The przechrzta (christened Jew) was a Jew who accepted the Cahtolic faith in Poland. Some adotped names such as Narwocki or Nawrot (convert) or days of the week when their conversion occurred. I have heard that Nowicki arose to mean "nowy Icek", but that is surely an urban legend. Anone have any figures on what percentage of Jews did this in particular centuries? What was their motivation: religious, family-oriented (marrying into a Polish family), political (the right to hold office), economic (the right to own land), other? Of course, during the Nazi occupation real or feigned conversions (esp. by females) plus the right physiognomy were a key to physical survival.
They were either forced, or did it to escape prosecution, like Jews in Spain, which were Catholics on the street, but jewish at home.
Just like any other religion. Things are not that different as to why a Jew converts from Judaism to any other religion or a Catholic converts to any other religion. They become disenchanted by their religion, fall in love with sb from another religion or give in to the constant pressure to do so. For the Jewish religion does not force anybody to become converted to their religion, yet plenty other religions do so repeatedly, Catholicism was notorious for that. Of course, during Nazi occupation, physical survival became a big factor, but in Eastern Europe this was before WW2 also one of the reasons, given the many pogroms committed on Jews. In short, I think the reasons to do so differ per person and it's impssbl imo to give one clear reason as to why they did.
M-G (sees yet another Jew vs Pole with all the nasty side effects coming up)