Medborgarskap och diskriminering : Östjudar och andra invandrare i Sverige 1860-1920
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to study whether discrimination arose in connection with applications for naturalisation in Sweden between 1860 and 1920.The number of naturalisation applications during the period studied was 11,242, of which 1,774 (16%) were from Eastern Jews, here defined as Jewish subjects of the Russian Tsar, and from the states that emerged after the fall of the Russian Empire. The outcome in each case has been established and where an application was denied (some 3,000 cases), I attempted to identify the main reason using the records appended to the case, sorting them into five main groups. A similar study was conducted for foreigners’ applications for freedom to trade (slightly more than 3,000 cases).Only 46% of naturalisation applications by Eastern Jews were approved, against almost 90% by ‘non Eastern Jews’ (viz. all other categories). The difference did not stem from concealed formal factors since it only increased once the analysis no longer included rejections because formal requirements had not been met. It is noticeable that a large number of Eastern Jews were turned down despite there being no specific complaint against them as individuals. No other category (including ‘Western Jews’, Finns, Catholics, Slavs, Italians and other categories of ‘strangers’) were discriminated against.The thesis also analyses the considerable variation over time. The question of the level on which decisions were actually taken is also addressed. It appears that the government was far more restrictive than the regional and local authorities. The role of the Jewish community of Stockholm is studied, so is the problem for many Eastern Jews of proving they were no longer the subjects of a foreign power.‘Eastern Jew phobia’ did not stop at attitudes; it was a discourse that was the main cause of discrimination. The Eastern Jews suffered any number of handicaps not only for being Jews but for being from the ‘East’. Worse, they belonged to an ethnic group associated with peddling, an occupation despised by the ruling elite.
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