Jewish population of Europe during the 1800s was subjected to a wide
range of injustices, inequalities and oppression.
How they responded in a positive way to such treatment can be seen
in the depth of their intellectual thought, organization and
actions. The pejorative treatment received by the Jews depended on
the time and country. Anti-Semitism could be rife with violence.
The development of
ideological movements often dependent on the conditions within the
country itself, and was not uniform in each of the Eastern European
countries. Jews had no real political power, but as governments
"modernized" after the end of the First World War, the young Jews
began to believe that they could make real changes. This, in effect,
also pulled the Jewish youth away from the traditional authority of
their parents and the world in which they lived.
Many groups were formed
based on what can only be called revolutionary ideas. They were
organized around particular ideologies, e.g. socialism--were they
Marxist or anti-Marxist? Were they Zionist, i.e. did they believe
that Eretz Israel was the 'promised land' and the ultimate goal for
the Jew was to immigrate to Palestine and create a Jewish nation?
Or did they believe that Jews should make a home for themselves in
another land or spread out into the Diaspora? Or should they be
waiting for the coming of the Messiah?
question was asked about how Jews protect themselves against abuse
within the work force? Labor unions were formed in order to protect
the rights of the worker. Certainly the effects of the Russian
Revolution and the First World War helped their cause. During the
time of the Czars, Jewish political parties were either illegal or
semi-legal. During the war Jewish nationalist parties rose in
influence, as the impetus for nationalism swept through Europe. The
push toward Zionism was aided by the publication in 1917 of the