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Encyclopaedia Judaica

1  Numerus clausus against the Jews in general

How national policies wanted quotas according to the population proportion - and the effects
from: Numerus clausus; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 12

presented by Michael Palomino (2007)

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General indications


("closed number"), amount fixed as maximal number in the admission of persons (or certain groups of persons) to specific professions (in particular the liberal professions), institutions of higher learning, professional associations, positions of public office, etc.; frequently applied to Jews.

The numerus clausus on the admission of Jews to institutions of higher learning was applied in the 19th century, and extended in the 20th century, in particular in the countries of Eastern Europe, but also in others. It assumed its most characteristic form in czarist Russia (see below) as the protsentnaya norma where the restrictions and limitations on the admission of Jews were established by special legislation. In countries such as Poland and Romania (see below) the numerus clausus was introduced as a quasi-legal means, or was applied in practice, as part of an anti-Semitic policy.

However, in democratic countries the numerus clausus was also tacitly applied, at least in some institutions of higher learning, for social or prestige reasons. A numerus clausus of this type was applied not only to students but also (sometimes principally) to teaching staff in the universities or in admission to the civil or public services where higher professional qualifications were required.

It was also applied in admission to positions (col. 1263)

which carried a special status, as in the higher ranks of the civil service, the diplomatic service, army, etc.

[ED.]> (col. 1264)
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Encyclopaedia Judaica: Numerus clausus, vol.
                    12, col. 1263-1264
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica: Numerus clausus, vol. 12, col. 1263-1264

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