The Himelhochs Among the Jews of Pilten

From 1717 to 1738, the Poles subjected the Jews of Pilten to an oppressive series of special taxes and four decrees of expulsion. Some left; some stayed; some returned. In 1750, the Poles again granted them rights of residency for a fee, and in 1783 accorded full civic and general rights. This was in recognition of their track record as substantial and reliable tax payers.

In 1817 under Russian rule, the Pilten area close to Sasmaken became equal with the rest of Courland. This meant that all Courland was technically outside the Pale, the Pale being only those places within the Russian Empire where Jews were allowed to live. “Technically” is used here because the Russians, out of deference to the German baron land owners, often were not rigidly enforcing the ban. It seems logical that this accommodation would have been strongest in the Pilten area.

Himelhoch's Founders Lived Among The Jews of Pilton Before Immigrating to the United States

The Pale Settlement Outlined in Red (From

Next page -> The Jewish Residency Problem

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