher ran against the less successful Zionists of the People's Council Party of Leon Kellner and Mayer Ebner. Instead of the nine Jewish representatives as foreseen in secret government projections, they succeeded in winning 10, an indicator for the unreliability of nationality-based electoral constituencies68


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