Submitted by Ashley Passmore

Franzos was born in Czortków (1848), though he moved as a teenager to Czernowitz, Bukovina after the death of his father (a prominent doctor in Czortków who primarily cared for the Jewish community and the Ruthenian/Ukrainian peasants), and in many ways he was more influenced by the Haskalah-oriented, German-speaking, Jewish culture in Czernowitz than his hometown, where he had little contact with the rest of the Jewish community. However, Franzos often dealt with Czortków later in his life in his fictional writing and ghetto/shtetl tales, especially in The Jews of Barnow/ Die Juden von Barnow (1876) --Barnow was his fictional name for Galician Czortków. He returned several times to Czortków as a student living in Vienna and as a young man, and taught himself Yiddish for the purpose of writing about the Jewish life in Galicia (Yiddish was not spoken in his home as far as I can tell, his father was an ardent Germanophile, and Franzos largely inherited this trait). I should note that, as a reader today, Franzos' portrayal of life in Czortków was largely negative, since he was a tendentious writer who argued for reform in education, living standards, and the modernization of Jewish orthodoxy. His work stands out among other writers about eastern Jewish life because his portrayal of the ghetto and shtetl was never nostalgic or rosy like many others. As a writer in the German language, he wrote mostly for non-Jews or Western assimilated Jews in Austria and Germany who were politically invested in the betterment of the Galician Jewish community

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