'Jewish Space' in Fin-De-Siècle Vienna and St. Petersburg: Residential, Occupational and Religious Patterns PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Pavel Vasilyev

'Jewish Space' in Fin-De-Siècle Vienna and St. Petersburg: Residential, Occupational and Religious Patterns

GRIN Verlag
Publication date: January 2010
ISBN: 9783640783618
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At first glance, the historical Jews do not seem to have been a group that was determining the architectural, visual and spatial outlook of cities - in Europe or overseas alike. In fact, as Rudolf Klein put it, 'the Jews were seldom in a position - save in ancient and modern Israel - to impose architecture on others'; partially because they 'moved so many times in history that they lacked the preconditions for a continuous architectural evolution'. Moreover, architecture has always been considered a Jewish 'specialty' much less then, say, literature, medicine or business. However, I will show that a closer look at the connections between the Jews and the urban space is an important and promising enterprise that tells us a lot about the Jews, the city - and also about Gentiles.
The focus of this paper is on the fin-de-siècle period (late 19th - early 20th centuries) and on the two capital cities of Vienna and St. Petersburg - and for some reasons. Both cities were capitals of the empires (Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire, respectively), that were powerful enough to be a major military and financial competitors, but still technologically and economically backward. The transition to modernity in both capitals was late and problematic, and the Jewish communities have faced a long and persistent anti-Semitism. In both contexts, however, the Jews were especially successful and over-represented in the most modern professions - and also more visible in the rapidly changing modern urban space. Thus, this paper also compliments to the perspective that analyzes 'Jewish space' in fin-de-siècle capitals - and brings a comparative element into the picture.
Accordingly, in this paper I will look at the Jewish experiences in turn-of-the-century Vienna and St. Petersburg to compare the visions, images and representations of the 'Jewish space' in the two imperial capitals that were struggling through modernity. I am particularly interested in residential, occupational and religious aspects of the 'Jewish space' as these were the factors that determined the everyday life cycle of particular Jews. Additionally, I want to trace the potential influence that the Jewish patterns of space organization may have exercised upon Gentile ones around turn of the century.
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