A reminder from Yonoson Rosenblum:
The devastating impact of the opening of the ghetto walls in Western Europe is well-known. In the early decades of the 19th century, nearly 90 percent of Berlin Jewry made its way to the baptismal font. By the time of the Holocaust, Eastern Europe was headed in the same direction, argues Appelbaum based on electoral and census data.
In a 1922 election for the lower house of the Polish parliament, for instance, the combined seats of Agudah and Mizrachi were less than half those garnered by the Zionist and nonreligious parties. And that is not even taking into account the Jewish Bundists (probably the largest Jewish movement inPolandat the time) and Communists, who voted for the general Socialist and Communist lists.
A Polish school census of the late ’30s shows 100,000 children registered for primary schools associated with Agudah or Mizrachi versus 400,000 attending primarily secular schools (with some in secular Zionist schools). Of the four-fifths who attended nonreligious schools, most of their parents were raised in Shabbos-observant homes, according to Appelbaum.