What role did religion play in public life? What about antisemitism? How did Jews respond to pressures to adopt the language and customs of the majority Christian society? Answers to these questions emerge from the life of Rabbi ármin Schnitzer, who grew up in northeastern Hungary but later settled in a small town in western Hungary. Schnitzer published a memoir, as well as speeches, sermons, and newspaper articles. In them we can see how Schnitzer tried to define a Jewish identity that fused Hungarian patriotism, imperial loyalty, and a measure of Zionism. They also show how Schnitzer used the local press, the town council, and networks of friends to respond to statewide crises, including the Tiszaeszlár ritual murder case in the 1880s and the battle over civil marriage in the 1890s. From this perspective, local political institutions appear much more vibrant and viable than is often assumed.
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