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Westphalia

Westphalia (wĕstfāl´yə), Ger. Westfalen, region and former province of Prussia, W Germany. Münster was the capital of the province. After 1945 the province was incorporated into the West German state of North Rhine–Westphalia, now a state in reunified Germany. The region of Westphalia occupies, roughly, a triangle formed by a line drawn eastward from the Rhine River at the Dutch border to the Weser River at Minden, a line drawn from Minden southwestward to Siegen (near the border with Hesse), and a line drawn to the northwest from Siegen and parallel to the Rhine.

The region is drained by the Ems, Weser, Ruhr, and Lippe rivers; it is hilly in the east and south and forms a low plain in the northwest. The land consists partly of fertile soil and partly of sandy tracts, moors, and heaths. The Ruhr valley, in the west, is part of the great Westphalian coal basin and of the Ruhr district, one of the world's most important industrial regions. The Ruhr district is connected with the Ems River by the Dortmund-Ems Canal and with the Elbe River by the Midland Canal.

History

Westphalia first appears as the name of the western third of the duchy of Saxony in the 10th cent. Unlike Eastphalia, the eastern third of the duchy of Saxony, Westphalia survived the breakup (1180) of the Saxon duchy as a regional concept, although it lost political unity. The larger part of Westphalia came under the rule of ecclesiastical princes—the bishops of Münster, Osnabrück, Minden, and Paderborn and the archbishops of Cologne, who obtained the region around Arnsberg, known as the duchy of Westphalia. Among the temporal fiefs that emerged from the breakup of Saxony were the counties of Lippe, Ravensberg, and Mark. All these territories were later included in the Westphalian Circle of the Holy Roman Empire (formed c.1500), which also encompassed considerable non-Westphalian land. In the later Middle Ages most of the important Westphalian towns—e.g., Münster, Osnabrück, Paderborn, Bielefeld, and Soest—prospered as members of the Hanseatic League.

The bishoprics of Münster, Paderborn, and Osnabrück and the duchy of Westphalia were secularized only in 1803 by the Diet of Regensburg as a result of the French Revolutionary wars; they were at first partitioned among Prussia, Hanover, Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Kassel, and the grand duchy of Berg. In 1807, after the signing of the Treaty of Tilsit (see Sovetsk), Napoleon seized all Prussian possessions W of the Elbe, as well as the electorates of Hesse-Kassel and Hanover and the duchy of Brunswick. The northern section of these territories, including Münster, was directly annexed by France. The southern section was constituted as the kingdom of Westphalia, with Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte (see Bonaparte, family) as king and with Kassel as the capital. The kingdom, which actually included only a small part of Westphalia, collapsed in 1813. At the Congress of Vienna the major part of Westphalia proper was awarded (1815) to Prussia; and Hanover, Hesse-Kassel, and Brunswick were restored. Westphalia continued as a Prussian province until 1945.

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Westphalia

Westphalia Historic region of w Germany between the rivers Rhine and Weser. From 1180, it was a Duchy under the Archbishops of Cologne. Briefly a kingdom during the Napoleonic Wars, it became a province of Prussia in 1816.

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Westphalia

Westphaliamyalgia, nostalgia •sporangia •florilegia, quadriplegia •Phrygia • Thuringia • loggia • Borgia •apologia, eulogia •Perugia •Czechoslovakia, Slovakia •Saskia •clarkia, souvlakia •rudbeckia •fakir, Wallachia •Ischia •Antalya, espalier, pallia, rallier •shilly-shallyer • Somalia •hotelier, Montpellier, sommelier, St Helier •Australia, azalea, bacchanalia, Castalia, dahlia, echolalia, genitalia, inter alia, Lupercalia, Mahalia, marginalia, paraphernalia, regalia, Saturnalia, Thalia, Westphalia •Amelia, camellia, Celia, Cordelia, Cornelia, Delia, Elia, epithelia, Karelia, Montpelier, Ophelia, psychedelia •bougainvillea, Brasília, cilia, conciliar, familiar, haemophilia (US hemophilia), Hillier, juvenilia, memorabilia, necrophilia, paedophilia (US pedophilia), sedilia •chanticleer •collier, volleyer •cochlea • haulier •Anatolia, magnolia, melancholia, Mongolia •Apulia, dulia, Julia, peculiar •nuclear, sub-nuclear, thermonuclear •buddleia

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Westphalia

WESTPHALIA

WESTPHALIA , region in Germany. During the Middle Ages Jews lived not only in the duchy of Westphalia but also in many of the bishoprics, cities, and earldoms of the region known as Westphalia. Jews were present in most areas by the beginning of the 13th century; many came from *Cologne, where a flourishing community existed at the end of the 12th century. They generally settled in small numbers; the first organized communities existed in *Muenster, *Minden, and *Dortmund, where Archbishop Conrad of Cologne granted the Jews a charter of privileges in 1250. Until the middle of the 14th century, they were under the jurisdiction of the country nobles. Later, with the strengthening of the towns, the Jews were placed under the municipal jurisdiction, and the number permitted to settle was limited. They earned their livelihood primarily by moneylending. The Jews of Westphalia were victims of the *Black Death persecutions in 1348–49, but during the second half of the 14th century they returned to the towns from which they had fled or had been expelled. Despite local expulsions, Jewish settlement continued in Westphalia. In the latter part of the 17th century, as well as in the 18th century, Jewish autonomy was severely restricted by governmental control and regulation. Nevertheless, the number of Jews increased. They were engaged not only in moneylending but also as merchants in gold, silver, cloth, and livestock.

The establishment of the Kingdom of Westphalia by Napoleon in 1807 brought a dramatic change in the status of the Jews. The Napoleonic kingdom was located to the west of Westphalia and was made up of portions of Hanover, Hesse, and other states. On January 27, 1808, the Jews were granted civic rights and – as the first Jews of Germany – could settle throughout the kingdom, engage in the profession of their choice, and had total freedom of commerce. After a few months, a *consistory was founded using the French institution as a prototype, and existed from 1808 to 1813 in the capital, *Kassel. Its president was Israel Jacobson, financial adviser to King Jerome Bonaparte, assisted by rabbis Loeb Mayer Berlin (1738–1814), Simon Kalkar (1754–1812), and Mendel Sternhardt (1768–1825). Also participating in the work of the consistory were two scholars, David Fraenkel (1779–1865), publisher of Sulamit, and Jeremiah *Heinemann (1778–1855). The secretary was S. Markel, the attorney for the municipal council of Kassel. Its task was the supervision of all Jewish activities in Westphalia. Innovations in the religious service were introduced that aroused considerable controversy, and new schools were formed, including a seminary in Kassel for the training of teachers and rabbis in 1810. Of particular interest was the experimental school in Kassel that combined secular and Jewish studies. Westphalia was divided into seven districts, each with its rabbi and his assistant. Jews were compelled to choose family names. Many were attracted by the liberal policies of the kingdom, and by 1810 the number of Jews had risen to 19,039. In 1813, however, the kingdom was abolished, and with it the consistory was dissolved.

Parts of the region known as Westphalia were included in the Prussian province of Westphalia in 1816, and the status of the Jews became similar to that of their coreligionists of Prussia. Together with them, they gradually obtained their *emancipation between 1847 and 1867. In 1881 an organization of Westphalian communities was formed. The notorious antisemite Adolf *Stoecker was active in Westphalia at the end of the 19th century. The Jewish population of Westphalia numbered 21,595 in 1932 (0.45% of the total). The principal communities were *Gelsenkirchen (population 1,440); Muenster (600); *Bielefeld (860); *Bochum (1,152); Dortmund (3,820); and *Hagen (650).

The rise of Nazism led to considerable Jewish emigration from Westphalia, as well as intensive adult education efforts on the part of the Jewish community. Many synagogues were destroyed in November 1938, and mass deportations emptied Westphalia of its Jews by 1941.

The community was renewed after the war, and a number of synagogues rebuilt. In 1946 Westphalia became a part of the modern federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. There were 924 Jews living there in 1970. In 1989 the nine Jewish communities in Westphalia numbered 745. In 2004 there were ten communities with 7,204 members. The biggest communities are Dortmund (3,409); Bochum (1,147); and Muenster (753). This remarkable increase of membership is explained by the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union after 1990. In 1992 the Jewish museum of Westphalia was opened in the small town of Dorsten.

bibliography:

A. Gierse, Die Geschichte der Juden in West-falen waehrend des Mittelalters (1878); F. Lazarus, in: mgwj, 58 (1914), 81–96, 178–208, 326–58, 454–79, 542–61; B. Brilling, in: West-falische Forschungen, 12 (1959), 142–61; idem., Rheinisch Westfalische Zeitschrift fuer Volkskunde, 5 (1958), 133–62; 6 (1959), 91–99; H.C. Meyer, Aus Geschichte und Leben der Juden in Westfalen (1962), bibliography, pp. 242–57; B. Brilling and H. Richtering (eds.), Westfalia Judaica (1967), includes bibliography; Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 880–1; 3 (1987), 2055–60; L. Horwitz, Die Israeliten unter dem Koenigreich Westfalen (1900); A. Lewinsky, in: mgwj, 50 (1906); G. Samuel, in: zgjd, 6 (1935), 47–51; M. Stern, in: Ost und West, 17 (1917), 255–68. add bibliography: H. Stratmann and G. Birkmann, Juedische Friedhoefe in Westfalen und Lippe (1987); W. Stegemann (ed.), Juedisches Museum in Westfalen (1992); C. Gentile (ed.), Begegnungen mit juedischer Kultur in Nordrhein-Westfalen (1997); K. Menneken (ed.), Juedisches Leben in Westfalen (1998); G. Birkmann, Bedenke, vor wem du stehst. 300 Synagogen und ihre Geschichte in Westfalen und Lippe (1998); E. Brocke, Zeitzeugen. Begegnungen mit juedischem Leben in Nordrhein-Westfalen (1998); M. Sassenberg, Zeitenbruch 19331945 (1999); M. Brocke, Feuer an Dein Heiligtum gelegt (1999); A. Kenkmann (ed.), Verfolgung und Verwaltung (20012); S. Gruber and H. Ruessler, Hochqualifiziert und arbeitslos (2002). website: www.jmw-dorsten.de.

[Zvi Avneri /

Larissa Daemmig (2nd ed.)]

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