Mahler, Raphael

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MAHLER, RAPHAEL (1899–1977), historian. Mahler, who was born in Nowy Sącz, eastern Galicia, Poland, studied at the rabbinical seminary and the University of Vienna until 1922. He served as a teacher of general and Jewish history in Jewish secondary schools in Poland. In 1937 he immigrated to the United States and was a teacher in various educational institutions in New York. He was a member from his youth of the left Po'alei Zion party and was connected with *yivo in its research studies and administration, both in Poland and in the U.S. In 1950 he went to Israel, where he lectured on the history of Israel at Tel Aviv University and in 1961 was appointed professor there. He wrote many studies on the history of the Jews in Yiddish, Polish, German, English, and, after going to Israel, chiefly in Hebrew. Among his works are the following: Di Yidn in Amolikn Poyln (New York, 1946, in the publication Di Yidn by Poyln); Ha-Kara'im (1946), on the Karaites; Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (Warsaw, 1958); Yehudei Polin bein Shetei ha-Milḥamot ("Jews in Poland Between the Two World Wars," 1968). Among his articles is "Torat Borochov ve-Shitato be-Yameinu Anu" (in: Ba-Derekh, 1965). His major work, Divrei Yemei Yisrael; Dorot Aḥaronim ("History of the Jewish People in Modern Times"), has been published only in part: first part (on 1789–1815) in 4 vols. (1956–62), and the first volume (1970) of part two (on 1815–48). In his introduction to the work Mahler explains his theory of Jewish history in accordance with historical materialism, his division of Jewish history in the modern period in conformity with social and economic evolution, and the class war and changes of governments during these years. His scientific work is based upon an abundance of sources and a rich bibliography. In 1977 he was awarded the Israel Prize for contributions to the study of Jewish history.


Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 319; lynl, 5 (1963), 393–7.