Baron Hirsch, An Amazing New Biography

Mathias Lehmann, professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Irvine has just published The Baron: Maurice de Hirsch and the Jewish Nineteenth Century. a biography of Baron Hirsch that fills a major gap, the lack of biographies of the Baron in English. 1

And Lehmann also provides us an eyewitness view of so much of Baron Hirsch’s life, based on Lehmann’s extensive archival research in Austria, Belgium, England, France, Israel, Turkey, and the United States.

The Embankment, Ostend, Belgium 1890s , the resort to which Baron Hirsch was summoned by King Leopold II, Library of Congress.

Readers will enjoy this very readable and delightfully detailed text that describes human beings, not just historical figures. We are able to see the building of transcontinental railroads and the formation of huge refugee projects from the details of the daily activities that led to these achievements, as exemplified by the book’s first paragraph ” At seven o’clock one summer morning in August 1895, Maurice de Hirsch, accompanied by his twenty-nine-year-old son Lucien, set out from Boitsfort, on the outskirts of Brussels, to catch the express train to the Belgian seaside resort of Ostend. The reason for that morning’s journey was a summons by King Leopold II, who was eager to convince the prominent Jewish banker and businessman to invest in the construction of a new railroad in the Belgian Congo.” 2

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  1. Other biographies include Grunwald, Kurt, Turkenhirsch: Study of Baron Maurice De Hirsch, 1966; Frischer, DominiqueEl Moises de las Americas: Vida Y Obra Del Baron De Hirsch (trans from French), 2004; Lee, Samuel,  Moses of the New World: The Work of Baron Hirsch (1970); Rozenblum, Serge-Allian Le Baron De Hirsch: Un Financier Au Service De L’humanite2006 []
  2. Lehmann, Mathias (2022). The Baron: Maurice de Hirsch and the Jewish Nineteenth Century, Stanford: Stanford University Press, p. 19. []

Baron Hirsch’s Brazilian Jewish Farming Communities

This post contains a short history of the first Brazilian Jewish farming communities supported by Baron Hirsch’s legacy and some references. You can read about eyewitness descriptions of these communities aquí.

Disponible en Amazon or at archive.org.

Baron Hirsch established the Jewish Colonization Agency (JCA) in 1891  “to assist and promote the emigration of Jews from any part of Europe or Asia… and to form and establish colonies in various parts of North and South America ….”. And during the Baron’s lifetime, the Agency supported farming communities for Eastern European Jewish immigrants in Argentina, the United States, and  Canada.

But after the Baron died in 1896, bequeathing seven million pounds sterling (equivalent to $US 1.12 billion in today’s dollars) to the JCA,1  a newly elected board of trustees voted to use some of this windfall to expand JCA’s colonization activities to southern Brazil,2where the JCA purchased land in 1902.3

For those willing to emigrate to these colonies the JCA offered to ” cover travel expenses and provide each settler with 25-30 hectares [60-75 acres] of land, a house, agricultural implements, two teams of oxen, two cows, one horse and an allowance that varied in accordance with the size of the family, payable once it had become self-sufficient.”  4

Philippson (Filipson), 720 miles south of São Paulo

Homesteaders first reached the JCA’s first Brazilian colony, Philippson, or Filipson in Portuguese, in 1904. Philippson was located near the city of Santa Maria in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The JCA had not yet built the houses they had promised, so the thirty-seven families were housed in barracks. It took months for the settlers to be assigned land and, once assigned, they discovered it was very hard to farm.

Leer Mas: Baron Hirsch’s Brazilian Jewish Farming Communities Sigue leyendo
  1. LESSER, Jeff (1991). Jewish Colonization in Rio Grande Do Sul, 1904-1925, São Paulo: Centro de Estudos de Demografia Historica da America Latina, p. 24 []
  2. GRITTI, Isabel Rosa (1997). Imigração judaica no Rio Grande do Sul: a Jewish Colonization Association e a colonização de Quatro Irmãos, Porto Alegre: Martins Livreiro-Editor, p. 19. []
  3. NORMAN, Theodore (1985). An outstretched arm: a history of the Jewish Colonization Association, London: Routledge & K. Paul, p. 90  Also read an account of the status of the JCA in 1906 aquí []
  4. Falbel, Najman. "Asentamiento agrícola judío en Brasil"  Historia judía (2007) 21, p. 329. []

Baron Hirsch’s Jewish Farmers Dream

Where did it come from?

Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, White House Historical Association

Dreams of turning Jewish tradesmen into farmers date back to the mid-eighteenth century and feature some strange bedfellows. Besides Baron Hirsch, these utopian efforts involved Polish patriots, Russian Czars, German Mennonites, and of course, the Zionists. Like Thomas Jefferson, these Europeans and many other eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century thinkers believed that “cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens . . , the most vigorous. . . [and] the most virtuous.”1

The idea of turning Jews into farmers to make them vigorous and virtuous was first proposed In Eastern Europe in the mid-eighteenth century when Austria, Germany, and Russia were trying to gobble up Poland. To ward off this national decapitation the Polish government sought to strengthen Polish society.  One concern was the large number of non-assimilated Jews who had settled in Poland since the 12th Century because of the relatively liberal environment that allowed them to prosper and practice their religion. Many of the Jews worked for the nobles, managing estates and selling crops.   

By the late 18th century, half of the world’s Jews, about 1.5 million, lived in Poland. The Polish bourgeoisie considered this large community of Jews to be unwelcome competitors and the general populous put the Jews in the same basket as the nobles, resenting both.  Polish leaders saw these conflicts as one more cause for the weakness of the country. They thought that if Jews would become farmers they would be like everyone else and the conflicts would cease. Plans were drawn up but were never implemented.  And Austria, Germany, and Russia did gobble up Poland. 

The areas of Poland annexed by Russia are shown in mauve, lilac, and gray.

The majority of the Polish Jews, approximately 1 million, lived in the areas of Eastern Poland that were annexed by Russia between 1772 and 1795. (Listen to a discussion on how this annexation affected these Polish Jews.)

 So when Czar Alexander I rose to the throne in 1801 he faced a dual dilemma. First, how could he populate New Russia and Crimea in southern Russia, lands recently conquered from the Ottomans following the Russo-Turkish Wars? In addition, how could the Czar integrate the one million Jews who had recently come under Russian rule through these partitions of Poland

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  1. JEFFERSON, Thomas. Letter to John Jay, Aug. 23, 1785, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (DLC) Jefferson Quotes and Family Letters, Thomas Jefferson, Monticello. []

En una clara mañana de abril Lo más destacado

Prefacio y Capítulo 1

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Serie: Estudios judíos latinoamericanos Junio 2020 | 146 pp.

9781644692981 | $22.95 | Libro de bolsillo

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RESUMEN

En una clara mañana de abril, por Marcos Iolovitch, es una historia lírica y fascinante de la mayoría de edad ambientada entre los colonos de principios del siglo XX llevada a un lugar casi desconocido Experimento agrícola judío en un rincón aislado de Brasil. Esta novela autobiográfica está llena de drama, alegría, desastres, romance y humor. Viaja desde granjas donde los cultivos no crecerán hasta pueblos donde el protagonista de habla yiddish se enamora, se hace amigo de hijos de inmigrantes alemanes, estudia filosofía con los jesuitas y se convierte en un miembro importante del mundo literario de Brasil. Esta primera edición en inglés incluye aclaraciones históricas sobre el origen de Comunidades agrícolas judías en los Estados Unidos, Canadá y Sudamérica por la traductora, Merrie Blocker, una oficial retirada del Servicio Exterior de los Estados Unidos.

Sobre el autor y traductor

Nacido en un pequeño pueblo ucraniano, Marcos Iolovitch Se crió en el sur de Brasil entre los agricultores y vendedores ambulantes judíos pobres. Se convirtió en un destacado poeta y ensayista y ejerció el derecho. Luchador por la justicia social, dedicó su novela autobiográfica a "todos los que sufren y sueñan con un mundo mejor".

Merrie Blocker es un ex diplomático estadounidense que se desempeñó como agregado cultural en Porto Alegre, Brasil, el escenario de En una clara mañana de abril, así como en Asia Central, Rumania y en toda América Latina.

Prefacio del traductor

Marcos Iolovitch, autor de En una clara mañana de abril, Fue un ávido estudiante de los grandes filósofos. Pero él creía que para alcanzar la "verdadera sabiduría" necesitamos abrir nuestras ventanas y observar los "sutiles matices de la realidad que nos envuelven". En esta novela autobiográfica, en la que un joven busca encontrar un camino justo y satisfactorio, vemos a este protagonista encantador y afectuoso descubrir su propia sabiduría a través de las realidades que lo envuelven, las realidades de los inmigrantes judíos en el sur de Brasil durante las primeras décadas de el siglo veinte.

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Agricultores judíos brasileños cuentan sus historias

Israelitas no Rio Grande do Sul

Esta publicación ofrece una descripción de las novelas y memorias que nos dejaron los agricultores de principios del siglo XX del sur de Brasil. Ofrecen representaciones fascinantes de la vida de los inmigrantes judíos. La publicación incluye imágenes, enlaces a más información y una lista de referencias. También incluimos cómo encontrar las obras originales y secundarias en bibliotecas de todo el mundo.
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La comunidad de agricultores judíos del barón Hirsch

Maurice_de_Hirsch_-_Tableau.jpg

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Baron Maurice de Hirsch, the builder of the Vienna-Constantinople Railroad, and his friends, sponsored the settlement of Eastern European Jews in many lands.  They spent the equivalent of $2 billion in today’s dollars, working primarily in North and South America.

Este blog fue creado para recopilar y contar las historias de los agricultores judíos que Baron Maurice de Hirsch supported in both North and South America and the follow-on stories of their descendants worldwide.

Maurice de Hirsch Vanity Fair July 26, 1890, National Portrait Gallery, London


Presentamos obras escritas y visuales que representan a los inmigrantes originales y relatan los logros de los descendientes de estos inmigrantes. Y hay muchos logros. Nuestros antepasados eran personas valientes e ingeniosas, al igual que sus nietos y bisnietos.

Esperamos que nos envíe sus historias y permiso para publicarlas. Hacer clic aquí para contactarnos. Y si tiene una pregunta particular sobre este fenómeno de inmigración, háganoslo saber. Investigaremos la respuesta y escribiremos una publicación.

MÁS SOBRE BARON HIRSCH

Para toda la historia, lea la historia oficial de la Asociación de Colonización Judía del Barón Hirsch, Un brazo extendido.

For information on Baron Hirsch’s work in the United States through the Jewish Agricultural Society see this post by Professor Emeritus of North Carolina State University, Gary Moore.

aquí you can find over 50 different books on the life and work of Baron Hirsch.

Además, mira esto Breve resumen del trabajo del barón Hirsch con agricultores judíos.

aquí is a 1910 report from the U.S. Government on “Hebrews in Agriculture”. including many of Baron Hirsch’s projects.

Hacer clic aquí for a list of the archives worldwide of Baron Hirsch-related documents, including correspondence with individual immigrants.