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As a young boy growing up in Port Elizabeth in the 1960s and 1970s, Steven Robins was haunted by an old postcard-size photograph of three unknown women on a table in the dining room. Only later did he learn that the women were his father’s mother and sisters, photographed in Berlin in 1937, before they were killed in the Holocaust. Steven’s father, who had fled Nazi Germany before it was too late, never spoke about the fate of his family who remained there. Steven became obsessed with finding out what happened to the women, but had little to go on. In time he stumbled on bare facts in museums in Washington DC and Berlin, and later he discovered over a hundred letters sent to his father and uncle from the family in Berlin between 1936 and 1943. The women who before had been unnamed faces in a photograph could now tell their story to future generations.
Letters of Stone tracks Steven’s journey of discovery about the lives and fates of the Robinski family. It is also a book about geographical journeys: to the Karoo town of Williston, where his father’s uncle settled in the late nineteenth century and became mayor; to Berlin, where Steven laid ‘stumbling stones’ (Stolpersteine) in commemoration of his family and other Jewish victims of the Holocaust; to Auschwitz, where his father’s siblings perished.
Most of all, this book is a poignant reconstruction of a family trapped in an increasingly terrifying and deadly Nazi state, and of the immense pressure on Steven’s father in faraway South Africa, which forced him to retreat into silence.
The 1930s and 40s were tumultuous decades in South Africa’s history. The economy declined sharply in the wake of the Wall Street crash, giving rise to a huge number of poor whites and the growth of a militant and aggressive Afrikaner nationalism that often took its lead from the Nazis in Germany.
A Perfect Storm reveals how the right-wing’s malevolent message moved from the margins to the centre of political life; how antisemitism seeped into mainstream political life with real and lasting consequences. Milton Shain, South Africa’s leading scholar of modern Jewish history, brings into sharp relief the ‘Jewish Problem’, detailing the rise of influential organisations such as the Grey Shirts and the New Order, which fanned the flames of antisemitism. He devotes considerable attention to the Ossewa-Brandwag, which, by 1941, constituted the largest yet mobilisation of Afrikaners.
The National Party itself contributed to the climate of hostility to Jews. It was instrumental in ensuring that only few of the Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and elsewhere were permitted as immigrants. The National Party contributed to the prevailing climate of Jew-baiting. Indeed, some of its worst offenders were accorded high office after 1948 when the National Party came to power.
Following The People and the Books, which "covers more than 2,500 years of highly variegated Jewish cultural expression" (Robert Alter, New York Times Book Review), poet and literary critic Adam Kirsch now turns to the story of modern Jewish literature. From the vast emigration of Jews out of Eastern Europe to the Holocaust to the creation of Israel, the twentieth century transformed Jewish life. The same was true of Jewish writing: the novels, plays, poems, and memoirs of Jewish writers provided intimate access to new worlds of experience. Kirsch surveys four themes that shaped the twentieth century in Jewish literature and culture: Europe, America, Israel, and the endeavor to reimagine Judaism as a modern faith. With discussions of major books by over thirty writers-ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel to Tony Kushner, Hannah Arendt to Judith Plaskow-he argues that literature offers a new way to think about what it means to be Jewish in the modern world. With a wide scope and diverse, original observations, Kirsch draws fascinating parallels between familiar writers and their less familiar counterparts. While everyone knows the diary of Anne Frank, for example, few outside of Israel have read the diary of Hannah Senesh. Kirsch sheds new light on the literature of the Holocaust through the work of Primo Levi, explores the emergence of America as a Jewish home through the stories of Bernard Malamud, and shows how Yehuda Amichai captured the paradoxes of Israeli identity. An insightful and engaging work from "one of America's finest literary critics" (Wall Street Journal), The Blessing and the Curse brings the Jewish experience vividly to life.
Jack Nusan Porter's writings date back to 1966, during the height of the Vietnam War. He describes the anguished struggle against war, racism, and poverty, as well as the radical groups involved-Jewish socialists, radical Zionists, radical Jews, Rabbi Meir Kahane and the Jewish Defense League, hippies, liberals, and conservatives alike. In addition, the anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and revolutionary terrorism of the times are all vividly described. Here, Porter draws from the past in order to explain the present, walking the precarious bridge between allegiance to Israel and the Jewish people and the universal rights of all people. This collection of old and new essays combines theory, sociology, film studies, literary criticism, post-modern thought, and politics to understand our present situation.
What if the Exodus had never happened? What if the Jews of Spain had not been expelled in 1492? What if Eastern European Jews had never been confined to the Russian Pale of Settlement? What if Adolf Hitler had been assassinated in 1939? What if a Jewish state had been established in Uganda instead of Palestine? Gavriel D. Rosenfeld's pioneering anthology examines how these and other counterfactual questions would have affected the course of Jewish history. Featuring essays by sixteen distinguished scholars in the field of Jewish Studies, What Ifs of Jewish History is the first volume to systematically apply counterfactual reasoning to the Jewish past. Written in a variety of narrative styles, ranging from the analytical to the literary, the essays cover three thousand years of dramatic events and invite readers to indulge their imaginations and explore how the course of Jewish history might have been different.
During the postwar period of 1948-56, over 400,000 Jews from the Middle East and Asia immigrated to the newly established state of Israel. By the end of the 1950s, Mizrahim, also known as Oriental Jewry, represented the ethnic majority of the Israeli Jewish population. Despite their large numbers, Mizrahim were considered outsiders because of their non-European origins. Viewed as foreigners who came from culturally backward and distant lands, they suffered decades of socioeconomic, political, and educational injustices. In this pioneering work, Roby traces the Mizrahi population's struggle for equality and civil rights in Israel. Although the daily ""bread and work"" demonstrations are considered the first political expression of the Mizrahim, Roby demonstrates the myriad ways in which they agitated for change. Drawing upon a wealth of archival sources, many only recently declassified, Roby details the activities of the highly ideological and politicized young Israel. Police reports, court transcripts, and protester accounts document a diverse range of resistance tactics, including sit-ins, tent protests, and hunger strikes. Roby shows how the Mizrahi intellectuals and activists in the 1960s began to take note of the American civil rights movement, gaining inspiration from its development and drawing parallels between their experience and that of other marginalized ethnic groups. The Mizrahi Era of Rebellion shines a light on a largely forgotten part of Israeli social history, one that profoundly shaped the way Jews from African and Asian countries engaged with the newly founded state of Israel.
Isaiah Berlin, in his Tribute to a Friend, wrote about the historian Jacob L. Talmon (19161980): No matter what his theoretical interests were, or the topics on which he was lecturing or writing, his deepest concern was with the Jewish people, its history, its religious, moral and social values, its place among the nations, its future in Israel and the diaspora. These words capture the essence of Talmons political essays presented in Mission and Testimony. Talmon was chosen by an international committee of scholars as one of the twenty major historians of the twentieth century, declaring that his historiography was a convincing apologia for human freedom. He owes his fame primarily to his magnum opus, the trilogy that began with The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy (1952), continued with Political Messianism (1960) and concluded with The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution (1981). This edited collection of Talmons essays comprises the following: Part I, The Nature of Jewish history, deals with the Jewish presence in history, the universal significance of Jewish history, and the impact of Jewish intellectuals. Part II, From Anti-Semitism to the Holocaust, concerns the anti-Semitic climate of opinion that led to the Holocaust. Part III depicts the regional and global situation of the State of Israel. In Part IV, Intellectual and Political Debates, Talmon confronts intellectuals and statesmen such as Arnold Toynbee and Menachem Begin. Part V, Profiles in History, depicts the intellectual portraits of the historian Lewis Namier and the physicist and champion of human rights Andrei Sakharov.
This book brings new attention to Simon Rawidowicz (1897-1957), the
wide-ranging Jewish thinker and scholar who taught at Brandeis
University in the 1950s. At the heart of Myers' book is a chapter
that Rawidowicz wrote as a coda to his Hebrew tome Babylon and
Jerusalem (1957) but never published. In it, Rawidowicz shifted his
decades-long preoccupation with the "Jewish Question" to what he
called the "Arab Question." Asserting that the "Arab Question" had
become a most urgent political and moral matter for Jews after
1948, Rawidowicz called for an end to discrimination against Arabs
resident in Israel--and more provocatively, for the repatriation of
Arab refugees from 1948.
THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER DAILY MAIL & SUNDAY EXPRESS BOOKS OF THE YEAR The inspiring true story of a father and son's fight to stay together and survive the Holocaust, for anyone captivated by The Cut Out Girl and The Tattooist of Auschwitz. 'A powerful and often uncomfortable true story that deserves to be read and remembered. It beautifully captures the strength of the bond between a father and son' - Heather Morris, author of New York Times no. 1 bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz ___________ 'Everyone thinks, tomorrow it will be my turn. Daily, hourly, death is before our eyes . . .' Gustav and Fritz Kleinmann are father and son in an ordinary Austrian Jewish family when the Nazis come for them. Sent to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1939 they survive three years of murderous brutality. Then Gustav is ordered to Auschwitz. Fritz, desperate not to lose his beloved father, insists he must go too. And though he is told it means certain death, he won't back down. So it is that father and son together board a train bound for the most hellish place on Earth . . . This is the astonishing true story of horror, love and impossible survival. ___________ 'Extraordinary' Observer 'The story is both immersive and extraordinary. Deeply moving and brimming with humanity' Guardian 'An emotionally devastating story of courage - and survival' i Paper 'We should all read this shattering book about the Holocaust. An astonishing story of the unbreakable bond between a father and a son' Daily Mail 'A deeply humane account and a visceral depiction of everyday life in the camps. Could not be more timely and deserves the widest possible readership' Daily Express
The Jazz Age of the 1920s, centered in New York City, is an era remembered for illegal liquor, innovative music and dance styles, and burgeoning ideas of social equality. It was also the period during which second-generation Jews began to emerge as a significant demographic in the city. ""In Their Own Image"" examines the growing cultural visibility of Jewish life amid this vibrant scene. From the vaudeville routines of Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, George Jessel, and Sophie Tucker, to the slew of Broadway comedies about Jewish life - such as the phenomenally popular Abie's ""Irish Rose"" - to the silent films that showed immigrant families struggling to leave the ghetto, images and representations of Jews became staples of inter war popular culture. Through the performing arts, Jews expressed highly ambivalent feelings about their identification with Jewish and American cultures. Ted Merwin shows how they became American by producing and consuming not images of another group, but self-made images of themselves. As a result, they humanized Jewish stereotypes, softened anti-Semitic attitudes, and laid the groundwork for Jewish comedians from Mel Brooks to Billy Crystal. A lively and entertaining look at the role that popular culture can play in promoting the acculturation of an ethnic group, ""In Their Own Image"" both enhances our understanding of American Jewish history and provides a model for the study of other groups and their integration into society.
'The evening the men came I fled through the garden gate...' The Netherlands, World War II When the Nazis invade the Netherlands in May 1940 it's clear that life is changing for the girl and her family. Step by step, the Nazis close in on the Dutch Jews. But when the authorities finally come to the family home a split decision will have devastating consequences. Marga Minco's autobiographical novel Bitter Herbs is a Dutch classic that has been translated into more than fifteen languages. This deceptively simple and profoundly moving tale is now reissued with a new translation by Jeannette K Ringold.
Rabbi Barry Marcus MBE was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has accomplished a great deal and is a dynamic speaker but is perhaps best known for his services to Holocaust education, pioneering one-day educational trips to Auschwitz. This book celebrates his remarkable accomplishments through a collection of articles and photographs.
He demonstrates that Ashkenazic Jewish culture was profoundly shaped and conditioned by life in an overwhelmingly Christian society. Drawing on diverse Christian documents, he portrays Christian beliefs about medieval Jews and Judaism with a degree of detail seldom found in Jewish historics. Emphasizing social, political, and economic history, but also duscussing religious topics, Glick describes the evolution of a complex, inherently unequal relationship. Because the Ashkenazic Jews of medieval Europe were ancestral to almost the entire Jewish population of eastern Europe, their historical experience played a major role in the heritage of most Jewish Americans.
From the very moment of the liberation of camps at Auschwitz, Belsen and Buchenwald, Germans have been held accountable for the crimes committed in the Holocaust. The Nazi regime unleashed the most systematic attempt in history to wipe out an entire people, murdering men, women and children for the simple 'crime' of being Jewish. After the war ended in 1945, the Jewish State of Israel was created and Jewish communities were re-established in a now divided Germany. Germans have engaged actively with their Nazi legacy and the Jewish communities have remained and grown stronger, but neo-Nazism has also persisted. Young Germans have learned the horrific deeds of the past at school, and throughout the world, people of all nations have tried to learn the lesson 'never again', while Germany has become 'Israel's best friend in Europe'. Pol O Dochartaigh analyses the ways in which Germans and Jews alike have attempted to come to terms with the Holocaust and its terrible legacy. He also looks at efforts to remember - and to forget - the Holocaust, movement towards recompense and reparation, and the survival of anti-Semitism.
In 1598, at the height of the Spanish Inquisition, New Mexico became Spain's northernmost New World colony. The censures of the Catholic Church reached all the way to Santa Fe, where in the mid-1660s, Dona Teresa Aguilera y Roche, the wife of New Mexico governor Bernardo Lopez de Mendizabal, came under the Inquisition's scrutiny. She and her husband were tried in Mexico City for the crime of judaizante, the practice of Jewish rituals. Using the handwritten briefs that Dona Teresa prepared for her defense, as well as depositions by servants, ethnohistorian Frances Levine paints a remarkable portrait of daily life in seventeenth-century New Mexico. Dona Teresa Confronts the Spanish Inquisition also offers a rare glimpse into the intellectual and emotional life of an educated European woman at a particularly dangerous time in Spanish colonial history. New Mexico's remoteness attracted crypto-Jews and conversos, Jews who practiced their faith behind a front of Roman Catholicism. But were Dona Teresa and her husband truly conversos? Or were the charges against them simply their enemies' means of silencing political opposition? Dona Teresa had grown up in Italy and had lived in Colombia as the daughter of the governor of Cartagena. She was far better educated than most of the men in New Mexico. But education and prestige were no protection against persecution. The fine furnishings, fabrics, and tableware that Dona Teresa installed in the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe made her an object of suspicion and jealousy, and her ability to read and write in several languages made her the target of outlandish claims. Dona Teresa Confronts the Spanish Inquisition uncovers issues that resonate today: conflicts between religious and secular authority; the weight of evidence versus hearsay in court. Dona Teresa's voice - set in the context of the history of the Inquisition - is a powerful addition to the memory of that time.
Six million-- a number impossible to visualize. Six million Jews were killed in Europe between the years 1933 and 1945. What can that number mean to us today? We can that number mean to us today? We are told never to forget the Holocaust, but how can we remember something so incomprehensible?
100 Best Jewish Recipes allows you to create modern feasts packed with old-school deli charm. This exciting new compilation of dishes from Evelyn Rose's classic canon showcases the delicious diversity of Jewish cooking. Find inspiration for no-fuss, flavoursome classics, from the kitchens of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to the Middle East and beyond. There are mouth-watering ideas for small plates and soups, mains and desserts, as well as bakes and breads. You'll also discover the best dishes to prepare for every major festival, alongside advice on how to make everyday recipes suitable for the kosher kitchen. For everything from perfect pickles to great gefilte fish, and brilliant bagels to meltingly tender cholent, this is the ultimate contemporary guide to the best Jewish food.
This superb collection of writings comes as a tribute to one of the
leading scholars of Judaic Studies in our century, Alexander
Altmann, and to the Institute of Jewish Studies, which he founded.
His former students and colleagues present essays which touch upon
the many areas of Professor Altmann's interests. The studies range
from early rabbinic mystical texts to contemporary theological
investigations. The majority of the articles explore leading
figures and issues in medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy
This is an unusual narrative in that it successfully combines subjectivity -- how an English person was led by a sequence of educational developments, personal encounters and historical constraints to become the founder of the German-Jewish Centre at the University of Sussex; and objectivity -- a book that introduces English and American readers to an important and evolving field of historical and cultural studies through intellectual autobiography. It documents the formative experiences of a scholar who was to become a pioneering teacher and researcher in the field of German culture and politics. The aim is to relate the shaping of self to the drift of history in a period of radical social change, extending from the refugee crisis caused by Hitler's seizure of power through the ordeals of the Second World War to post-war reconstruction, and the transformation of Britain into a modern multicultural society. The focus is on the formative role of institutions: vicarage childhood, Anglican schooling, Cambridge and other university environments -- especially the new map of learning at Sussex University in the 1960s. The 'Torch' in the title alludes to the transmission of a radical intellectual tradition and to a specific commitment to the study of Die Fackel, the satirical journal edited by Karl Kraus in Vienna from 1899 to 1936. From this emerged the innovative agenda developed by the Centre for German-Jewish Studies.
Raised in a nonreligious Jewish family, Charles London knew hisheritage but had no strong desire to experience it personally. Thenin the summer of 2004, while doing relief work in Bosnia, he stumbled upon a remarkable community--where Jews worked alongside Muslims and Christians to rebuild a city ravaged by war. This encounter gave him the idea for a journey that would take him aroundthe world and back to his roots.
Far from Zion is the story of Jews in far-flung, often surprising places. Despite efforts by Israel to bring these scattered people home to Zion, they have chosen to remain in the lands of their birth: a shopkeeper selling Jewish trinkets in Iran, a caretaker keeping watch over an all-but-forgotten synagogue in Rangoon, revelers at a Hanukkah celebration in an Arkansas bowling alley, a Cuban engineering professor, proud of his Jewish heritage and prouder still of his Communist ideals. It is through their stories and many others that London examines his own identity, as he, too, struggles to come to terms with his connection to Zion.
A concise account of the players, motivations, and setting for one of the most consequential letters of modern history. The letter began a process by which the international community came to embrace the idea of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Jager brings to life the extraordinary personalities working amid the global conflict that was World War I. With the war still raging and despite political machinations and numerous secret deals, the Balfour Declaration was issued publicly. Britain promised Palestine to no one but the Jews -- yet almost immediately, it began backtracking. One hundred years later, amid the Arab worlds unremitting rejection of the very idea of a Jewish homeland, this book spells out the backstory of todays headlines.
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