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Some Jewish historians say the Hebrew word for 'Poland' is pronounced as Polania or Polin in Hebrew. As transliterated into Hebrew, these names for Poland were interpreted as "good omens" because Polania can be broken down into three Hebrew words: po ("here"), lan ("dwells"), ya ("God"), and Polin into two words of: po ("here") lin ("[you should] dwell"). The "message" was that Poland was meant to be a good place for the Jews. In later centuries up to 80% of the Jewish world population lived in Poland.

Poland was for centuries the best place in Europe for the Jews. They were recruited by kings and nobles to help improve the economy of the country. They were offered a good deal of autonomy, allowed to live their social and religious lives according to their customs and beliefs. This continued so long as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth lasted, til the partitions of the country in the late 18th century. The downside of all this was that the autonomy of the Jews and their connection with the ruling authorities prevented any real symbiosis with the masses of the Polish populations, and their economic role was eventually seen by the people as exploitative, one in the interests only of the nobility. The Catholic clergy preached violent anti-semitism for many centuries and at last its message came to be heard and the position of the Jews became desperate[citation needed].

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