Shaul Stampfer. Jewish Population Losses in the Course of the Khmelnytsky Uprising

Jewish Population Losses in the Course of the Khmelnytsky Uprising  

By Shaul Stampfer

(Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Source: Judaica Ukrainica 4 (2015): 36-52

Publication date: December 1, 2015

Publication type: article

Language: English

Full text:

 

Abstract

To assess Jewish population losses in the course of the Khmelnytsky Uprising it is not sufficient to simply accept statements of Jewish chroniclers regarding the numbers killed. They had no way to count the dead and their texts were written to memorialize but not to provide data for historical demography. Therefore, to reach a realistic assessment, it is necessary to consider the size of the Jewish population in Ukrainian lands before and after the uprising. To do this, it is necessary to bear in mind that cities in the region were small at that time and there were limited economic opportunities for Jews in the region. When this is done, it appears that the Jewish population before 1648 was roughly about 40,000 and the number of survivors, even more roughly, was about 22,000. This is a conservative estimate and there may have been more survivors, since most Jews apparently realized quickly that flight was the best tactic. This leads to the conclusion that the population losses were severe – perhaps 20,000. This would have been approximately half of the Jewish population at the outbreak of the uprising. However, this is much less than is often claimed. It is impossible to determine how many of these were direct victims of anti-Jewish violence and how many died from disease, hunger and the vicissitudes of flight. What is clear is that an awareness of the demographic realities is necessary to understanding the events that led to these historical catastrophes.

 

References

Babinger, Franz., ed. Conrad Jacob Hiltebrandt's Dreifache Schwedische Gesandtschaftsreise nach Siebenbürgen, der Ukraine und Constantinopel (1656–1658). Leiden: Brill, 1937.

Baranovich, Aleksei I. Ukraina nakanune osvoboditel’noi voiny serediny XVII v. (sotsial’noekonomicheskiie predposylki voiny). Moscow: Izdatel’stvo AN SSSR, 1959.

Baranovych, Oleksii I. Zaliudnennia Ukrainy pered Khmelnychchynoiu. Ch. 1: Zaliudnennia Volynskoho voievodstva v pershii polovyni XVII st. Kyiv: Vseukrains’ka akademiia nauk, 1930.

Dubnov, Shimon, ed. Pinkas Medinat Lita. Berlin: Einot, 1925.

Ettinger, Shmuel. “Khelkam shel ha-iehudim be-kolonizatsiia shel Ukraina (1569–1648).” Zion 21 (1956): 107–142.

Gieysztorowa, Irena. Wstep do demografii staropolskiej. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1976.

Guldon, Zenon, und Jacek Wijaczka. “Die zahlenmaessige Staerke der Juden in Polen-Litauen im 16–18 Jahrhundert.” Trumah 4 (1994): 91‒101.

Guldon, Zenon. Zydzi i Szkoci. Kielce: Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna im. Jana Kochanowskiego, 1990.

Halperin, Israel. “Sheviia ufedut begezeirot Ukraina.” In Iehudim VeIahadut BeMizrakh Eiropa, 212–249. Jerusalem: Magnes, 1968.

———, ed. Pinkas Vaad Arba Aratsot. Jerusalem: Mosad Byalik, 1945.

Hannover, Natan. Abyss of Despair. Translated by Abraham Mesch. 1950; repr., New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1983.

Horn, Maurycy. “Rozwój demograficzny i struktura wyznaniowo-narodowościowa mieszczaństwa na ziemiach ukraińskich Korony w latach 1569–1648.” Studia z Filologii Rosyjskiej i Ukraińskiej 14 (1987): 67–84.

———. Zydzi na Rusi Czerwonej w XVI i pierwszej polowie XVII. Warszawa: Zydowski Instytut Historyczny w Polsce ,1975.

Lukin, Veniamin, and Boris Khaimovich. 100 ievreiskikh mestechek Ukrainy: Istoricheskii putevoditel’. Vol. 1, Podoliia. Saint Petersburg: Aleksandr Gersht, 2000.

Mahler, Raphael. Yidn in Amoylikn Poiln in Likht fon Zifern. Warsaw:Yiddish Buch, 1958.

Pelenski, Jaroslaw. “The Cossack Insurrections in Jewish-Ukrainian Relations.” In Ukrainian Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective, edited by Howard Aster and Peter J. Potichnyj, 31–42. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1990.

Raba, Yoel. Between Remembrance and Denial: The Fate of the Jews in the Wars of the Polish Commonwealth During the Mid-Seventeenth Century as Shown in Contemporary Writings and Historical Research. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 1995.

———. “The Volhyn Regional Committee in 1700.” Gal Ed 6 (1982): 215–228 [in Hebrew].

Regesty i nadpisi: svod materialov dlia istorii ievreiev v Rossii. Saint Petersburg: Ievreiskoie istoriko-etnograficheskoie obshchestvo, 1899.

Rosman, Moshe. Founder of Hasidism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Stampfer, Shaul. “The 1764 Census of Polish Jewry.” Bar Ilan 24–25 (1989): 41–147.

Van Straten, Jits. “Did Shmu’el Ben Nathan and Nathan Hanover Exaggerate? Estimates of Jewish Casualties in the Ukraine During the Cossack Revolt in 1648.” Zutot 6, no. 1 (2009): 75–82.

Weinryb, Bernard. The Jews of Poland. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1972.

Wójcicki, Kazimierz Władysław, ed. Latopisiec albo kroniczka Joachima Jerlicza. Warsaw, 1853.

 

 

DOI 10.14653/ju.2015.03