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    Berek Joselewicz

    Jew Score:
    11

    I5

    O3

    K3
    (Dov Baer ben Josef)
    September 17, 1764 – May 5, 1809

    Every language has its idioms. For example, Polish has "jak Berek pod Kockiem". The translation, "like Berek at Kock", doesn't tell us much. Who is Berek? What is Kock? And why does anyone want to be like him?

    Well, Berek is Berek Joselewicz, a Jewish colonel in the Polish army during the Napoleonic Wars. Yes, Poland actually had a Jewish colonel (with a rather fancy hat and a rather handsome mustache). In fact, they had an entirely Jewish division that Joselewicz led.

    Kock is a town on eastern Poland, the site of 1809's eponymous battle. And, no, nobody wants to be "like Berek at Kock". At Kock, Berek was slaughtered by Austrians.

    So what would the English equivalent be? "Like a snowball in hell"?

    Perhaps "like a Jew in Poland"?

    Verdict: Jew.

    March 11, 2014

    See Also

    Napoleon Bonaparte

    Stanislaw Lem

    Adam Mickiewicz

    Maurice Rose

    Iona Yakir
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2018. j...@jewornotjew.com.