Jews in Europe from the 1500s to Early 1900s

Home | Category: Jewish People in 19th and 20th Century


Paul Mendes-Flohr wrote in the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices: In the 16th through 18th century, the Jewish Diaspora “was in the midst of a radical reconfiguration. Sephardic Jewry was establishing itself throughout the Ottoman Empire and North Africa, where it became the dominant constituency in Jewish cultural life. A much smaller but dynamic Sephardic community was established in the Netherlands and its colonies in the Americas. Ashkenazic Jewry was overwhelmingly concentrated in eastern Europe, particularly in Poland and Lithuania. The remaining Jews of Germany slowly began to recover. [Source: Paul Mendes-Flohr Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices, 2000s,]

This process was encouraged by the Protestant Reformation, which in alliance with nascent capitalism adopted a more pragmatic and thus tolerant attitude toward Jews. In time democratic forces led to the political emancipation of the Jews and their integration into the social and cultural life of Europe.

The effect on Judaism was far-reaching. The Jews' embrace of the Enlightenment and of liberal culture gave birth to new expressions of self-understanding and of religious belief and practice. One of the tragic ironies of the integration of Jews into modern European culture and society, however, was the intensification of anti-Semitism. Virulent opposition to the civic and political parity of the Jews, which for the most part was based on secular and not religious grounds.

Websites and Resources: Virtual Jewish Library ; Judaism101 ; Yivo Institute of Jewish Research ; Jewish History Timeline Jewish History Resource Center ; Center for Jewish History ; Jewish ; Internet Jewish History Sourcebook

Jews in Europe in the 1500s During the Christian Reformation

Christian Reformation: 1483-1546 — Martin Luther.
1517 — Luther posts "95 theses" in Wittenburg, Germany 1543 — Luther writes "About the Jews and Their Lies," considered the first modern anti-Semitic tract.
ca. 1500-1650 — Protestant Christian Reformation.
1509-1564 — John Calvin.

Persecution: 1516 — Jewish ghetto instituted in Venice. The closed Jewish Quarter in Venice is dubbed the Geto Nuovo (New Foundry). "Geto" will later become the basis for the word "ghetto". Jews in Venice are relegated to a ghetto, the most extreme segregation to which Jews had been submitted. Over time, Jews in many lands are similarly segregated.
1555 — Jewish ghetto instituted in Rome. 1550 — Dr. Jospeh Hacohen was chased out of Genoa for practicing medicine, and soon after, all the Jews were expelled.
1553 — Under the direction of Cardinal Caraffa, later Pope Paul IV, the Talmud was confiscated and publically burned in Rome on Rosh Hashanah, starting a wave of Talmud burning throughout Italy.
1555 — In his Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum, Pope Paul IV renewed all anti-Jewish legislation and installed a ghetto in Rome. The Bull also forced Jews to wear a special cap, forbade them from owning real estate or practicing medicine on Christians. It also limited Jewish communities to only one synagogue.
1558 — In Recanti, Italy, under the protection of Pope Paul IV, Joseph Paul More, a baptized Jew, entered a synagogue on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and tried to preach a conversion sermon. The congregation evicted him and a near massacre occured. Soon after, the Jews were expelled from Recanti. 1566 — Three months into his reign, Pope Pius V rejects Pope Pius IV leniency towards Jews and reinstates the restrictions of Pope Paul IV which forced Jews to wear a special cap, forbade them from owning real estate or practicing medicine on Christians. It also limited Jewish communities to only one synagogue.
1586 — Pope Sixtus V rejects Pope Gregory XIII policies and forbids Jews from living in the Papal states and to print the Talmud.
1590 — Built of wood, the entire Jewish quarter of Posen burned while then gentile population watched and pillaged. 15 people died and 80 Torah scrolls were burned.
1593 — Pope Clement VIII expelled Jews from all Papal states except Rome and Ancona.

Killing of Jews: 1510 — 38 Jews were burned at the stake in Berlin.
November 22, 1547 — Jews in the small community of Asolo, Italy were victims of a massacre, leaving 10 of the 37 Jewish residents dead.
1554 — Cornelio da Montalcino, a Franciscan Friar who converted to Judaism, is burned alive in Rome.
1564 — In Brest Litovsk, the son of a wealthy Jewish tax collector, is accused of killing the family's Christian servant for ritual purposes. He is tortured and killed.

Theology: 1505-1584 — Kabbalist and author of "Lecha Dodi" (Come My Beloved), Solomon ben Moses Alkabetz.
1520-1579 — Cracow Rosh Yeshiva whose major work was an adaptation of Caro's Shulchan Aruch to Europoean Jewry, Moses Isserles.
1534-1572 — Talmud and Kabbalah scholar, Isaac Ben Solomon Luria, given the name "The Ari" (The Lion).
1567/1571 — Shulhan Arukh (code of Jewish law by Joseph Caro).published.
1569 — Isaac Luria writes the Kabbalist in Safed. Luria's ideas give rise to a new form of Jewish mysticism.
1555-1631 — Talmudic commentator, author of Chidushei Halachot, Samuel Eliezer Aidles, also known as "Maharsha." .

Culture: 1525-1609 — Brilliant Talmudist, mathematician and astronomer, popular with Emperor Randolh II. Judah Loew Ben Bezalel, the Maharal of Prague also created the Golem, a man from clay who protected the Jewish community.
1534 — First Yiddish book published in Cracow, Poland.
1526 — The Prague Haggadah, which contains the oldest known printed Yiddush poem, is published.
1559 — Pope Paul IV allows the first printing of the Zohar, a Jewish mystical text.
1587-1643 — The leading Jewish composer of the late Italian Renaissance and the musical director of court of Mantua, Salamone de Rossi.
1591 — Rabbi, encyclopedist, physician and pupil of Galileo, Jose Solomon Delmedigo wrote over 30 works in math, geometry, chemistry, mechanics, philosophy and medicine.

Welcoming News for Jews: 1569 — Brest Litovsk welcomes Jewish settlement. In 80 years the Jewish population surges from 4,000 to more than 50,000.
1588 — England defeats the Spanish Armada, weakening Spain and decreasing the reach of the Inquisition, especially in the Netherlands.
1596 — Official Yom Kippur services are held for the first time in Amsterdam, though not without controversy.

18th Century Judaism— Transition and Hasidism

Louis Jacobs wrote in the Encyclopaedia Judaica: The 18th century was a period of great ferment in Jewish life, the old world dying, the new not yet coming to birth. The pioneer Jewish historian Zunz correctly sees the Jewish Middle Ages as lasting until the end of this century. The repercussions following on the adventures of the pseudo-messiah Shabbetai Zevi caused Jewish leaders to retreat into the past. There was a fear of new tendencies in Jewish thought and a pronounced suspicion of mystical fervor. Yet revivalist tendencies were in the air, and not only among Jews. The century which saw the phenomenal successes of a Wesley in England, and movements addicted to what Father Ronald Knox calls "enthusiasm" in America and the European continent, also witnessed the rise of Hasidism. [Source: Louis Jacobs, Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1990s,]

The three towering Jewish figures of this age each represented a prominent trend important at the time and influential for the future. R. Elijah b. Solomon, the Gaon of Vilna (1720–97), "the last great theologian of classical Rabbinism" spent his days and nights shut up in his study with drawn shutters and setting standards of utter devotion to Torah study in the classical sense as man's noblest pursuit. In the 16th century, Poland had become a home of Torah. The complete devotion there to talmudic studies on the part of so many was unparalleled. The Gaon was an outstanding but not untypical product of this type of hermit-like dedication. The old teaching (Avot 6:4), "This is the way of the Torah. Thou shalt eat bread with salt and thou shalt drink water by measure, and on the ground shalt thou sleep and thou shalt lead a life of suffering the while thou toilest in the Torah," became, in large measure through the Gaon's influence, the pattern for many thousands of talmudists in Russia, Poland, and Lithuania.

It is extremely difficult to disentangle fact from legend in studying the life and work of R. Israel Ba'al Shem Tov (d. c. 1760), but Hasidism, the movement he founded — with its message that simple faith is superior to scholasticism untouched with fervor, that joy is to be invoked in God's service, and that there are "holy sparks" in all things to be redeemed by a life of sanctity — spread so rapidly, despite the most powerful opposition of established rabbinic authorities, that by the end of the 18th century it had won over to its side numerous Jewish communities in Galicia, the Ukraine, Poland, and Belorussia.

Jacob Kat wrote in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences: While Hasidism was altering Jewish society in eastern Europe from within, Jewry in western Europe was being transformed by forces from without. The theory and practice of separateness, which had been the way of Jewish life, was becoming progressively less tenable. Intellectual, social, and political forces were, in the course of a century, from 1750 to 1850, transforming Europe from a semifeudal society into a society of classes having a relatively high mobility. The status of Jewry within this new framework had to be re-defined, and internally the old tradition had to be adapted to the new conditions. [Source: Jacob Kat. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences,]

The idea of Jewish political and social emancipation was originally conceived by John Toland in England in 1714, spelled out in detail in 1781–1783 in Germany by Ch. W. Dohm, and first implemented during the French Revolution. In the United States, Jewish equality was implied in the constitution. In the following decades the idea of emancipation spread to all countries of western Europe, and by 1870, after much struggle and some reverses, political emancipation was an accomplished fact. Alongside these social and political changes, intellectual contact with European thought took place. In the last third of the eighteenth century, the first Jewish secular intellectuals appeared, headed by Moses Mendelssohn. They were deeply influenced by the doctrines of the Enlightenment and later by other European intellectual currents.

Mendelssohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

Moses Mendelssohn (1729–86) is credited with being the pioneer in bringing the Jewish people into the modern world. Paul Mendes-Flohr wrote in the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices: With the dawn of the modern world, Jewish religious thinkers were faced with the challenge of accommodating not only new conceptions of truth, which questioned divine revelation as a source of knowledge, but also with the task of articulating strategies that would allow Jews to participate in a culture that was essentially secular and universal while they preserved their commitment to Judaism as a distinctive way of life. The first philosopher to acknowledge this task was the German-born Moses Mendelssohn. One of the leading proponents of the Enlightenment, he contributed highly acclaimed essays and books on such general subjects as metaphysics, aesthetics, and psychology. Hailed in his day as the German Socrates, he was obliged to explain publicly his abiding devotion to the Torah and its precepts. Many of his contemporaries wondered how he could be a Jew, beholden to biblical revelation, and at the same time a philosopher who acknowledged reason as the sole arbiter of truth. Mendelssohn published a defense of his allegiance to both Judaism and philosophy in the book Jerusalem (1783). His answer was that Judaism understands revelation, not as a divine disclosure of propositions, but rather as divine instruction on how to conduct religious life. Intellectually, he held, Jews are totally free to pursue the rule of reason. [Source: Paul Mendes-Flohr Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices, 2000s,]

According to Encyclopaedia Judaica: Religious truth, taught Mendelssohn, was universal and could be attained by the exercise of the free human reason. No special revelation was required. The Torah, for Mendelssohn, is not revealed religion but revealed legislation. The eternal truths that there is a God, that He is good, and that man's soul is immortal are revealed in all places and at all times. Mendelssohn, thus speaking as a child of the Enlightenment, succeeded in paving the way for those Jews — and they were many — who wished to eat of its fruits. [Source: Louis Jacobs,Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1990s,]

But Mendelssohn was not able to explain adequately why a special revelation to Israel was necessary if the basic truths were attainable by all men. What was the purpose of this special revealed legislation and, if it had value, why was this confined to a special group? He speaks of "a special favor" for "very special reasons," but nowhere states what these reasons were. Moreover his advice to his fellow Jews to comply with the customs and civil constitutions of the countries in which they lived while, at the same time, being constant to the faith of their forefathers, was easier said than done. Nevertheless no modern Jew is immune from Mendelssohn's influence, and, by the same token, opponents of any kind of modernism in the Jewish camp have laid all the ills of subsequent Jewish faithlessness at Mendelssohn's door.

With the possible exception of the Oriental communities, every Jew in the post-emancipation era, insofar as he strove to remain Jewishly committed, was a disciple of the Gaon, or the Ba'al Shem Tov, or Mendelssohn, with many Jews disciples of more than one of these great figures at the same time.

Jews in Europe in the 1600s and 1700s

Events: 1618-1638 — Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants centers around Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands.
1648 — The Treaty of Westphalia brings victory to the Protestants.
1769-1821 — Napoleon (France).
1789 — French Revolution.

Persecution: 1615 — King Louis XIII of France decreed that all Jews must leave the country within one month on pain of death.
1615 — The Guild, led by Dr. Chemnitz, "non-violently" forced the Jews from Worms.
1616 — The Bishop of Speyer, with the backing of Frederick's troops, readmitted the Jews to Worms.
1616 — Holland's Prince Maurice of Orange allowed each each city to decide for itself whether to admit Jews. In the towns where Jews were admitted, they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.
1616 — Jesuits arrives in Grodno, Poland and accused the Jews of blood orgies and host desecrations.
1625 — The Jews of Vienna were forced to move into a ghetto called Leopoldstadt.
1625 — Pope Urban VIII forbids Roman Jews to erect gravestones.
1649 — John Casimir, upon ascending the Polish throne, negotiates a truce with Cosack leader and murderer of thousands of Jews, Bogdan Chmelnitzki.
1670 — Jews expelled from Vienna.
July 17, 1764 — Poland's Parliament centralizes power and aboloshes the Council of the Four Lands, a semi-autonomous Jewish governing body.
1775 — Pius VI issues Editto sopra gli ebrei, "Edict over the Hebrew," suppressing the Jewish religion.
1791 — Tsarist Russia confines Jews to Pale of Settlement, between the Black and Baltic Seas.

Killing of Jews: 1603 — Frei Diogo Da Assumpacao, a partly Jewish friar who embraced Judaism, was burned alive in Lisbon. His arguments against Christianity were published and gained wide popularity.
1614 — Vincent Fettmilch, who called himself the "new Haman of the Jews," led a raid on a Frankfurt synagogue that turned into an attack which destroyed the whole community.
1632 — Miguel and Isabel Rodreguese and five others were burned alive in front of the King and Queen of Spain after being discovered holding Jewish rites. >br>1648 — Bogdan Chmelnitzki massacres 100,000 Jews in Poland.
1765 — Portugal holds the last public Auto de Fe "Act of Faith," a ceremony where the Inquisition announces its punishments, usually a death sentence of burning at the stake.

Theology: 1605-1657 — Menasseh ben Israel (Jewish scholar-mystic).
1623-1662 — Blaise Pascal (scholar).
1626-1676 — Shabbatai Zvi (Jewish “messianic” leader).
1641-1718 — Shabbtai Ben Joseph the Bass, Author of Seftai Yesharim, the first bibliography of Hebrew books and biblical commentator. He also built a printing house in 1689, despite being jailed several times, accused of printing anti-Christian material. The printing house lasted more than 150 years.
1700-1760 — Israel Baal Shem Tov (founder of Jewish Hasidism).
1768-1828 — "Father of Reform [Judaism]," Israel Jacobson.

Culture: 1621-1663 — Well-known commentator of the Shulchan Aruch and author of several other works, Shabbetai Ben Meir Hacohen.
1630-1703 — Financier and founder of the Viennese Jewish community, Samuel Oppenheimer.
1632-1677 — Baruch/Benedict Spinoza (scholar, converted Jew).
1729-1786 — Moses Mendelssohn (Jewish "enlightenment" scholar).

Welcoming News for Jews: 1612 — The Hamburg Senate decides to officially allow Jews to live in the city on the condition there is no public worship.
February 28, 1616 — Vincenz Fettmilch, the leader of a popular uprising targetting Jews in Frankfurt, Germany, is executed along with six of his companions. 1621 — Sir Henry Finch, legal advisor to King James I, makes the first English call to restore the Jews to their homeland in his treatise The World's Great Restoration or Calling of the Jews.
1655 — Jews readmitted to England by Oliver Cromwell.
1712 — First public Jewish synagogue in Berlin.
1753 — Parliament extends naturalization rights to Jews resident in England.
1796 — The Netherlands grants citizenship to Jews.
1781 — Joseph II of Austria rescinds the 513-year old law requiring Jews to wear distinctive badges.
1782 — Austrian Emperor Joseph II issued his edict of tolerance, allowing Jews to practice their religion freely.
September 27, 1791 — French Jews granted full citizenship for the first time since the Roman Empire.

Jews in Europe in the 1800s to Early 1900s

By the end of the nineteenth century many of the restrictions that had been placed on Jews were lifted. They could could hold public office and attend universities, which they hadn;t been allowed in many places in the past. These changes, however, did not end discrimination and prejudice. [Source:]

According to the BBC: “As the 19th century continued many countries gradually withdrew restrictions on Jews: the UK allowed its Jewish citizens the same rights as others by 1860s. But at the same time Jews came under increasing pressure in central Europe and Russia. There were brutal pogroms against Jews in which they were ejected from their homes and villages, and cruelly treated. Some of this persecution is told in the musical show Fiddler on the Roof. In Israel, Jewish culture was having a significant rebirth as the Hebrew language was recreated from a language of history and religion into a language of everyday life. [Source: BBC]

Louis Jacobs wrote in the Encyclopaedia Judaica: The entrance of the Jew into Western society at the beginning of the 19th century presented Judaism with a direct confrontation with modern thought, without the long period of preparation and adjustment that had been available to Christendom since the Renaissance. On the practical side there were the problems connected with the new social conditions. How, for example, were Jews to participate in life in a non-Jewish environment without surrendering their distinctiveness and the claims of their ancient past? How were they to avoid being dubbed antisocial or outlandish? How were they to earn a living if they refused to work on the Sabbath? How were they to mix freely with their neighbors and keep the dietary laws? On the intellectual plane fresh challenges were being presented to the ancient faith by the new scientific viewpoints, by modern philosophy, by art, music, and literature, cultivated independently of any dogmatic considerations, and later, by the historical investigations into the Bible and Jewish origins. It was in Germany that Judaism had to bear the brunt of the new thinking, though, as evidenced by the emergence of a Russian Haskalah movement, other Jewries were not unaffected by the revolutionary trends. [Source: Louis Jacobs, Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1990s,]

It is not surprising that atheism and agnosticism had their unprecedented appeal for some Jews, and Christianity in one form or another for others. But among the faithful, traditional theism remained the accepted philosophy of life until more recent years, when a number of Jewish thinkers began to explore the possibility of a radical reinterpretation of theism in naturalistic terms. The main tensions, however, in post-emancipation Judaism centered on the ideas of Torah and Israel rather than God.

According to the BBC: “In the 19th Century another new movement appeared in Judaism. This was Reform Judaism, which began in Germany and held that Jewish law and ritual should move with the times, and not be fixed. It introduced many changes to worship, and customs, and grew rapidly into a strong movement. It continues to flourish in Europe and the USA. [Source: BBC]

Jews and Events Affecting Them in Europe in the 1800s and Early 1900s

Europe: mid-19th century — Rise of the Jewish Reform movement in Europe (Abraham Geiger.)
November 30, 1830 — Greece grants citizenship to Jews.
1831 — Belgium grants citizenship to Jews.
1852 — The Ghetto of Prague is officially abolished.
1870 — The Edict of Pope Nicholas III which required compulsory attendance of Jews at conversion sermons since 1278 is abolished.
1867 — Hungary passes legislation emancipating the Jews.
December 22, 1878 — Birthdate of Myer Prinstein, a world-record setting, Olympic gold medal winning Jew from Poland.
1894 — Polish Jew Sholem Aleichem begins writing the first episode of the life of Tevye the Dairyman.

Scandinavia: March 29, 1814 — Denmark grants citizenship to Jews.
September 1, 1852 — An anti-Jewish riot erupts in Stockholm, Sweden.
1861 — Norway allows Jews to enter the country.
1870 — Sweden grants citizenship to Jews.

Switzerland: 1866 —Switzerland, a hotbed of anti-Jewish edicts grants Jews equal rights only after threats by the United States, France and Britain.
1874 — Jews in Switzerland receive full rights of citizenship under the new constitution.
1893 — Kosher ritual slaughter banned in Switzerland.

Spain and Portugal: 1814 — King Ferdinand VII of Portugal reestablishes the Inquisition six years after it was abolished by Joseph Boneparte
1820 (ended in 1834) — A royal decree officially abolished the Spanish Inquisition.
1826 — In the last known Auto Da Fe, in Valencia, Spain, a poor school master was executed for adhering to Judaism.

Italy: 1858 — Edgar Mortara, an Italian Jewish child, is abducted by Papal Guards and placed in a monastery.
1870 — Ghettos abolished in Italy.
1869 — Italy grants emancipation to Jews.

Jews and Events in Britain and France in the 1800s and Early 1900s

Jews and Events in Britain; 1847 — London elects its first Jewish member of Parliament, Baron Lionel Nathan Rothschild. However, he cannot be seated as a member of Parliament because he will not swear the oath of office, which affirms Christianity as the true faith.
1868 — Benjamin Disraeli becomes prime minister of Great Britain — and the first prime minister of Jewish descent in Europe.
1871 — Great Britain grants full emancipation to Jews.
1885 — Sir Nathaniel Meyer Rothschild becomes the first Jew in England's in the House of Lords. The Christian oath was amended so that non-Christians could also serve in the House of Lords.
1917 — Over 2,700 men volunteer for the new Jewish Legion of the British Army which fought in Transjordan, among other places.

Famous Jews in France: 1830-1903 — Jewish Impressionist painter, whose works focused on the streets of Paris and landscapes, Camille Pissarro.
1831 — Louis Philippe of France grants state support to synagogues.
1860 — Frenchman Adolohe Cremieux launches the Alliance Israelite Universelle to defend Jewish rights and establish worldwide Jewish educational facilities.
1894-1943 — Artist known for his passionate and often disturbing use of color and form, Chaim Soutine (Smiliouchi).

Dreyfus Affair: 1894 — French general staff officer Alfred Dreyfus is sentenced to life on Devil's Island in the Dreyfus Affair.
February 23, 1898 — Emile Zola is convicted of libel for defending Dreyfus.
1898 — Acting on behalf of Col. Dreyfus, Emile Zola publishes J'Accuse.
1899 — Emile Zola wins a new trial for Alfred Dreyfus, and despite new charges, Dreyfus is acquitted and promoted to Major.

Jews and Events in Germany in the 1800s and Early 1900s

Famous Jews: 1818-1883 — Although born a Jew, he converted to Protestantism and later became the father of Communism, Karl Marx.
1860-1911 — Major modern Jewish composer of nine symphonies, Gustav Mahler.
1862 — Moses Hess writes Rome and Jerusalem.
1867 — German journalist Wilhelm Marr publishes a popular book, The Victory of Judaism over Germanism. He coins the word "antisemitism" so that Judenhass, or Jew-hatred, can be discussed in polite society.
1879-1955 — Zionist, physicist, Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of the special and general theory of relativity Albert Einstein.
May 1, 1880 — Albert Lasker, the “father of modern advertising,” is born in Freiburg, Prussia.
1885-1962 — Scientist who developed the theory on the nature of the atom, rescued from Nazi Germany, Neils Bohr.
1886-1929 — Philosopher, author, helped create the Free Jewish House of Study in Frankfurt, Franz Rosenweig.
1873-1956 — Leading theologian of the Reform movement, refused to escape Nazi Germany and spent five years in Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp, Leo Baeck.

Events: March 11, 1812 — Prussia's Edict of Emancipation grants citizenship to Jews.
1830 — German Jews begin to immigrate to America in substantial numbers.
1848 — In every part of Germany, excluding Bavaria, Jews had been granted granted civil rights, allowing Gabriel Riesser, a Jewish advocate, to be elected vice-president of the Frankfurt Vor Parliament and to become a member of the National Assembly. The civil rights, however, existed on paper only and were not enforced.
1859-1941 (Reign 1888-1918) — Kaiser William II of Germany.
January 12, 1871 — A new German constitution gives German Jews full legal equality.
1912 — 12 of the 100 members of the Reichstag (German parliament) are Jewish.
1916 — Germany accuses Jews of evading active service in WWI, despite 100,000 Jews serving, 12 percent higher than their population ratio.

Nazis: 1878 — The antisemitic German Christian Social Party is founded by Adolf Stoecker, a court chaplain. The party demands that Jews convert to Christianity.
April 20, 1889 — Adolf Hitler is born in Braunau am Inn, Austria.
1899-1902 — The term "concentration camp" is coined by the British during the Boer War to denote holding areas for potentially threatening Afrikaners (descendants of Dutch who immigrated to South Africa in the mid-1800s).
1907 — Adolf Hitler is rejected for study at the Vienna Academy of Art.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Jewish History Sourcebook “World Religions” edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); “ Encyclopedia of the World’s Religions” edited by R.C. Zaehner (Barnes & Noble Books, 1959); “Old Testament Life and Literature” by Gerald A. Larue, New International Version (NIV) of The Bible,; Wikipedia, Live Science, Archaeology magazine, National Geographic, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, Times of London, The New Yorker, Reuters, AP, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, and various books and other publications.

Last updated March 2024

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from, please contact me.