Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski

(1770 – 1861)

Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski was a Polish statesman and patriot. After the third partition of Poland (1795), Czartoryski went to St. Petersburg and entered the Russian government service, becoming assistant to the minister for foreign affairs during the reign of *Alexander I, with whom he was on friendly terms. Appointed a member of the Jewish committees of 1802, 1806, and 1807, Czartoryski advocated a policy of Jewish assimilation which, while disguised by liberal utterances, was in its effects on the Jewish masses to all practical purposes anti-Jewish. When in 1813 a Jewish printer from Vilna requested permission to publish a Yiddish newspaper, Czartoryski – who was responsible for education in the region – refused on the ground that the Jews should use the language of the surrounding population to bring them close to their Christian neighbors, and eventually adopt Christianity. After Russia established the Kingdom of Poland in 1815, Czartoryski was appointed to deal with problems concerning the peasants and Jews there. He was then ready to support Jewish emancipation only after the Jews had undergone a long process of assimilation and achieved "better morals." In Paris, however, where he took refuge after the Polish insurrection of 1830–31, and became leader of the Polish émigrés, he was persuaded by the Polish writer and statesman Jan Czynski that the help of the middle classes and the Jews should be enlisted in the cause of Poland's liberation. Czartoryski then took a more positive stand on Jewish emancipation, and in a speech delivered on November 29, 1844, urged that the Jews should be given the same rights claimed by the other inhabitants of Poland. Czartoryski encouraged the Hebrew writer Mendel *Lefin (Satanover), a pioneer of Haskalah, who stayed on Czartoryski's estate and taught his children. At Czartoryski's suggestion he wrote a pamphlet in French calling for improvement of the situation of Polish Jewry.


M. Wischnitzer, in: Perezhitoye, 1 (1908), 164–216; S. Mstislavskaya, in: Yevreyskaya starina, 2 (1910), 61–80, 235–52; A.G. Duker, in: Joshua Bloch Memorial Volume (1960), 165–79; R. Mahler, Ha-Ḥasidut ve-ha-Haskalah (1961), 216.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.