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Nicolai Nikolayevich° Novosiltsev

NOVOSILTSEV, NICOLAI NIKOLAYEVICH° (1761–1836), Russian politician. As the czar's adviser in the Polish kingdom (1815), he took charge of Jewish questions. He recommended that the Polish government should gather material on the conditions of the Jews in the kingdom so that the czar could decide how to improve their situation and "make them more useful to the country." He was the author of a project which forbade the Jews to manufacture or trade in alcohol, but at the same time proposed granting them self-government, with the aim of modernizing Jewish life and promoting science and the arts, so that ultimately they would be awarded political rights. However Novosiltsev, head of the secret police, was implacably opposed to Polish nationalism, and the true purpose of this project was to sow dissension between the Jews and the Poles.


Perezhitoye, 1 (1910), 164–221; 2 (1910), 78–93; YE, 11 (c. 1912), 765–6; Bolshaya Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, 30 (1954), 104; R. Mahler, Ḥasidut ve-Haskalah (1961), index; Wielka Encyklopedia Powszechna, 8 (1966), 55.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.