This anthology brings together eight chapters which examine the life of Jews in Southeast Europe through political, social and cultural lenses. Even though the Holocaust put an end to many communities in the region, this book chronicles how some Holocaust survivors nevertheless tried to restore their previous lives.
Focusing on the once flourishing and colorful Jewish communities throughout the Balkans – many of which were organized according to the Ottoman millet system – this book provides a diverse range of insights into Jewish life and Jewish-Gentile relations in what became Greece, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria after World War II. Further, the contributors conceptualize the issues in focus from a historical perspective. In these diachronic case studies, virtually the whole 20th century is covered, with a special focus paid to the shifting identities, the changing communities and the memory of the Holocaust, thereby providing a very useful parallel to today’s post-war and divided societies.
Drawing on relevant contemporary approaches in historical research, this book complements the field with topics that, until now in Jewish studies and beyond, remained on the edge of the general research focus.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies.
Introduction – diverse perspectives on Jewish life in Southeast Europe: the Holocaust and beyond
1. Defining inter-communality between documents, tradition and collective memory: Jewish and non-Jewish capital and labor in early twentieth century Rhodes
2. Antisemitism as political theology in Greece and its impact on Greek Jewry, 1967–1979
3. Voices from the ghetto of Thessaloniki: mother–son correspondence as a source of Jewish everyday life under persecution
4. From salvation to Alya: the Bulgarian Jews and Bulgarian-Israeli relations (1948–1990)
5. Rebuilding the community: the Federation of Jewish Communities and American Jewish humanitarian aid in Yugoslavia, 1944–1952
6. ‘Being traitors’: post-war Greece in the experience of Jewish partisans
7. Memorialization of the Holocaust in Transylvania during the early post-war period
Today's crises in the eastern Mediterranean, the multivalent developments in Turkey and European integration and democratisation challenges focus scientific and political attention on Southeast Europe and the wider Black Sea area. The Southeast Europe and Black Sea Series publishes multidisciplinary original research about these current hotspots on the margins of Europe. The volumes include comparative and individual country analysis, as well as innovative research that develops deep and fruitful understanding of these regions. The series engages academic and original policy-oriented books with such themes as the politics of state-building and reform, foreign and security policy, socio-cultural phenomena and socio-economic dynamics, EU enlargement and neighbourhood policies. The series also publishes books that advance our understanding of recent history in this broad area - from Slovenia to Ukraine, south to Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, and east to the Caucasus - and its relevance for contemporary problems.