Abstract

This article discusses Jewish participation in the Kościuszko Uprising, beginning with a brief introduction about the situation of the Jewish population in late eighteenth- century Poland, which was later used to explain Jewish interest in the uprising as well as participation in the political and economic life of the state. Following this introduction, the article concentrates on Berek Joselewicz and his actions leading to the creation of the Jewish Light Cavalry Regiment, the first military unit in Poland organized, led, and consisting of Jews. The history of the unit was short and controversial, and even today historians debate whether it could even be considered a functional unit ready for battle. This article attempts to answer that question by detailing the history of the unit together with the battle in which it took part. It also relates Joselewicz’s story and examines the myths that continue to surround him even today.

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