Czacki, Tadeusz°

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CZACKI, TADEUSZ ° (1765–1813), Polish historian, economist, and statesman. He is known for his book on the Jews and Karaites, Rozprawa o Żydach i Karaitach (Vilna, 1807), the first comprehensive historical survey of Polish Jewry. In general, Czacki's work maintains a fairly high standard of scholarship. For Polish history he makes use of archival material. He also occasionally utilized Hebrew sources in translation. For some generations his book served as the major textbook on the history of Polish Jewry. Between 1786 and 1792 Czacki held an important position in the Polish Treasury, then responsible for supervision of the affairs of the Jewish communities in the country. The last chapter of Czacki's work is based on personal experience; in addition to general data on the current Jewish position, he includes a detailed project for the amelioration of the status of the Jews, which had been drafted, as it subsequently transpired, by Czacki himself or with his active participation.

After the 1795 partition, this project was apparently brought to the notice of the imperial committee which drafted the statute of 1804 for Russian Jewry (see *Russia). In 1807 Czacki himself joined the committee, which recommended postponement of the article in the statute prescribing expulsion of the Jews from the villages. Czacki was appointed school inspector for the governments of Volhynia and Podolia in 1803, and in the course of his duties made contact with Jewish bodies. He also planned, inter alia, a Jewish teachers' seminary in conjunction with the high school which he established in *Kremenets. He was unable, however, to implement this project.


D.B. Nathanson, Sefer ha-Zikhronot (1886), 151–2; J. Shatzky, Kulturgeshikhte fun der Haskole in Lite (1950), 157–8; I. Levitats, Jewish Community in Russia 1772–1844 (1943), 30–31; Yu. Gessen, Istoriya yevreyskogo naroda v Rossii, 1 (1916), 182–3.

[Israel Halpern]