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Russian Jewish historian. Dubnow developed his own interpretation of Jewish history, claiming that the spiritual powers of the Jewish people and their unity were preserved by the organized Jewish community during the 2,000 years of the Dispersion. Dubnow believed that the unity of the Jewish people did not depend upon a national territory, nor upon an independent state. This unity was kept alive by communal organizations within whose framework Jewish culture and religion had continued to grow for 2,000 years after the Dispersion. He therefore believed in cultural autonomy and self-government for the Jewish communities. Dubnow’s theories of Jewish nationalism resulted in the formation of the Jewish Peoples Party in Russia in 1906. At the Versailles Peace Conference after World War I, Dubnow’s theory of Diaspora Nationalism motivated the demand for minority rights for Jews of Eastern Europe. Dubnow’s History of the Jews of Russia and Poland was translated into English, and has been of considerable influence on the writing of Jewish history. His general History of the Jewish People, in ten volumes, was published in 1901.

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