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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.
Author(s): Özyürek, Esra
Date: 2023
Date: 2023
Abstract: How attached do European Jews feel to the countries in which they live? Or to the European Union? And are their loyalties ‘divided’ in some way – between their home country and Israel? Answering these types of questions helps us to see how integrated European Jews feel today, and brings some empiricism to the antisemitic claim that Jews don’t fully ‘belong.’

This mini-report, based on JPR's groundbreaking report ‘The Jewish identities of European Jews’, explores European Jews’ levels of attachment to the countries in which they live, to Israel, and to the European Union, and compares them with those of wider society and other minority groups across Europe. Some of the key findings in this study written by Professor Sergio DellaPergola and Dr Daniel Staetsky of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit include:

European Jews tend to feel somewhat less strongly attached to the countries in which they live than the general population of those countries, but more strongly attached than other minority groups and people of no religion.
That said, levels of strong attachment to country vary significantly from one country to another, both among Jews and others.
European Jews tend to feel somewhat more strongly attached to the European Union than the general populations of their countries, although in many cases, the distinctions are small.
Some European Jewish populations feel more strongly attached to Israel than to the countries in which they live, and some do not. The Jewish populations that tend to feel more attached to Israel than the countries in which they live often have high proportions of recent Jewish immigrants.
Having a strong attachment to Israel has no bearing on Jewish people's attachments to the EU or the countries in which they live, and vice versa: one attachment does not come at the expense of another. They are neither competitive nor complementary; they are rather completely unrelated.
Jews of different denominations show very similar levels of attachment to the countries in which they live, but rather different levels of attachment to Israel and the EU.
Author(s): Özyürek, Esra
Date: 2018
Abstract: In the last decade there has been widely shared discomfort about the way Muslim minority Germans engage with the Holocaust. They are accused of not showing empathy towards its Jewish victims and, as a result, of not being able to learn the necessary lessons from this massive crime. By focusing on instances in which the emotional reactions of Muslim minority Germans towards the Holocaust are judged as not empathetic enough and morally wrong, this article explores how Holocaust education and contemporary understandings of empathy, in teaching about the worst manifestation of racism in history, can also at times be a mechanism to exclude minorities from the German/European moral makeup and the fold of national belonging. Expanding from Edmund Husserl’s embodied approach to empathy to a socially situated approach, via the process of paarung, allows us to reinterpret expressions of fear and envy, currently seen as failed empathy, as instances of intersubjective connections at work. In my reinterpretation of Husserl’s ideas, the process of paarung that enables empathy to happen is not abstract, but pairs particular experiences happening at particular times and places under particular circumstances to individuals of certain social standing and cultural influences. An analogy can be made to shoes. Anyone has the capacity to imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes. Nevertheless, the emotional reactions the experience triggers in each person will be shaped by individual past experiences and social positioning. Hence, grandchildren of workers who arrived in Germany after World War II to rebuild the country resist an ethnicized Holocaust memory and engage with it keenly through their own subject positions.
Date: 2022
Date: 2006
Date: 2010
Date: 2021
Abstract: This paper examines whether the re-emergence of the “Jewish Question” in the 2010-2016 Hungarian public discourse has also re-surfaced the “us” and “them” distinction between Hungarians and Jews that has lain dormant within the Hungarian population, and whether this symbolic exclusion of Jews from the Hungarian nation creates new, additional Jewish and quasi-Jewish groups as “others”, to be lumped together with the “other others”. The paper was submitted in 2016 and therefore does not cover the discussions around the openly antisemitic 2018 election campain’s discourse. The paper makes two main claims. The first is that the state “protectively” treats Hungarian Jews as a distinct group, as a community that is distinguished by its “otherness”, separated from the “us” of the national narrative. The second claim is that an “out-grouped other”, which does not identify with the government’s concept of an ethnic nation, is depicted with stereotypes that historically described Jews, regardless of their background, origins or religion. As populist, ethnic nationalism is being resurrected in Europe, the following questions arise: How can affiliated Hungarian Jews and “outed”, “non-Jewish Jews” take part in a nation that rhetorically excludes them while cynically attempting to promote their (Jewish) separateness in a seemingly positive manner? Why is this separation important and perhaps even dangerous? And how can Hungarians (who are cast as Jewish) credibly participate in Hungary’s internal and external politics and democracy?It is argued that the current “Jewish Question” debate in Hungary after 2010 may have less to do with actual Jews and more to do with creating the populist fiction of a homogeneous, isolated, ethnic nation, reminiscent of the ethnic nationalist concepts championed during the 1920s and 1930s with tragic consequences.
Author(s): Williams, Amy
Date: 2020
Abstract: To date, scholars have mainly focussed on the history of the Kindertransport. This thesis is the first to examine extensively how the Kindertransport has been remembered in Britain, and to compare British memory of this event with memory in the other English-speaking host nations which took in the refugee children (Kinder), namely America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. ‘Kindertransport’ is understood here as referring not just to the actual rescue of children with mainly Jewish origins from Nazism that took place between 1938 and 1940, but also the effects it had, such as transplantation to strange environments. There is yet to be a true exploration of how the memories of the Kinder and these nations’ memories of the Kindertransport developed. Any comparison of these various host countries must consider the degree to which memory of the Kindertransport is not uniform, and the extent to which it is shaped by factors such as the role of these countries in the Second World War, and – above all – nationally conditioned memory discourses. Increasingly, according to memory scholars, Holocaust memory operates in a transnational, even global network. This thesis will assess this expectation against the empirical evidence. Is it more the case that host nations remember the Kindertransport in essentially national terms, even where they are aware of its transnational history? In order to assess this question, this thesis will examine a representative cross-section of different genres including testimony, museum exhibitions, memorials, and novels. I argue that the Kindertransport is much more nationally focussed and celebratory in Britain than in other host nations, where this memory is more transnational in focus. However, there are signs that national memory in Britain is beginning to develop in a more self-critical direction.
Date: 2018
Abstract: This paper examines whether the reemergence of “the Jewish Question” in post-2010 Hungarian public discourse has also re-surfaced the “Us” and “Them” distinction between “Hungarians” and “Jews” that has been latent within the Hungarian population, and whether this symbolic exclusion of Jews from the Hungarian “nation” creates new, additional Jewish and quasi-Jewish groups as “others”, to be lumped together with the “other others”.The current “Jewish Question” debate in Hungary may have less to do with actual Jews, and more to do with creating the populist fiction of a homogeneous, isolated, ethnic nation, reminiscent of the ethnic nationalist concepts championed during the 1920s and 1930s with tragic consequences. The paper’s first premise is that the state “protectively” treats Hungarian Jews as a distinct group, as a community that is distinguished by its “otherness”, separated from the “Us” of the national narrative. The second premise is that an “outgrouped other”, which doesn’t identify with the government’s concept of an ethnic nations, is depicted with stereotypes that historically described Jews, regardless of its background, origins or religion. In this context, the questions we must ask, as populist, ethnic nationalism is being resurrected in Europe, are, how can affiliated Hungarian Jews, and “outed” “non Jewish Jews” take part in a nation that rhetorically excludes “them”, while cynically attempting to promote “their” (Jewish) separateness in a seemingly positive manner? Why is this separation sensitive, and perhaps even dangerous? How can Hungarians (who are cast as Jewish) credibly participate in Hungary’s internal and external politics and democracy?
Date: 2022
Abstract: My thesis is an empirical study of young British Jews, exploring their experience of being Jewish, British, and male in society today given the fluid nature of each of these aspects of their identity. As society has changed over the last half century each of these aspects which had normative monocultural taken-for-granted expressions have been repeatedly deconstructed, examined and re-built, and I argue that in the process they have emerged as fluid entities. It is in negotiating these fluid aspects that today’s young male Jews ask, what does it mean to be a Jew, what does it mean to be British, and what does it mean to be male as they try to make sense of their lives. The method chosen for this study has been the in-depth interview which I conducted with a sample of 16 interviewees chosen to reflect the diverse range of religiosity, age and intellectual ability which is apparent in the heterogenous nature of the Anglo-Jewish community supplemented with a group discussion. I have produced an interview tool of overlapping coloured discs representing the three aspects I am studying as an aid for the interviewee to think and talk about themselves. I have transcribed the interviews and used constructionist thematic analysis to advance my argument. I argue that Jewishness is constructed between extremes of adherence to halachic requirement on one hand and a Jewishness experienced as cultural affinity to history, family, and tradition without recourse to halacha on the other hand. I argue that Britishness is being experienced between varying degrees of nationalistic localism against cosmopolitan liberalism played out against a backdrop of Britain contrasted with the rest of the world and also London against the rest of Britain. With regard to being male, I have rejected the view that masculinity is constructed in the inherently unstable terms of physicality against intellectualism. Instead, I argue that it is better considered as lying in a range between competitive hegemonic masculinity on the one hand against a cooperative model with which physicality and intellectualism can combine to produce a more stable and emotionally satisfying mode of living. I argue that young Jewish men inhabit a fluid three-dimensional matrix being aware of the pitfalls of particularism, xenophobia, and misogyny as they negotiate their relationships with their families, communities, and wider society to construct their Jewish British masculine identity.
Date: 2021
Abstract: Throughout 2021, JPR researchers Professor Sergio DellaPergola and Dr Daniel Staetsky analysed the responses of over 16,000 European Jews in 12 European countries who participated in the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights survey conducted by JPR and Ipsos in 2018. The result of their hard work and innovative approach is ‘The Jewish identities of European Jews’, a study into the what, why and how of Jewish identity.

The report finds some extraordinary differences and similarities between Jews across Europe, including:

European Jews are much more likely to see themselves as a religious minority than an ethnic one, yet fewer than half of all Jewish adults across Europe light candles most Friday nights;
Jewish identity is strongest in Belgium, the UK, France, Austria, Spain and Italy, and weakest in Hungary and Poland;
The memory of the Holocaust and combating antisemitism played a more important part in people’s Jewish identity than support for Israel, belief in God or charitable giving. Rising perceptions of antisemitism may have stimulated a stronger bond with Jewish peoplehood;
Only about half of all Jews in Europe identify with a particular denomination, although there are significant differences at the national level;
Higher proportions of younger Jews are religiously observant than older Jews;
Belgium has the largest proportion of Jews identifying as Orthodox in its Jewish population, followed by the UK, Italy, France and Austria;
Spain has the largest proportion of Jews identifying as Reform/Progressive, followed by Germany and the Netherlands;
Levels of attachment to the European Union among European Jews are higher than, or very similar to, levels of attachment among their fellow citizens in the countries in which they live
Author(s): Critchell, Kara
Date: 2020
Author(s): Kalhousová, Irena
Date: 2019
Abstract: This thesis analyses three Central European countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary - and their relations with Israel. I chose these three Central European countries because they share the same geopolitical space and historical experience. These three Central European countries and Israel are geographically distant, face different geopolitical threats, and have only a few policy issues in common. Nonetheless, ‘the question of Israel’ has been very much present in the foreign policies of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Building on constructivism and IR scholarship that engages with memory studies, this thesis explores the process of national identity re-formation and its impact on the formulation of national interest. Specifically, it focuses on: a) past legacies, institutionalized in collective memory and expressed in narratives, which linger over and constrain policy choices; b) the role of decision-makers with a special focus on their role in national identity re-formation in times when a policy is in transition and when a new regime must establish its legitimacy. I look at the historical roots of the relations of the three Central European countries with Israel. I do so by analysing the role of the Jewish question in the nation-building process of Polish, Czech, and Hungarian nations. Further, I argue that as the three former Communist countries started to re-define their relations with Israel, the legacy of the Jewish question has had a significant impact on the formulation of their foreign policies towards the Jewish state.
Author(s): Subotic, Jelena
Date: 2019
Abstract: Yellow Star, Red Star asks why Holocaust memory continues to be so deeply troubled—ignored, appropriated, and obfuscated—throughout Eastern Europe, even though it was in those lands that most of the extermination campaign occurred. As part of accession to the European Union, Jelena Subotić shows, East European states were required to adopt, participate in, and contribute to the established Western narrative of the Holocaust. This requirement created anxiety and resentment in post-communist states: Holocaust memory replaced communist terror as the dominant narrative in Eastern Europe, focusing instead on predominantly Jewish suffering in World War II. Influencing the European Union's own memory politics and legislation in the process, post-communist states have attempted to reconcile these two memories by pursuing new strategies of Holocaust remembrance. The memory, symbols, and imagery of the Holocaust have been appropriated to represent crimes of communism.

Yellow Star, Red Star presents in-depth accounts of Holocaust remembrance practices in Serbia, Croatia, and Lithuania, and extends the discussion to other East European states. The book demonstrates how countries of the region used Holocaust remembrance as a political strategy to resolve their contemporary "ontological insecurities"—insecurities about their identities, about their international status, and about their relationships with other international actors. As Subotić concludes, Holocaust memory in Eastern Europe has never been about the Holocaust or about the desire to remember the past, whether during communism or in its aftermath. Rather, it has been about managing national identities in a precarious and uncertain world.
Author(s): Arkin, Kimberly A.
Date: 2018
Date: 2002
Abstract: The debate about Jan Tomasz Gross’s Neighbors (2000) in which the author gave a detailed description of the collective murder of the Jewish community of Jedwabne by its ethnic Polish neighbors on July 10, 1941, has been the most important and longest-lasting in post-communist Poland. The publication of Neighbors raised important issues such as the rewriting of the history of Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War, of modern national history, and the reevaluation of the collective self-image of Poles themselves as having been solely victims. The article places the discussion within the context of two approaches to the collective past—first, the self-critical approach that challenges the old, biased representation of Polish-Jewish relations and the Polish self-image
as victims; and second, the defensive approach that seeks to maintain the older representations of Polish-Jewish relations and the Polish self-image. A general description of the debate is presented, followed by an analysis of
its various stages and dynamics. The conduct of the investigation by the Institute of National Memory (IPN) into the Jedwabne massacre and the official commemoration on the sixtieth anniversary of the crime are two crucial events that demonstrate that important segments of the Polish political and cultural elite are capable of overcoming its dark past. At the same time, reactions of the right-wing nationalist political and cultural elites and their supporters reveal that the defensive approach continues to exert influence in public life. Only time will tell if this latter phenomenon
will become marginal.
Date: 2019
Abstract: Катастрофа европейского еврейства привела к почти полному исчезновению еврейской общины Германии. Чудо случилось в 1990-х годах, когда русскоязычные евреи стали тысячами прибывать в эту страну. Для местных евреев неожиданная иммиграция казалась удачным шансом, выпавшим еврейским сообществам и обществу в целом. Однако первое поколение русско-еврейских иммигрантов столкнулось с большим числом социальных проблем и трудностей интеграции на рынок труда. К этому следует добавить культурное отчуждение от немецкого общества и серьезные различия в культуре, ментальности и идентичности с местными еврейскими общинами. А также конфликты между старожилами и новоприбывшими относительно желаемых моделей организации еврейской жизни – в силу чего и через тридцать лет после начала иммиграции русские евреи все еще мало представлены в общенациональном еврейском руководстве. И все же, впервые после окончания Второй мировой войны у еврейских общин Германии появился шанс построить плюралистическую модель религиозных, культурных, образовательных и политических проектов. Второе поколение русских евреев Германии не сталкивается с проблемами интеграции, подобные проблемам родителей, и большинство из этого поколения вольется в немецкий средний класс и профессиональную элиту страны – или уже находятся там. Но при этом совершенно непонятно пока, до какой степени второе поколение русских евреев будет искать собственные корни, интересоваться еврейским наследием и участвовать в жизни еврейских общин.