I know there are still jews in Europe, but 60+ years after WWII, have jews repopulated the eastern and western european countries in which they used to live? (i.e. what is the jewish population of Warsaw?)
I’m guessing that the eastern block countries don’t have many jews, since Stalin was no big fan of jews either, but what about Western Europe? Or has the US and Israel become the defacto home of jews?
And as a followup, does Europe miss the jews, or is there a quiet acceptance/satisfaction that the purge occured and the jews are largely gone?
I don’t know about modern European attitudes toward Jews, but this site says about 81% of the world Jewish population is roughly evenly divided between the U.S. and Israel. They also list only 3200 Jews in Poland, which I will hazard a guess is quite a lot lower than the 1938 total, and the overall population of Europe is about 0.19% Jewish, less than one in 500.
So I guess… yes… if the goal was to purge Europe of Jews, a combination of systematic extermination during the war and generally encouraging them to leave both before and after the war has pretty much succeeded.
He succeeded in eliminating Jews from Europe. But what he did led to the creation of an entire Jewish country with fighter planes, tanks, and nuclear missiles. Before World War II, the Jews of Europe were a glorified servant-class existing at the whim of various powerful leaders. Even the Jews in the most prominent positions - great scientists, composers, writers, academics, and businessmen - were ultimately existing at the sufferance of Gentile leaders whose power came, as it always does in the end, from the military and from the holding of territory. Jews, historically, had neither of those things. After the Holocaust, they had both.
Well, a lot of “they” were dead, but I get your point.
In any case it occurs to me, even living in comfortable civilized Canada, that one day in my lifetime it might happen that someone who wants to purge Jews comes into power. I certainly can’t declare it impossible, and I have little doubt that me being an atheist will help fend off someone who believes that Jewish bloodlines are a curse upon humanity, so having a place on Earth where I can run to if it all goes to shit is certainly appealing, though it’s barely one-in-a-billion that I’ll actually need it.
His point was that “…even the Jews in the most prominent positions - great scientists, composers, writers, academics, and businessmen - were ultimately existing at the sufferance of Gentile leaders whose power came, as it always does in the end, from the military and from the holding of territory.”
What if I include David Salomons, Lord Mayor of London? Manny Shinwell, who was chairman of the British Labour Party during WWII? Paul Hymans, who was Belgium’s Foreign Minister and later the first presiding officer of the League of Nations? Sydney Sonnino and Luigi Luzzatti, who succeeded one another as Prime Ministers of Italy and were both Jewish? Or Claudio Treves, who founded the Italian Socialist Party? Or Sir Otto Jaffe, who was Lord Mayor of Belfast?
There are thousands of prominent Jews throughout pre-WWII European history. Obviously, there was and in some places still is lots of anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, for reasons I don’t understand. That doesn’t mean they were some sort of underclass.
For most of the time and in most places, they were. Yes, there were a hand full of notable people. Yes, there were good times in certain areas that would come and go. Overall though, as you know, things were pretty shitty unless they kept to themselves.
Can someone recommend a good book that confirms this? I’ve heard forever that Jews suffered under some ruling class, but I’m a little ignorant on the subject. That is to say, I don’t know what evidence exists to show that Jews suffered more than other people in the same class.
I get the impression that they are just really good at telling/spreading their “You think that’s bad?” stories. I’d like to read a history of this suffering that isn’t pushing some agenda.
I’ve always lived in areas of the US that are densely populated by Jews; and I’ve always been afraid to ask, lest I give the impression that I’m an anti-Semite who trivializes the way Jews were historically treated.
BTW, I don’t need anyone to point out the Holocaust. I’m ignorant about the stuff after Ben-Hur, but before 1940-ish.
Even all of these people had the “catch” of being Jewish and therefore outsiders. If they did something unpopular, if people at large protested them, it could take on an anti-Semitic tone. A native Italian doesn’t have that burden or a native Englishman or anyone else. Remember Disraeli was frequently the target of anti-Semitic complaints; he was resented by other politicians for his Jewish ancestry (even though he was a practicing Christian.)
There’s a famous line by Disraeli, who was responding to anti-Semitic remarks: “My ancestors were priests in the Temple of Solomon while yours were savages living on an unknown island.”
Less-known, though, is the retort to Disraeli: “This island was never not known to us.”
That means something - something very significant. Wherever the Jews went, they were outsiders. And a small number of 19th and 20th century Jewish politicians in high places does not negate this. For almost two thousand years, the Jews were still perennial outsiders in Europe by virtue of their religion. During Medieval and Renaissance times, even someone of “common” birth could become a soldier of fortune, raise a regiment or company, earn glory and a title of nobility if he could afford it. Jews could not do these things. Nobility, power, these things always ultimately come from the sword. Even if the Jewish community of any given country had become very rich from moneylending or trade, the one thing they didn’t have was teeth.
The whole world had been having one big party raising armies, training horses, making armour and weapons, devising battle plans, coming up with new formations, perfecting the art of warfare, for centuries - and the Jews were just not invited to this party. They never had the chance to prove anything through war and they consequently never got the respect that accompanied this. The King says he’s tired of his Jewish population and wants them to get out? They’re gone, baby, and that’s all there is to it. They move on to the next country until eventually they get kicked out too.
Sure, they were a small population. The Cossacks were also a small population, relatively speaking. Did anyone ever say, “you Cossacks need to get out of this country…all of you better leave or we’ll kill you”? Fuck no. Because the Cossacks knew how to fight. For centuries and centuries all they did was fight. They were the greatest horsemen in Europe and the bravest warriors - and they were Christian.
It wasn’t really until the advent of automatic weapons and explosives that all of these advantages of “bravery” were negated. Which is why the Jews, in Israel, managed to raise one of the best little militaries in the world despite having no real military tradition and having to dredge up Biblical heroes from thousands of years ago for inspiration. Even the Israelis who had military experience, and there were many, got that experience fighting for the British or the Russians.
Many countries/cities at different times required Jews to identify themselves, e.g. through badges or hats.
This is a small sample of a few of the most notable events. It seems unlikely that the Jews are simply better at telling their tales of woe when anti-Jewish persecution has consistently occurred in such large instances, across so many different countries in Europe. Yes for most of European history it sucked to be anybody other than an aristocrat, or any kind of poor person, but it seems clear there was a special level of hatred, oppression, and enforced poverty reserved for the Jews.
The problem Jews faced was that, while they could and did succeed in certain times and places, they could never be sure if all that success was going to be brought down by a wave of Christian anti-Semitism.
For example, take France at the end of the 19th century. Not a backward place full of pogroms like Russia. Jews could become civil servants or even army officers. As far back as Napoleon, Jews had been emancipated. Then came the Dreyfuss Affair …
Of course it could be pointed out (and was) that the fact that the scandal over the framing of a Jewish officer became such a big deal points out the liberalism, not the anti-semitism, of French society. The point is that both strands existed and had potency and a Jew could never be 100% sure which side would prevail - the Dreyfus Affair ended in defeat for the anti-Dreyfusards, but many of the organizations set up by the latter later had their revenge under the Vichy regime in France.