By Mark Kurlansky
A strong, DEEPLY relocating NARRATIVE OF wish REBORN
IN THE SHADOW OF DESPAIR
Fifty years after it used to be bombed to rubble, Berlin is once more a urban during which Jews assemble for the Passover seder. Paris and Antwerp have lately emerged as vital new facilities of Jewish tradition. Small yet proud Jewish groups are revitalizing the traditional facilities of Budapest, Prague, and Amsterdam. those courageous, decided Jewish women and men have selected to settle–or remain–in Europe after the devastation of the Holocaust, yet they've got paid a cost. one of the unforeseen risks, they've got needed to deal with an alarming resurgence of Nazism in Europe, the unfold of Arab terrorism, and the impression of the Jewish country on eu life.
Delving into the intimate tales of ecu Jews from all walks of lifestyles, Kurlansky weaves jointly a vibrant tapestry of people maintaining their traditions, and flourishing, within the shadow of heritage. An inspiring tale of a tenacious those who have rebuilt their lives within the face of incomprehensible horror, A selected Few is a testomony to cultural survival and a party of the deep bonds that undergo among Jews and eu civilization.
“Consistently soaking up . . . A selected Few investigates the really uncharted territory of an encouraging phenomenon.”
–Los Angeles instances
“I can contemplate no ebook that portrays with such intelligence, ancient realizing, and journalistic aptitude what existence has been like for Jews decided to construct lives in Europe.”
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Extra info for A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
But her habit of wandering off and talking to people and listening to their troubles led her to Antwerp's diamond district, where she met very poor Polish Jews. They told her their troubles. They were Communists, and they told her about the party. She fell in love with a German Jewish organizer, and joined the Communist party. In 1932, instead of being on a ship to Palestine, she was on a train to Berlin with her German Communist lover and a very different destiny. Three-quarters of a century later, a few weeks before the seder, a small group of Communists from the old Antifa-— the Antifascist Resistance Fighters, loyal East German Communists who had opposed the Nazis—took a tour of Israel.
The question arises—is often rudely asked— why a Jew would want to live in Poland. More than three million Jews were massacred there, the survivors were subjected to pogroms and attacked on trains, and finally a new regime that had promised to end racism unleashed its “anti-Zionist” campaigns. ” I wanted to know the answer to that rude question. I also wanted to know what price had been paid and what struggles waged over the past fifty years to stay and rebuild. Not surprisingly, I found no single answer to the question.
Even ten years ago, it would have been unlikey to have gotten thirty-two percent in favor of an apology. ” said Konstanty Gebert. At the time A Chosen Few was being researched, Gebert had taken to wearing a yarmulke when at home in his central Warsaw apartment. In those days he would not wear it on the street. Now he does. Occasionally Poles come up to him, not to abuse him, but to say how pleased they are that today a Jew is free to wear a varmulke on the streets of Poland. Polish Jewish writer Julian Stryjkowski in a recent speech described how when growing up in Galicia he spoke only Yiddish.
A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (Ballantine Reader's Circle) by Mark Kurlansky