Jews have lived in Europe for more than two thousand years. This number represented more than 60 percent of the world's Jewish population, which was estimated at Before the Nazi takeover of power in , Europe had a dynamic and highly developed Jewish culture. In little more than a decade, most of Europe would be conquered, occupied, or annexed by Nazi Germany and most European Jews— two out of every three —would be dead. The first concentration camps in Germany were established soon after Hitler's appointment as chancellor in January
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The history of Jews in Poland dates back at least 1, years. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland was a principal center of Jewish culture , because of the long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy which ended after the Partitions of Poland in the 18th century. During World War II there was a nearly complete genocidal destruction of the Polish Jewish community by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, during the German occupation of Poland between and , called the Holocaust. Since the fall of communism in Poland , there has been a renewed interest in Jewish culture, featuring an annual Jewish Culture Festival , new study programs at Polish secondary schools and universities, and the opening of Warsaw 's Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
The Jewish question , also referred to as the Jewish problem , was a wide-ranging debate in 19th- and 20th-century European society that pertained to the appropriate status and treatment of Jews. The debate, which was similar to other " national questions ", dealt with the civil, legal, national, and political status of Jews as a minority within society, particularly in Europe during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The debate was started within western and central European societies by politicians and writers who were influenced by the Age of Enlightenment and the ideals of the French Revolution. The debate's issues included the legal and economic Jewish disabilities e. Jewish quotas and segregation , Jewish assimilation , Jewish emancipation and Jewish Enlightenment.