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Region of central Europe, annexed by Austria in 1772 in the first partition of Poland, and ruled directly from Vienna as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, heavily Germanized. Its principal cities were Lublin and Krakau to the west, Przemysl in the center, and Lemberg, Stanislau, and Ternopil to the east. From 1873 it was an autonomous province of the Austria-Hungary dual monarchy.

During World War I, Galicia was heavily fought over by Russia and the Central Powers. Between 1918 and 1923, the region was in flux, the western part forming part of the Republic of Poland, the eastern part being claimed for Ukrainian independence, and briefly becoming a Soviet Socialist Republic in 1920 during the Polish–Soviet war. From 1923 until 1939, the whole region belonged to Poland.

Early in World War II, Galicia was split between Germany and Russia, but the German army occupied East Galicia in 1941, after which the Jewish population was largely annihiliated. Following the war, Galicia was split between Poland and Soviet Ukraine (since 1991 the independent Ukrainian state).

Galicia was a multi-ethnic (primarily Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, and Jews), multi-lingual (predominantly German, Polish, Ruthenian, and Yiddish) society. Its Jewish population had long been subject to deprivations; and with the lifting of residential restrictions in 1848 large numbers began to migrate, many of them to Vienna (others to other European cities and the United States). Jews continued to migrate throughout the later 19th century, as impoverishment and anti-semitism steadily increased and they became subject to boycotts; in Vienna, most of them assimilated and acculturated into Germanic society as fully as possible, in many cases being baptized as Catholics or Protestants.

Galicia and Schenker

Schenker's parents lived in Galicia, and brought up their children in part in Wisniowczyk (where Markus, Rebekha, Wilhelm, Schifre (Sophie), and Heinrich were born), in part in Podhajce (where Moriz was born). Heinrich Schenker attended primary school in Wisniowczyk and German Gymnasium (grammar school) in Lemberg [L'viv], later Brežany, then moved to Vienna in 1884 to study Law at Vienna University, remaining there for the rest of his life. With the death of his father in 1887, his mother migrated to Vienna, and was supported in part by him.


  • Wikipedia
  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern und Briefen ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985)
  • Rozenblatt, Marsha L., The Jews of Vienna 1867–1914 (Albany: SUNY Press, 1983)

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