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New ideas on Origins of E. Eur. Jews

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  • klezmer101
    There is a fascinating article in the current issue of Avotaynu by Alexander Beider, probably the world s leading expert on Eastern European Jewish names.
    Message 1 of 465 , Sep 17 8:27 AM
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      There is a fascinating article in the current
      issue of Avotaynu by Alexander Beider, probably the
      world's leading expert on Eastern European Jewish names.
      <br><br>He claims that the origins of Polish Jewry (and thus
      Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Belorussian Jewry) are from
      migrants from Czech lands (Bohemia and Moravia), not
      German lands (the Rhineland) as conventionally presumed.
      <br><br>This doesn't mean that there wasn't German influence,
      just that the vast majority of the grass-roots Jews
      came from Czech lands rather than German lands. He
      bases this new interpretation on given-name studies of
      Jewish tombstones from old cemeteries. He observes that
      the first names of nearly all the Jews of Eastern
      Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries are of Slavic
      construction and are NOT a match with those in the Rhineland
      during the same era. He claims that the Jews of Moravia
      and Bohemia (the modern Czech Republic) are of very
      ancient descent. They spoke a Slavic dialect before
      adopting Yiddish. He claims that Yiddish was imposed on
      them as the language of commerce and by the end of
      16th century, Yiddish had superceded their native
      Slavic dialect. Maybe a minority of intelligencia
      (Rabbis and rich businessmen) came from the Rhineland at
      this time and took over leadership of the indigenous
      Eastern European Jewish communities. Yiddish then became
      the language of culture and commerce. This sort of
      matches what we know about the Yiddish language - that it
      was a High German dialect frozen in time from about
      that era.<br><br>Anyway, if what Beider deduces is
      true, it is a major revelation on what we know about
      Jewish history from that era, very different than what
      previous scholars had assumed.
    • Alexandra
      I am looking for the surnames ZILBERMAN, KARP and EPSTEIN of Yarburg, Lithuania and JUDKOWSKY of Serednik, Lithuania. Alexandra
      Message 465 of 465 , Sep 13 6:34 AM
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        I am looking for the surnames ZILBERMAN, KARP and EPSTEIN of
        Yarburg, Lithuania and JUDKOWSKY of Serednik, Lithuania.

        Alexandra

        --- In jewishgenealogy2000@yahoogroups.com, jeffreyrstern wrote:
        > I have just begun to research my European roots.
        > Have learned that my maternal grandfather was from
        > Yurburg, Lithuania. The family name was eithrn Arnstein or
        > Arshtein. Looking for any possible relatives....
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