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Gallery 5: Encounters with Modernity, 1772–1914

The rulers of Prussia, Austria and Russia look down from their massive portraits on the empty throne of the last Polish king. Between 1772 and 1795, they partitioned the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which disappeared from the map, and inherited the Jews living there. Jews are now individual subjects of absolutist monarchs. Sit at a throne and explore the laws that now regulate many details of their everyday life, while surrounded by maps illustrating a geopolitical reality that will last until the First World War.

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Aleksander Linowski, Ode to the Poles, written in February 1792