Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/342

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tion to England and America. Prominently associated with the earlier aspect of this movement was a Jewish Colonization Association, which had at its disposal a fund of $50,000,000, a donation of the late Baron de Hirsch, but so far as the United States is concerned the new arrivals found in various vocations a sufficient degree of success to establish the immigration on a prepaid ticket basis on which it still continues.

The disabilities imposed upon the Jews in eastern Europe and the events associated with the Russian emigration are wont to be referred to as religious persecution. Tales of the use of the blood of christian children in religious rites and of stolen holy wafers punctured with a knife give a decidedly religious aspect to certain local outbreaks of violence. But the Russian church and the Russian people lack the proselyting spirit so characteristic of western people of whatever faith. While intolerant of dissenting sects from his own church 'because they invent their religions out of their own heads,' the Russian is inclined to respect the diverse religions of alien races as 'received from God.' Neither the Lutheran German nor the Mohammedan Tartar complains of religious persecution. In the case of the Jews, however, the matter of religious faith serves in Russia, Austria and Roumania as it has served in other lands to intensify a deep-seated feeling of popular resentment toward a race alien in speech and customs and closely identified with economic conditions that are commonly regarded as prejudicial to the common good; and it is not in the mere chronicle of clerical invective, political discrimination, violence and murder that the cause of this immigration and the explanation of its character are to be found, but in the economic history of a land where for centuries society was divisible into three classes, nobles, Jews and peasants.

Jews are known to have existed in Hungary and Roumania since Roman times, and within the present limits of Russia at a date almost as remote. But those emigrating to-day owe their presence there to much later migrations, both voluntary and involuntary, from more western Europe to Polish territory. Whenever the political condition of the western states of Medieval Europe became somewhat stable the expulsion of the Jews was almost sure to follow, and the refugees always tended eastward, finding more favorable conditions in those states whose political turmoil and continual squabbles gave little time for the consideration of internal affairs.

Poland offered such favorable conditions long after more western Europe had quieted down. Here the ancient Jewish element was obscured by continual Jewish immigration from the west, of which the wholesale migration from Bohemia near the close of the eleventh