On the Eve The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War
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Description: On the Eve is the portrait of a world on the eve of its destruction. Bernard Wasserstein’s original and provocative book presents a new and disturbing interpretation of the collapse of European Jewish civilization even before the Nazi onslaught.Wasserstein shows how the harsh political and social realities of the age devastated the private lives of individuals and families. He demonstrates that, by 1939, the Jews faced an existential crisis that was as much the result of internal decay as of external attack.From Vilna (the “Jerusalem of Lithuania”) to Salonica with its Judeo-EspaÑol-speaking stevedores and singers, and from the Soviet Jewish “homeland” of Birobidzhan to Amsterdam (the “Jerusalem of the west”), the book explores the mindsets of wealthy bankers and far-left revolutionaries, of ultra-orthodox yeshiva bokhers and militant atheists, of cultural revivalists and radical assimilationists. Describing the predicament of the Jews in a continent suffused with anti-Semitism, Wasserstein’s focus is squarely on the Jews themselves rather than their persecutors. His aim, he writes, is to “breathe life into dry bones.” Based on vast research, written with compassion and empathy, and enlivened by dry wit, On the Eve paints a vivid and shocking picture of Europe’s Jews in their final hour.
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List price: $32.50
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 5/1/2012
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 1.75" tall
Bernard Wasserstein is professor of history at the University of Glasgow. The president of the Jewish Historical Society of England.
|List Of Maps|
|Note On Transliterations and Places-Names|
|The Melting Glacier|
|The Christian Problem|
|Grandees and Grandstanders|
|From Shtetel To Shtot|
|The Linguistic Matrix|
|The Power Of The Word|
|A People Of Many Books|
|Masques Of Modernity|
|InThe Cage, Trying To Get Out|
|On The Eve|
|Epilogue: Fates Known and Unknown|