Demographers in the service of the nation: Liebmann Hersch, Jacob Lestschinsky, and the early study of Jewish migration
The historiography of Jewish migration began while the mass emigration from eastern Europe was still in progress. The emigration of hundreds of thousands of Jews left a deep impression on Jewish intellectuals and students, who sought to come up with a satisfactory explanation. The present paper has two aims: The first is to trace the beginning of historiography on Jewish migration, with special emphasis on two demographers — Liebman Hersch and Jacob Lestchinsky - and the way each of them tried to understand the phenomenon. The second aim is to understand the relationship between the rise of Jewish nationalism at the turn of the century and scholarly research at the time. How were the political activities and worldviews of Hersch and Lestschinsky manifested in their research into Jewish migration, and how did each of them attempt — through his research-to solve the problems of the Jewish people in his time?
KeywordsJewish demography Palestine Migration
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