||First Hebrew edition of this work in praise of Czar Nicholas I of Russia, a persecutor of the Jews, by Baron Modest Andreevich Korf (1800-1876). Originally written in Russian (1848) by Korf, it was translated into Hebrew by Abraham Baer ben Hayyim. The title page states that it is in praise of Czar Nicholas I, written at the command of the monarch by Korf and now translated into Hebrew for the benefit of the Jewish people who love their land and birthplace. There is a word to the reader from the translator, an introduction, and a forward from the second edition (1854), and the text.
Nicholas I ruled as (1796-1855) czar of Russia from 1825 to 1855. His reign was marked by a general reaction, the persecution of liberal elements in the country, and the oppression of religious and national minorities. Nicholas I regarded the Jews as a harmful alien group whose unity should be destroyed so that it would become completely assimilated within the Russian people. To achieve this, he adopted many measures. The first, which left its imprint on the whole of his Jewish policy, was the introduction of compulsory military service for the Jews (1827). This was accompanied by the seizure of Jewish children, who were to be educated in the schools for soldiers' children in the spirit of the Christian religion (see Cantonists). The area of the Pale of Settlement was reduced and the Jews were expelled from Kiev, Sevastopol, and Nikolayev. There was also a suggestion that they be expelled from within 50 versts of the border. On the other hand, the government encouraged renewed agricultural settlement of the Jews in southern Russia and around their townlets, exempting the settlers from military service. The government of Nicholas I supported the maskilim in their struggle against Orthodoxy. Under the influence of the maskilim, a severe censorship was imposed on Jewish books, their publication being authorized at two presses only, in Vilna and Zhitomir. During the 1840s the government set out to develop the network of Jewish government schools, particularly the rabbinical seminaries of Vilna and Zhitomir, which offered a general education in addition to a Jewish education in the spirit of the Haskalah. At the end of the 1840s, the Jews were forbidden to wear their traditional garb.
Toward the close of Nicholas' reign the "classification" (razbor) of the Jews into "useful" (merchants, craftsmen, agricultural workers) and "non-useful" persons was proposed. Severe repressive measures were to be adopted against the "non-useful" – principally the intensification of conscription. This project was interrupted by the death of Nicholas I, which also resulted in the abolition of the special conscription of Jews and in other alleviations. Of the hundreds of anti-Jewish laws which were passed during his reign, the most important for the Jews were the Jewish statutes of 1835 and 1844 (which officially abolished the Jewish communities and introduced the status of kazyonny ravvin). In the memory of the Jewish people, the reign of Nicholas I is regarded, especially because of the Cantonists decree, as one of the darkest periods in the history of the Jews in czarist Russia.
Added t. p.: Iom-Ga-zikkaron, t. e. Dostopamyatnyi den ili Vosshestvie na prestol Imperatora Nikolaya 1go. Sostavleno, po Vysochaishemu povesieniyu Statts-Sekretarem baronom Korfom. Perevvdeno va evreiskii yazyk A. B. Gotloberom.
||זה ספר שבת הקיסר ניקלי הראשון על כסא מלכותו [בחודש דצמבר 1825] ... חבר במצות המלך על ידי השטאאטססעקרעטער באראן קארף, נעתק ללשון עברית... על-ידי אברהם בער בן-חיים הכהן גאטטלאבער
השער הנוסף ושמו של המדפיס באותיות קיריליות.
"הספר... חבר בלשון רוסיא בשנת 1848... ונדפס ... פעמים... בכל פעם יצאו לאור לא יותר מעשרים וחמשה ספרים... אחרי מות הקיסר ניקאלאי... יצא הספר... פעם שלישית וגם רביעית >הפעם הרביעית בשנת 1857<".
התרגום נעשה, כנראה, על-פי ההוצאה האחרונה.