From Community to Metropolis: The Jews of Warsaw, 1850-1880

François Guesnet

University College London

In the course of one generation, between 1850 and 1880, the general population of Warsaw doubled, whereas the number of Jews living in the Polish capital grew threefold, from below forty thousand to more than one hundred twenty thousand. The Jews of Warsaw, this paper contends, outgrew their own capacity to form a community, and morphed into a Jewish metropolis. This transformation is assessed by looking at exterior perceptions of Jewish Warsaw, at Jewish institutions in Warsaw, and at the new way of life experienced by these metropolitan Jews.

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