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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.
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: 2024
Date: 2023
Date: 2024
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between the Far Right and Holocaust memory politics in the Netherlands through an in-depth analysis of the antisemitic and conspiratorial discourse of far-right politician Thierry Baudet and his party, Forum for Democracy (FvD). While the FvD positioned themselves as a victim of establishment politics from the outset, the party used their opposition to government COVID-19 policies to bolster the image of themselves as victim of state power as well as Jewish conspiracies.

This article argues that Baudet’s Holocaust relativization and his criticism of the evolving character of Dutch Holocaust memory are intimately tied to his and the FvD’s antisemitic worldview, in which Jews are to blame for the decline of a mythologized white, Christian Dutch nation. In this context, the FvD used Holocaust analogies on social media, in the Dutch parliament, and during rallies to simultaneously accuse Jews of exploiting a victim identity for moral legitimacy and to contest the government’s acknowledgment of Dutch collaboration and inclusion of Jewish experiences into a broader national narrative of the Second World War. In posing these challenges to the status of the Holocaust in contemporary memory politics, Baudet and the FvD attempt to rewrite Dutch history with the white, Christian population as the true bearers of Dutch heritage and identity. Examining the character and normalization of Holocaust relativization in a country still lauded internationally for its tolerance despite its delayed process of ‘coming to terms’ with its Holocaust past demonstrates the centrality of memory politics to far-right ideologies.
Date: 2022
Author(s): Marincea, Adina
Date: 2023
Abstract: Common antisemitic visual representations are rooted in Ancient Christianity and the Middle Ages, but we have also witnessed new developments after the Holocaust and the condemnation of fascism. Stereotyping and dehumanization through zoomorphism, demonization, exaggeration of certain physical features anchored in the false presumptions of physiognomy and other visual devices have been weaponized across the centuries for racist and antisemitic agendas. This study undergoes a comparative analysis of two corpuses of antisemitic images from the Romanian press and social media at a distance of one century between them. I analyze the persistency, transformations, and new developments of antisemitic image codes popularized by the Romanian far-right from the start of the 20th century, through to the rise of fascism and the Second World War, up to the present-day social media. This visual qualitative analysis with critical historical insights is carried out on the following corpuses: a) a contemporary subset of 81 memes, digital stickers, and other visuals from 17 Romanian far-right Telegram channels and groups posted over the course of one year (August 2022 – August 2023); and b) 70 archival political cartoons published by 17 far-right ultranationalist newspapers (and one pro-Soviet communist newspaper) between 1911 and 1948. Findings show how persistent certain antisemitic stereotypes have proven across time and different cultural spaces – the hook-nose, zoomorphism, the blood-libel accusations, Judeo-Bolshevism, the satanic representations – and how the visual dimension serves to efficiently implant antisemitic narratives in the collective mind. These (visual) narratives are skillfully recontextualized to fit new (geo-)political realities – the post-Holocaust times, the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine.
Date: 2023
Abstract: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) commissioned Schoen Cooperman Research to conduct a comprehensive national study of Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness in the Netherlands.

Schoen Cooperman Research conducted 2,000 interviews across the Netherlands. The margin of error for the study is 2 percent. This memo presents our key research findings and compares these findings with prior Claims Conference studies, which were conducted in five other countries.

Our latest study finds significant gaps in Holocaust knowledge and awareness in the Netherlands, as well as widespread concern that Holocaust denial and Holocaust distortion are problems in the Netherlands today.
We found that 23 percent of Dutch Millennials and Gen Z respondents believe the Holocaust is a myth, or that it occurred but the number of Jews who died has been greatly exaggerated – the highest percentage among Millennials and Gen Z respondents in all six countries the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against
Germany has previously studied.

Further, 29 percent of Dutch respondents, including 37 percent of Dutch Millennials and Gen Z respondents believe that two million or fewer Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Moreover, despite the fact that more than 70 percent of the Netherlands’ Jewish population perished during the Holocaust, a majority of Dutch respondents (53
percent), including 60 percent of Dutch Millennials and Gen Z, do not cite the Netherlands as a country where the Holocaust took place. Finally, 53 percent of Dutch respondents believe that something like the Holocaust
could happen again today.
Author(s): Brunssen, Pavel
Date: 2023
Abstract: The European soccer clubs FC Bayern Munich, Austria Vienna, Ajax Amsterdam, and Tottenham Hotspur (London) are known as “Jew Clubs,” although none of them is explicitly Jewish. This study approaches the conundrum of identity performances, (e.g., Jew as self and “Jew” as other) from a transnational perspective. Using the “Jew Clubs” as case studies, I unpack the connection between collective memories and identity formations in post-Holocaust societies through the lens of sports. With the help of a wide range of primary sources and archival material such as fanzines, fan performances, street art, photographs, films, monuments, and museums, this study illustrates how soccer cultures function as a key site for the construction of collective memories and collective identities. As such, this dissertation joins the extant and growing international scholarship on sport and fan cultures, popular culture, Judaic studies, memory cultures, performance studies, museum studies, and German studies. The work also enhances our understanding of antisemitism, philosemitism, and gentile-Jewish relationships. Chapter 1 examines the “Jew Club” as memory culture and provides a detailed analysis of FC Bayern Munich’s “rediscovery” of its German-Jewish former club president Kurt Landauer in the early 21st century. By analyzing how the club’s turn to Landauer overshadowed the club’s role in expelling its Jewish members, this chapter puts forward the argument that memory is always also a form of forgetting. Chapter 2 illustrates how the “Jew Club” FK Austria Vienna (FAK) functions as a “cultural code,” that, in the interwar period, became associated with stereotypically “Jewish” features such as modernity, cosmopolitanism, and rootlessness. It analyzes the puzzling case of a “Jew Club” that is now supported by a neo-Nazi fan base. Finally, this chapter claims that a new “cultural code” emerges, as the club embraces its “Jew Club” identity to counter neo-Nazi fans. Chapter 3 assesses the “Jew Club” as fan performance. It analyzes how Ajax Amsterdam’s supporters developed their identity as “Super Jews” in reaction to the antisemitic taunts by rival fans. The chapter is grounded in a thorough discussion of fan and club cultures, as well as the transformations of Dutch memory culture and Dutch antisemitism. It argues that fan performances offer a particular opportunity to engage with the unmastered history of the Holocaust. Chapter 4 addresses the “Jew Club” as a problem by discussing the case of Tottenham Hotspur. It analyzes the debates about Spurs fans’ appropriation of the term “Yid,” which had previously been used by antisemitic rival supporters. This chapter introduces a new model of linguistic appropriation, which alters our understanding of linguistic reclamation. Ultimately, by engaging Jewish perspectives, it argues that the “Jew Club” offers a unique space for anti-antisemitic agency. The conclusion summarizes the findings of this study, identifies the similarities and differences among the four case studies, and applies the study’s results to reconsider the concept of a “(negative) German-Jewish symbiosis.” In essence, this study illuminates the ways sport clubs and fan cultures perform memory cultures and thus function as an important societal arena for constructing collective identities. The work clarifies the common features and distinctive characteristics of “Jew Clubs” from a transnational perspective. It shows how “soccer” serves as a contested space for questions of identity, subjectivity, and belonging, with implications reaching far beyond the stadium gate.
Author(s): Hughes, Judith M.
Date: 2022
Date: 2023
Abstract: In this paper, we argue that proximity to primordial(ized) Danish civil values has generally saved the Jews in Denmark from violent antisemitism. Combining Alexander’s (The civil sphere. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006) account of an assimilatory mode of civil incorporation with his concept of “societalization” (Alexander in Am Sociol Rev 83(6):1049–1078, 2018; What makes a social crisis? The societalization of social problems. Wiley, Hobroken, 2019), we discuss how “re-societalizing” antisemitism led to strong enactment of anti-antisemitism and increased Jewish sub-group anxiety in the civil sphere. Anti-antisemitism in Denmark has historically been integrated into cultural codes and historical narratives in the civil sphere. We analyze how the 2015 terror attack in Copenhagen and a public debate about male circumcision caused a wave of reassurance of one of the core values in the Danish civil sphere, namely Jewish safety. Speeches from consecutive prime ministers and an ensuing “action plan against antisemitism” presented by the government in early 2022 demonstrate how contemporary antisemitism becomes integrated into a historical narrative of mutually ensured Danish civility between the majority and the Jewish minority. We conclude that despite its precarious character and the social anxiety provoked by societalization of antisemitism over the last seven years, civil solidarity within an assimilation mode of incorporation has proven to be surprisingly empowering and attractive for the Jewish minority in the Danish case.
Author(s): Schult, Tanja
Date: 2010
Abstract: Raoul Wallenberg is widely remembered for his humanitarian activity on behalf of the Hungarian Jews in Budapest at the end of World War II, and is known as the Swedish diplomat who disappeared into the Soviet Gulag in 1945. While he successfully combated Nazi racial extermination politics, he fell victim to Stalinist communism – yet another barbaric, totalitarian regime of the 20th century.

Given Wallenberg’s biography, his mission and his unresolved fate it is no wonder that Wallenberg became a figure of mythic dimensions. It is the mixture of heroics and victimhood, as well as the seemingly endless potential of possible adaptations that secures this historic figure and his mythic after-narratives its longevity. While it is without doubt the man behind the myth who deserves credit – first the man’s realness gives the myth credibility – it is the myth that secures the man’s popularity. The man and his myth depend on each other.

In this article, I will give an overview of how Wallenberg was perceived and described by survivors, in popular scholarly literature, how he has been researched by historians, and how he has been presented in different media. It will become apparent that the narrators have sought to satisfy different needs, e.g. psychological, political, and commercial ones. The narrators’ intention and attitude towards the historic person and the myth which surrounds him is of primary importance. I will show how different approaches to, and uses of, the myth exist side by side and nourish one another. And yet they can all simultaneously claim existence in their own right. By providing examples from different times and places, I like to illustrate that the popular images of Wallenberg are far less one-sided, stereotypical and homogeneous than they are often portrayed and hope to draw attention to the great potential that the Wallenberg narrative has today, as his 100th anniversary approaches in 2012.
Author(s): Rothberg, Michael
Date: 2022
Date: 2018