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Author(s): Dasgupta, Sudeep
Date: 2024
Abstract: The racial formation of nationalism from the perspective of migration produces multiple forms of “whiteness”. “Not quite/not white” (Bhabha) translated racial difference into a culturally-hybrid formulation of the postcolonial subject in postcolonial theory. The consequence of translating racial difference into culturally hybridity also diluted a focus on the nation by focusing on the diasporic subject. In Eastern Europe however, “whiteness” is firstly marked by the ambiguous history of the racial other within the nation rather than the historical colonization of racial others beyond. Further, the often traumatic displacement of racial others in/from Eastern Europe has more to do with forms of nationalism than colonialism. Thus, the displacement of racial others in relation to Eastern European nationalism take on an importance largely missing in deracinated postcolonial condemnations of the nation. Europe-based Israeli artist Yael Bartana’s And Europe will be stunned: the Polish trilogy, provides a provocative invitation to think the disturbing place of race in the formation of nationalism in Eastern Europe precisely from these two dimensions: the history of racial difference (Jews) within the nation (Poland), and the centering of racial “returns” for the past and future of nations both in Eastern Europe and beyond it. Through film, public performance and spoken/written word, And Europe… firstly stages the nation from the historical perspective of displaced/exterminated racial others. Through a provocative call to return of the Jews into the Polish nation from which they fled or were exterminated, Bartana proposes a ghostly and literal racially hybridity within the nation to counter the ongoing construction of “whiteness” in Eastern Europe. Secondly, And Europe.. also performs a powerful critique of the problematic politics of return in Israel which deploys Europe’s treatment of its Jewish others to now consecrate the Israeli nation as an exclusively Jewish state. The currency of “whiteness” from the doubled perspective of a future Poland and the present in Israel delivers contradictory returns for the nation by producing hybridity here in Europe and homogeneity there outside it. By thinking “whiteness” for/against the nation, the essay shows how the returns of race and of racial others can help think a hybrid nation both within Eastern Europe and outside it. Seen from a global perspective, “Whiteness” in Eastern Europe thus offers the racially hybrid nation rather than the culturally hybrid postcolonial subject as a counter to the racism of contemporary nationalisms.
Date: 2024
Author(s): Krell, Gert
Date: 2015
Author(s): Krell, Gert
Date: 2024
Date: 2023
Abstract: The starting point for the present study is the thematization of the concept of “Jewish cultural heritage” and, in this context, the outlining of the role and position of cemeteries in Jewish tradition. The case study focuses on the Hungarian village of Apc, which was home to a Jewish community of just over a hundred people before World War II. After the Holocaust, only a few survivors returned to the settlement; some of them emigrated, while others remained in Apc for the rest of their lives. In recent decades, what has become of the cemetery, one of the most important sites for the former Jewish community of Apc? This paper explores the process of the heritagization of the local Jewish cemetery, one of the activities carried out by the Together for Apc Association, a civil society initiative launched two decades ago. In 2003, the dilapidated and abandoned “Israelite cemetery” was the first of the settlement's deteriorating assets to be declared as local cultural heritage. With the involvement of various actors from the local community (volunteers and local entrepreneurs), and in contact with Jewish organizations (the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, the Foundation for Hungarian Jewish Cemeteries), the cemetery was restored over a period of two years and was “inaugurated” in 2006 in the presence of a rabbi, a cantor, a Jewish secular leader, Holocaust survivors and members of the local society. In the fifteen years since then, care has been taken to ensure that the achievements are sustainable and maintained, and the cemetery has been kept open not only for the descendants of the Jewish community but for all interested parties. But the salvaging of the Apc Jewish cemetery is not only an example of the preservation of the built heritage of a single community: while for the village residents it forms part of their local identity, for the Jewish organizations it represents part of their Jewish identity. What happens when two communities stake a claim to the heritagization of the same site? As a shared goal, or “cause,” the “bipolar” process of the heritagization of the Jewish cemetery in Apc has provided an opportunity for dialogue, collective thinking, and problem solving between Jewish and non-Jewish society, even if the various heritagization goals, coming from different directions, have in many cases generated tensions.
Author(s): Popescu, Diana I.
Date: 2017
Author(s): Kelso, Michelle
Date: 2013
Abstract: While Holocaust education has been mandatory in Romanian schools for over a decade, educators do not necessarily teach about it. Distortion and obfuscation of Romanian Holocaust crimes during the communist and transition periods means that teachers, like the majority of Romanians, know little about their country’s perpetration of genocides. From 1941 to 1944, the Romanian regime transported part of its Jewish and Romani populations to death camps in Transnistria, where over 200,000 Jews and over 10,000 Roma were killed. Under communism, blame for genocides was placed solely on Nazi Germany, thereby absolving Romanian perpetrators. Post-communism, the official narrative has slowly come under scrutiny, allowing for a restructuring of World War II history to incorporate the deportations and deaths of the country’s Jews and Roma. Ignorance about the Holocaust and prejudice about the minorities affected are at the root of non-compliance in teaching. This is especially the case for the Roma, who are the largest minority in Romania and face continued marginalization and discrimination. In this paper, I focus on cognitive barriers that many history and civics teachers have regarding teaching about the victimization of the Roma minority. These barriers are intrinsically tied to acceptance of new narratives of the Holocaust and reconfigurations of ethnic identities in post-socialist Romania where pressures from the European Union and the USA, among others, have pushed for critical examination of past atrocities in order to strengthen democratic processes.
Author(s): Bunyan, Anita
Date: 2016
Abstract: The recent Eurozone crisis and the outbreak of political and populist Euroscepticism pose an unprecedented challenge to advocates of the post-war ‘Idea of Europe’. In the United Kingdom and France, some of the most eloquent and impassioned defences of ‘Europe’ have been penned by Jewish intellectuals. The historian Walter Laqueur, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and journalists such as David Aaronovich, for example, have all rallied to the cause of ‘Europe’. This article will focus on the responses of Robert Menasse and Henryk Broder, two Jewish intellectuals from Austria and Germany, who have recently published powerful reflections on the European idea. Menasse’s polemic of 2012, Der Europäische Landbote (The European Courier), defends the idea of Europe as a ‘Friedensprojekt’, or ‘peace project’, and the European Union as an institutional antidote to the destructive power of nationalism and the self-interest of the nation-state. Broder’s bestselling book of 2013, Die letzten Tage Europas: Wie wir eine gute Idee versenken (The Last Days of Europe: How we are Scuppering a Good Idea), embraces ‘European values’ but launches a critique of a European Union which stifles pluralism and critical debate. This paper analyses how Menasse and Broder define the idea of ‘Europe’ and argues that, despite their differences, in form and content, the work of Menasse and Broder draws on a common tradition of enlightened cosmopolitanism as well as informs the renewed academic debate in the humanities and social sciences about the place of ‘cosmopolitanism’ in our global world.
Date: 2022
Author(s): Sutcliffe, Adam
Date: 2024
Abstract: This article focuses on the rise of anti-antisemitic discourse in Britain over the past fifteen years. It explores the relationship between the increasingly emotional tone of public discourse in Britain and other western countries and the miring of anti-antisemitism in dynamics of competitive victimhood and ethnic antagonism. The development of this dynamic is traced from the bitter arguments over the representation and reporting of the Palestine/Israel conflict at the time of the Israeli ground assault in the Gaza Strip in early 2009 – with special attention to Caryl Churchill’s short play Seven Jewish Children – through to recent anti-antisemitic interventions such as David Baddiel’s bestselling polemic Jews Don’t Count (2021) and Jonathan Freedland’s verbatim play recently staged at London’s Royal Court Theatre (2022). These interventions, the article shows, call for the ‘normal’ treatment of anti-Jewish prejudice while simultaneously appealing on exceptionalist grounds for public sympathy with Jewish perceptions of antisemitism. The exceptional moral authority widely accorded to anti-antisemitism has made the cause an attractive one for those who resent what they believe to be the unwarranted priority accorded to non-white victimhood. Various forms of anti-antisemitism, such as Baddiel’s, have thus become front-line arguments in shrill culture-war tussles suffused with intellectual confusion and racially tinged rhetorical combat. This racialization, politicization and emotionalization of anti-antisemitism has reached new heights, the article concludes, following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas in October 2023.
Author(s): Wiedemann, Emilie
Date: 2024
Abstract: This thesis is an examination of the international Jewish and non-Jewish politics of opposing antisemitism between 1960 and 2005. It begins with the condemnation of antisemitism by the UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1960. It ends with the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia’s (EUMC) working definition of antisemitism, published in 2005. Between these poles, lay a wealth of contestation about what antisemitism is and how to oppose it. Successive challenges and instability for Israel as well as global geopolitical upheaval during this time raised these questions anew. The thesis centres the political agency of a diverse and evolving group of Jewish internationalist actors, including NGOs, community representatives and academics, and analyses their political responses to this context. I explore how these actors debated and contested ideas about how to identify, measure and oppose antisemitism, and with whom to ally in this struggle. At stake was the relationship between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, between anti-antisemitism and anti-racism, between Israel and diaspora, and who represented Jewish interests in the arenas of global governance. These questions brought out significant divides in international Jewish politics, between state and diaspora and among diaspora actors themselves. The thesis ends with an investigation of the immediate roots of the EUMC document in Jewish internationalism; at the same time, I contextualise the EUMC document within the longer arc of the thesis. It was one expression of long-standing, multifaceted and heated debates within international Jewish politics, and of how these debates have played out in international Jewish and non-Jewish political efforts to oppose antisemitism. Overall, I demonstrate that ideas about what antisemitism is were constantly in flux during this period, subject to debate, contestation and negotiation among Jewish and non-Jewish political actors.
Date: 2023
Abstract: Scholars have drawn attention to the prevalence of antizionist campaigning on campus, but previous studies have found lower levels of antisemitism among graduates. In this cross-sectional study, levels of antisemitism were measured among members of a large, demographically representative sample of UK residents (N = 1725), using the Generalised Antisemitism (GeAs) scale. Overall scores, as well as scores for the two subscales of this scale (that is, Judeophobic Antisemitism, JpAs, and Antizionist Antisemitism, AzAs) were measured, with comparisons being made according to educational level (degree-educated vs non-degree educated) and subject area (among degree holders only, classified using the JACS 3.0 principal subject area codes). Degree holders were found to have significantly lower scores than non-degree holders for Generalised Antisemitism and Judeophobic Antisemitism, while scores for Antizionist Antisemitism were effectively identical. Among degree holders, graduates from subjects under the JACS 3.0 umbrella category of Historical and Philosophical Studies exhibited significantly lower scores for Generalised Antisemitism and Judeophobic Antisemitism, and lower scores for Antizionist Antisemitism, although the latter association fell short of significance following application of the Holm-Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons (unsurprisingly, given the large number of hypotheses and the small absolute number of respondents in this category, N = 65). Exploratory analysis of the dataset suggests possible further negative associations with antisemitism for graduates of economics, psychology, and counselling, which may have been concealed by the system of categories employed. These associations may have intuitive theoretical explanations. However, further research will be necessary to test whether they are statistically robust. The article concludes with a discussion of possible theoretical explanations for observed patterns, and some suggestions for further research.
Author(s): Ehmann, Tanja
Date: 2023
Abstract: In 2018 and 2021, the Berlin club scene saw cancel culture clashes in connection with the DJs for Palestine (DJP) boycott campaign, which follows the agenda of the BDS move-ment. I was interested in the discussions about the clashes on social media and want-ed to find out to what extent the argumentation in favor of the DJP boycott campaign reproduces antisemitism. To discuss my findings, I used the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA). The results of my analysis of the pro-boycott voices on social media show that they positioned themselves in an ideologized and Manichaean manner against Israel and Zionism. People who argued against the boycott were singled out and accused of being white supremacists. In their social media posts, the boycott supporters created a hegemonic and exclusionary space and staged themselves as gatekeepers of human rights. Analysis of the posts with key words from the JDA guidelines delineated in section C as not antisemitic per se show that this judgement has to be rejected in the case of the present study. The critique that is formulated is in most cases destructive and neither balanced nor a qualified approach to a complex situation. What is especially missing is a recognition of how criticism of Zionism or Israel can be loaded with antisemitic tropes. Instead of such recognition, there is denial of antisemitism or counter-accusation. There are dogmatic speech, unilateral blame and defensiveness, but most of the time no reference to contra-dictions and ambivalences towards the boycott campaign and the DJs for Palestine agenda.
Author(s): Lyapov, Filip
Date: 2023
Abstract: Bulgarian Jews to a large extent escaped the horrors of the Holocaust, yet their opposition to the antisemitic policies of Bulgarian governments during the war led a disproportionate number of them to join left-wing opposition groups and eventually perish in the anti-fascist struggle. Fallen Jewish partisans, relatively well-known during the socialist period, were nevertheless commemorated first and foremost as communists, rather than as heroes from one of Bulgaria's minorities. The communist post-war regime's reluctance to recognize Jewish anti-fascist activity separately and the mass exodus of Bulgarian Jews to Israel, as well as the persistent antisemitism within the Eastern Bloc, all contributed to the marginalization of the memory of Jewish anti-fascism before the collapse of communism. The 1989 transition resulted in further neglect of Jewish suffering and martyrdom as the very premise of their heroic actions – anti-fascism – was erased and replaced by the new anti-communist mnemonic canon. Post-1989 Bulgaria even gradually rehabilitated controversial figures from the pre-1944 ruling elite by virtue of their anti-communist credentials. Curiously, a single fallen female Jewish partisan, Violeta Yakova, has received public attention that has evaded her fellow martyrs. Her name resurfaced as Bulgarian nationalists began organizing the annual Lukov March – a torch-lit procession commemorating a pro-fascist interwar general assassinated by Yakova. The case of the Bulgarian-Jewish partisan can therefore provide a much-needed revisiting of the way that Jewish anti-fascism has been commemorated and reveal the complex dynamics of contemporary memory politics, antisemitism, and right-wing populism in Bulgaria.
Date: 2023
Date: 2023
Author(s): Otova, Ildiko
Date: 2024
Abstract: In recent years, the fate of the Jews in Bulgaria during the Second World War has aroused the research interest of humanities scholars from various disciplines, with a number of studies published (see e.g., and many of the following cited (Avramov 2012. “Спасение” и падение. Микроикономика на държавния антисемитизъм в
България, 1940–1944 [“Rescue” and fall. Microeconomics of State Anti-semitism in Bulgaria, 1940–1944]. Sofia: Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski; Daneva 2013; Krsteva 2015; Koleva 2017)). Many rely on research on the construction of memory. At the same time, fewer research efforts seem to have focused on how the topic has become politicized in the years since 1989 (see e.g. Benatov 2013. “Debating the Fate of Bulgarian Jews during
World War II.” In Bringing the Dark Past to Light the Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, edited by John-Paul Himka, and Joanna Beata Michlic, 108–31. University of Nebraska Press; Ragaru 2020. Et les Juifs bulgaresfurent sauvе…Une histoire des savoirs sur la Shoah en Bulgarie. Paris: Science Po). The aim of this paper is to offer precisely this perspective on the topic of non/rescue, and in the last ten years. Politicization has traditionally been understood as the process of attributing salience to an issue of public interest through various channels such as political discourse and media, and in the presence of the multiple and diverse opinions associated with it (deWilde, Pieter. 2011. “No polity for old politics? A framework for analyzing the politicization of European
integration.” Journal of European Integration 33 (5): 559–75; de Wilde, Pieter, Anna Leupold, and Henning Schmidtke. 2016. “Introduction: the differentiated politicisation of European governance.” West European Politics 39 (1): 3–22). In some texts on the politicization of the migration crisis in Bulgaria in the years since 2012, the author shows how a topic can be politicized in the absence of political debate and in the context of a dominant
populist understanding, multiplied by various power actors – politicians, institutions, media and intellectuals (see e.g. Otova, Ildiko, and Evelina Staykova. 2022. Migration and Populism in Bulgaria. London: Routledge). For the purposes of this paper, by politicization the author will understand the blurring of ideological differences of interpretations of who the savior is in a populist consensus around the construction of the rescue narrative
for foreign policy use, but mostly as a nation-building narrative. The focus of this article is on the last ten years, in which the political interpretations and actions surrounding the commemoration of the 70th in 2013 and 75th in 2018 and the 80th anniversary in 2023 of the events surrounding the so-called rescue of Bulgarian Jews are particularly interesting. It is during these last years that populism has become the norm for the political scene in Bulgaria. Populism is not the obvious entrance to the topic, but it is the political framework within which the politicization of the topic of the rescue is developing, and a possible theoretical entrance. Populism became a persistent part of Bulgarian political life more than a decade after the beginning of the democratic changes of 1989. There are
several key factors involved in this process-exhaustion of the cleavages of the transition period, but especially the transformation of party politics into symbolic ones (Otova, Ildiko, and Evelina Staykova. 2022. Migration and Populism in Bulgaria. London: Routledge). Symbolic politics deal more with emotions and less with ratio and facts;
they build narratives that are often nationally affirming. The article does not claim to be exhaustive, especially in its presentation of historical facts. The limits of this rather political science approach are many. On the other hand, however, it adds to the research effort with a missing glimpse into the interpretations of the no/rescue theme and could open the field for further in-depth research.
Date: 2022
Date: 2017
Date: 2013