Peasant political mobilization and the 1898 anti-Jewish riots in western Galicia


This article focuses on the anti-Jewish riots that took place in the spring and summer of 1898 in the western counties of the Habsburg province of Galicia, today divided between Poland and Ukraine. More than 5000 Polish peasants and townspeople were arrested, thousands were tried, and many received long prison sentences. An increasingly strident Catholic anti-Semitism, rumor, mass political mobilization, and actions urged and taken by the various levels of the Habsburg state - the central ministries in Vienna; the office of the Galician governor in the provincial capital of Lemberg; military and police forces on the ground; local officials in western Galicia - all affected the outbreak and course of the violence. The article argues that the riots were not simply a manifestation of rural backwardness, but rather should be understood in the context of the arrival of mass politics in the Habsburg countryside. © The Author(s) 2010.

Publication Title

European History Quarterly