Life in Galicia in 1911: Where Exactly Is Trump Leading US?

Archduke Ferdinand Being Greeted by Orthodox Jews in 1910

I just bought the book The Hapsburg Empire: A New History by Peter M. Hudson and it took me only two pages of reading to learn important details to share with my readers.  I have written about Przemsyl in Jewish Business News, but here is information that my grandmother never shared with me.  The town bosses of Drohobych/Drohobycz encouraged troops from the garrison at Rzeszów to fire on a crowd (Rzeszów is near Przemsyl).  I knew about those troops through my research in visiting Poland and from my grandmother telling me that there were Russian troops there.  Twenty-six people were killed in that crowd, including women, children, and the elderly.  An investigation determined that most of those people were shot in the back, people who had to be fleeing.  This must sound familiar even today in our nation’s cities as it affects our people.

What happened at that time?  There was some rioting taking place by people who wanted to vote and there was also voter suppression.  There was a single voting station for 8,000 people and the mounted police drove people away from the voting station.  The voters included Jews and Ruthenian or Ukranian speaking Galicians (of that particular region).  And there was concern about the rigging of the election.  The group expected to rig the election controlled the strings in Galicia, meaning the conservative elites of the Polish Club and the group that opposed the Jewish incumbent was the Zionists (a small number of which went to Palestine).  The local nobility could and did call on police and the military to oppress the people in that manner.

I kind of wish that I had the help of Professor Henry Louis Gates whose show has revealed amazing things about famous people and the past that has largely been hidden from them.  What was my grandmother’s family experiencing back then and what was going on even before my grandmother was born?  What you have read is just a start in knowing conditions that were not revealed to us.

Universal manhood suffrage came to those places only in 1907 and this was the second election to be held.  And the third since 1897 when men without property were enfranchised.  This took place in June 1911 which was the same year that my grandmother and her family arrived in America. 

This was also a period where people who had been peasants owing their labor to the emperor or local nobility in the form of taxes were freed of that labor.  The nobility was frustrated after losing so many workers.  I would imagine that there was must have been a Jim Crow situation taking place as well to keep people close to the nobility instead of permitting absolute economic freedom.  And yes there was white slavery in Galicia in those days due to the immense poverty among the Jews, Jews that were forced out of jobs where they had been making a living.  This also reminds me of what the British did to the Irish for centuries. 

Here is a summary of Zionist activity during the years preceding 1911 from Britannica.  “In May 1901 and August 1902 Dr Herzl had audiences of the Sultan Abdul Hamid, and was received with great distinction, but the negotiations led to nothing. Despairing of obtaining an immediate charter for Palestine, he turned to the British government with a view to securing a grant of territory on an autonomous basis in the vicinity of the Holy Land, which would provisionally afford a refuge and a political training-ground for persecuted Jews. His overtures met with a sympathetic reception, especially from Mr Chamberlain, then Colonial Secretary, and Earl Percy, who was Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (October 1902). At first a site for the proposed settlement was suggested in the Sinai peninsula, but owing to the waterless character of the country the project had to be abandoned. Then Mr Chamberlain, who in the interval had paid a visit to Africa, suggested the salubrious and uninhabited highlands of the East Africa Protectorate, and in 1903 the British government formally offered Dr Herzl the Nasin Gishiu plateau, 6000 sq. m. in area. No such opportunity for creating a Jewish self-governing community had presented itself since the Dispersion, and for a moment it seemed as if Zionism were really entering the field of practical politics. Unhappily it only led to bitter controversies, which nearly wrecked the whole movement. The British offer was submitted to the Sixth Congress, which assembled at Basel in August 1903. It was received with consternation and an explosion of wrath by the ultra-nationalist elements, who interpreted it as an abandonment of the Palestine idea. By his personal influence Dr Herzl succeeded in obtaining the appointment of a commission to examine the proposed territory, but its composition was largely nationalist, and in the following year the Congress gladly availed itself of certain critical passages in the report to reject the whole scheme.

Meanwhile Zionism had suffered an irreparable blow by the death of Dr Herzl (1904). He was succeeded by Mr David Wolffsohn, a banker of Cologne, but there was in truth nobody who in ability and personal dignity and magnetism could take his place. The movement was further shaken by the dissensions which followed the rejection of the East African project. Mr Israel Zangwill led an influential minority which combined with certain non-Zionist elements to found a rival organization under the name of the ITO (Jewish Territorial Organization) with a view to taking over the East African offer or to establish an autonomous place of refuge elsewhere. Thus freed from all moderating elements the Zionists hardened into an exclusively Palestinian body, and under the auspices of Mr Wolffsohn fresh negotiations were opened with the Porte. These, however, were rendered finally hopeless by the Turkish revolution, which postulated a united Ottoman nationality, and resolutely set its face against any extension of the racial and religious autonomies under which the integrity of the Empire had already severely suffered.

During 1905-1910 the Jewish national idea, for all practical purposes, was in a state of suspended animation. The recovery of the Holy Land appeared more distant than ever, while even the establishment of an independent or autonomous Jewish state elsewhere, for which the ITO was labouring, had encountered unexpected difficulties. On the rejection of the British offer by the Zionists Mr Zangwill approached the Colonial Office, but he was too late, as the reserve on the Nasin Gishiu plateau had already been officially withdrawn. The ITO then turned its attention to Cyrenaica, and an expedition to examine the country was sent out (1908), but it was not found suitable. A project for combining all the Jewish organizations in an effort to secure an adequate foothold in Mesopotamia in connexion with the scheme for the irrigation of that region was subsequently proposed by Mr Zangwill, but up to January 1911 it had not been found practicable. The ITO, however, did valuable work by organizing an Emigration Regulation Department for deflecting the stream of Jewish emigration from the overcrowded Jewry of New York to the Southern states of the American Union, where there is greater scope for employment under wholesome conditions. For this purpose a fund was formed, to which Mr Jacob Schiff contributed £100,000 and Messrs Rothschild £20,000.”

As you can see Jews were fighting Jews and the Zionism movement would reduce the labor population, which would result in a free economy on much higher labor costs.  And there were those who would find any reason or excuse to divide Jews, including going along with the nobility or the people pulling the strings.

That brings us up to Donald Trump and what is taking place today.  I must write what Michael Oren has said about his work as Israeli ambassador to the United States.  So keep in mind all of the opinions that have told some Americans who have read them that the United States under Barack Obama was anti-Israel.  More than two years have passed and where is the proof in action: a major attack by Israel’s enemies would be excellent proof or even twenty-six Jews shot in the back in a raid inside Israel.  Obama told Netanyahu, according to Oren, “If war comes, we’re with you…”  So let’s forget about opinions.  Obama did give a substantial military aid package to Israel as Israel hoped for as well.  And near the end of Oren’s time as ambassador, he wrote that he was greatly relieved to hear Obama say “Our ally Israel can defend itself with overwhelming force.” 

Oren pointed out that support for Israel rose while he was ambassador to 74 percent which is not bad at all.  Clearly that support had to be bipartisan.  Forget the opinions of others and use facts, otherwise we are in great danger.  Do not be deceived by Zionists, non-Zionists, and Trump.  I have believed that peace could not be achieved since the 1980s.  And I base my position on believing that revenge has been one of the prime reasons that there is no peace.  Read the history well and see that I was right.  And if you have read my article about Trump in the link above, I chose not to remain silent about his poor judgment in running our nation.  There is a small difference between running and ruining our nation as you can see by the spelling.  And I believe very strongly that the collusion case against Trump will be open again soon.  It’s only a matter of time.

Now here is something to sink your teeth in.  American officials cited the rise in anti-Semitism to the Israeli offensive in Gaza.  Jewish leaders cited the centuries old anti-Semitism as the probable reason.  Would it be reasonable to block Israel’s offensives from being a possible reason for more hate and anti-Semitism when even in Israel people feel this way?

Before Trump took office, there was a poll about acceptance of a two-state solution that was shrinking to 55 percent for Israelis and 44 percent for Palestinians (it had been 59 percent and 51 respectively 6 months earlier.  There are about 82 percent of Israelis who do not believe that peace is even possible, but you have heard Trump say that he is looking at both a one-state and a two-state solution.  Trump is unprepared and unprepared to tell the truth.  So just like in Galicia around 1911, Jews are again divided and we have to look much more deeply into this matter to determine the truth.  The truth cannot easily be recognized by Trump supporters who are unwilling to learn more and admit Trump’s failings.   

As you can see from the evidence below, I was writing to Republicans to help our nation long before Donald Trump and his terrible economics and diplomacy.  And I had major impacts in Florida and New York (in Florida in 2002 with the office of Jeb Bush).  And I worked the Democratic side, was in touch with the Kasich Campaign in 2016 to help Americans.  I have stayed away from Trump because I noticed the divisions that he was creating early in his campaign and now he is at his worst in relation to splitting Jews with this minor, almost insignificant move by some Jews to the Republican Party.  I want nothing to do with Trump and there are great things that I could have continued to do for Americans which I have put aside to fight to destroy Trump in my own way.  He reminds me of those people in Galicia who massacred 26 people, although I can hear the Trump Hallelujah Chorus telling me that Trump is doing good.  That is classic.  For many or most of those people, it’s really about the Benjamins anyway and that relates to Galicia, as well, in 1911 as people are oppressed by our “democratic” government in a different way. 

There are some pockets of Jews living in poverty in America today and there are about 1 million living in poverty in Israel right now.  Zionism was about “escaping” from the oppressive conditions that Jews were forced to live under in the Hapsburg Empire (and not just pogroms).  Today others have the replaced the Jews as Jews ascended economically and the numbers are 40 million adults and probably an equal number of family members who live in that kind of economic oppression.  Big government could have solved that problem a long time ago, but Trump is surrounded by people who detest big government, the federal government, and federal employees (remember Trump’s freezing of wages as he took office and the hiring freeze).  And what we can learn from the Jim Crow type conditions that afflicted Jews in Galicia and elsewhere was that local government exploited us and we needed escape routes. 

My grandmother settled in America and luckily the family survived.  African-Americans and people of color faced in the South and other communities what we faced or we faced what they faced.  We have to destroy walls and build bridges between people.  And I know the potential for danger right now and that Trump barely reacts to that danger as he continues supporting Israel.  And at least 70 million people in America continue to be oppressed by an autocracy that claims to be a democracy.  Anyone who has not succeeded due to the lack of a GED credential ought to know that very well.  My words should really make sense to all those people who still do not feel supported properly by the Trump Administration’s efforts.  We can make a difference together and shape a better America that existed before Trump and continues to exist.  There are solutions!

I learned that people left Galicia because the national government reduced the number of soldiers to protect the city where my grandmother came from, but at the time of a great recession there the nobility robbed lots of Jews of their income by not allowing them in businesses that they had already been in.  These were businesses or jobs that permitted them to provide more for their children who were clearly doing better than the children of other ethnic groups.  You may also know that by 1939 Jews were doing well in Poland and provided major cities with huge numbers of doctors and accountants.  And we lost most of those people.  Would it be wrong to educate our people better?  Educate the workforce finally so that no tyrant or persons acting in government prevent people from becoming all that they can be (as the US Army says Be All That You Can Be). Seriously nobody listens to me!

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