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Frank Swiaczny (2007)

On the Change of Settlement Patterns of the Jewish Population of the Bavarian Palatinate during the 19th Century – Aspects of the Historical Population Geography of a Minority*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 32, 1-2/2007, p. 289-312, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

The article covers the change of settlement patterns of the Jewish communities of the Bavarian Palatinate during the 19th century until the First World War. With the analysis of population growth and decline, as well as of the foundation and disappearance of Jewish communities – differentiated by location, size, and population share – spatial patterns of the population change and settlement structures are to be identified.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Palatinate had around 6,700 Jewish inhabitants, which represents a population share of roughly 2 % (1801, source unreliable). In the following years the number of Jews in the Palatinate was growing fast, and with 15,300 persons the Jewish population reached a population share of 2.7 % in 1840, the highest share ever during the 19th century. The population continued to grow up to about 15,600 persons in 1852, while the population share already started to decline to 2.67 %. From 1852 on, the Jewish population in the Palatinate declined considerably, falling to around 10,100 persons in 1900; and the population share was only 1.2 % at that time. Looking at individual communities independently, this general trend has to be differentiated. The article shows that the population development of the Jewish communities in the Palatinate at the beginning of the 19th century was highly influenced by the newly granted freedom of settlement. This led to a phase of considerable fluctuation among Jewish settlements, followed by consolidation since the second third of the 19th century. This spatial process was overshadowed from the beginning by the concentration of the Jewish population in the urban and centrally located areas during the industrialisation process, and less in settlements with a large Jewish populace or a high Jewish population share.

* Original title: Zum Wandel der Siedlungsstruktur der jüdischen Bevölkerung in der bayerischen Pfalz im 19. Jahrhundert – Aspekte der historischen Bevölkerungsgeographie einer Minderheit (full text in German only)

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