„Glorious” citizens and „infidel” citizens. Jews and merchants in Gąbin in the second half of the 18th century

10.02.2015, 11:00 pm

Wide gabin synagoga
Synagogue in Gąbin  /  source: http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synagoga_w_Gąbinie

The changes taking place in Gąbin in the second half of the 18th century are a good example of the process occurring in many Polish cities — a process during which the rights and social status of merchants and Jews started to become alike. However, the merchants of Gąbin still treated the Jewish community as second-class citizens. That was due to the fact that they still possessed only some of the rights but also to the difference in faith. The division of citizens into two groups: the “glorious” and the “infidel” citizens, was symbolic of the deep-rooted religious prejudices held by Christians against the followers of Judaism. The rivalry between Christian and Jewish representatives of the same professions, added to the religious differences between competitors, made the integration of the two communities even harder. 

Varsavianistic Workshop Seminar

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