From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
The Jewish National Republic in Galicia

Flag of Galicia
and largest city
Official languagesYiddish
Recognised regional languagesPolish
Cultural languageHebrew
Judaism (majority)
Greek Catholic Church
Roman Catholicism
GovernmentUnitary national republic
• Ben Abraham Scheme
• Lemberg Conference
• Declaration of Independence

Galicia (Yiddish: גאַליציע, Galitsje, [ɡalɪt͡sjɛ]; Polish: Galicja; Ruthenian: Галичина, Haličiną), officially known as the Jewish National Republic in Galicia or Arts Glus (אַרץ גלות, 'Land of the Exiles'), is a landlocked nation in eastern Europe bordering Russia, Poland, Magyaria, and Romania. Located in the epicenter of the historic region of Red Ruthenia, it was established in March 1940 as a Jewish ethno-national republic. The country is notable for being the only Jewish-majority state in the world.


Jewish history in Galicia dates back roughly 1,000 years with early settlers and merchants immigrating to the area during the First Duchy of Poland under the Piast dynasty. The 15th - 17th centuries saw the region evolve as a cultural center of Judaism & a principal heartland of the 'Yiddish Golden Age'. During this period the Jewish community operated as autonomous subjects of the King of Poland with the 'Council of the Four lands' operating as the central institution of Jewish self governance until the early 19th century. After the coalition wars of the 1830's and the partitioning of Poland, Galicia fell under the Hapburg crown of Austria. Under Hapsburg rule Galicia's Jewish population increased sixfold due to a high birth rate and emigration of Jewish refugees from the Russian empire fleeing pogroms. Lemberg in particular became a hotbed of Yiddish literature & culture.

The turn of the 20th century came with it the rise of political movements across eastern Europe, including ethnic nationalism in Poland, Russia & Austria as well as more totalizing ideologies like Faramundism, Neostabilism, Communardism & National Republicanism. In Poland & Russia unrest & nationalist sentiments created new violent strains of antisemitism. In Poland this manifested in the Anti-Jewish 'new codes' of 1902, which shattered years of relative Jewish peace in Poland and led to increased Jewish immigration into Austrian Galicia & abroad. This trend expanded during the European Economic Crisis with the nations of Eastern Europe being hit particularly hard by unemployment and deflation- ethnic, political & ideological tensions flared in between 1922 - 1938 and with it came pogroms across the continent.

'Red Summer' is the moniker given to the summer of 1925 in which an estimated 200,000 European Jews lost their lives and an equal amount fled from the terror which was concentrated in Russia (undergoing revolution against the Tsar) & in Poland in which Ruthenian, Polish, German nationalist terror and militias started to the state into insurgency. In Poland Jewish self-defense militias called Yidisher Bunds grew in number as a result of antisemitic laws and antisemitic violence; many of these organizations took inspiration from writers such as Achille Ferré Bazaine and the Russian Vosstanists and called for a national awakening of the Ashkenazi Jewish people. In neostabilist controlled Austria things were somewhat normal in this period with Jews owing the to fact that they were primarily Yiddish speakers missing the brunt of the Austrian cultural centralization & linguistic policies- something which became a draw for Jewish migrants from Poland and particularly Russia.

During the Great War, the Austrian government's relationship to the Jews of Galicia started to change due to the region being in the front lines- forced recruitment, the closing of synagogues and eventually marshal law helped to sour Jews on the war. In July of 1936 Austria & the Ottoman empire invaded Poland with Jewish militias being treated as enemies by the Tripartite troops- leading to the 'Lutsk Ghetto Massacre' with Jewish Galician recruits refusing to fire on a Polish aligned Jewish Bund in the ghetto of Lutsk being field marshalled and executed by the local Austrian command. In late 1937 Russian Nationalist high command met secretly with Jewish Nationalist leaders from Poland & Austria in what is know known as the 'Ben Abraham Scheme' after Yiddish Bund general Berek Ben Abraham. Russia proposed the creation of a Jewish national state in Eastern Europe if Jewish leaders would rally a revolt against occupying Austrians during the upcoming Russian offensive into Poland. The talks were mostly a success with thousands of coordinated attacks on Austrian backlines in 1938 during the Russian advance. After the liberation of Poland & Austria in 1939, the Russian government initiated talks at the 'Lemberg' conference discussing with local nationalist & republican groups their plan to divide up Eastern Europe - including turning Galicia into an allied nationalist 'sister-republic' for the Jewish people. This proposal was vehemently rejected by Polish nationalists, but the Russian Committee of National Affairs carried on their plan anyways and on March 5th 1940 Russian forces handed over security of Galicia to the new Jewish National Republic which was declared that day. Poland & Galicia initially had a very tense relationship but 5 years after independence in 1945 settled there differences with the 'Jobe-Gorka treaty' in which Galicia & Poland engaged in a population transfer and favorable trade agreement. Additionally Galicia recognized Polish as a 'language and culture of historical importance to the region of Galicia'.

Government and Politics

Galicia operates as a national republic with 'Jewish characteristics', meaning the government incorporates influences from the traditional kahal system of communal governance under Lithuanian rule as well as Talmudic principles. The head of state, head of the primary executive organ known as the National Kahal ( נאַציאָנאַלער קהל), goes by the title of Chairman. The Knesset (הַכְּנֶסֶת) acts as the legislature of the nation.

See also