Vanishing Diaspora: The Jews in Europe Since 1945

Bernard Wasserstein, Author
Bernard Wasserstein, Author Harvard University Press $31 (352p) ISBN 978-0-674-93196-1
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-674-93199-2
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Today there are fewer than two million Jews in Europe, compared with 10 million in 1939. Brandeis history professor Wasserstein predicts that, as Europe's Jews continue to assimilate, intermarry and maintain an extremely low birthrate, the European Jewish community will become virtually extinct--both as a population group and as a cultural entity--unless Jews launch a revival of Hebrew and Yiddish culture. A provocative source for everyone concerned with the fate of European and indeed American Jewry, this history delineates Jewish postwar reconstruction, upward mobility and a traumatizing coming to terms with the past among Jews of western and eastern Europe, even as they faced resurgent anti-Semitism and nationalist xenophobia. His chronicle includes in-depth discussions of Soviet Jewish emigration, Christian--Jewish relations and the Jewish communities of England, France, Germany, Poland and Hungary. (Mar.)
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