Leshchinsky, Yankev;

Published On


Page Range

pp. 31–44


  • English

Print Length

14 pages

2. The birth pangs of the Jewish working class

  • Yankev Leshchinsky (author)
  • Robert Brym (translator)
  • Eli Jany (translator)
Proletarianization was more difficult for Polish Jews than it was for other ethno-religious groups in Poland. Pauperized Christian peasants were hardened by physical labour and inured to subservience. Pauperized Jews, most of them from a background in trade, were less physically and psychologically prepared to become manual workers. Rather than entering factory production in large numbers, pauperized Jews therefore tended to enter artisanal work and cottage industry. However, where Jews became artisans and cottage workers early in the proletarianization process, before competition from peasant stock became intense, they later succeeded in establishing a substantial presence among factory workers. Then, over time, differences between Jewish and non-Jewish workers in their material demands and psychological outlook weakened.


Yankev Leshchinsky


Eli Jany