The cultural and social life of Jews in Lviv in the 19th – the first half of the 20th century. Part 2

Author: Lviv TIC - 15 november 2018 year

During 1918-1939 Lviv was a center of Jewish education, literature and culture in Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish. The Jewish community significantly influenced many aspects of city life, including the development of the press. The first issue of the Jewish newspaper was published in Hebrew and German at the beginning of the 19th century. Once Galicia gained autonomy in 1867 as a part of the Austrian Empire a fast process of polonization of Jewish community began. Jews lost their identity and became Austrians or Poles who followed Judaism. The assimilation processes were increasing. Zionism was a modern movement with the ideology aiming to create a Jewish country on the Holy Land. It opposed the assimilation of Jews into other societies and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel. In 1887, the 'Zion' organization published a booklet 'What should be the program for Jewish youth' propagating the idea of relocation to Palestine. The Jewish intelligentsia was actively engaged in the activities of Zionist clubs, they organized meetings and celebrations.

There were also lots of different Jewish politically oriented newspapers read both in Lviv and abroad. For instance, the 'Chwilа' newspaper was displaying the issues between Jewish and non-Jewish communities as well as specific columns on literature, children, women and students lives. It is a valuable material for research and a witness of Jewish community being in its prime that was destroyed by German occupation.


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