The Jews and the Nation-States of Southeastern Europe from the 19th Century to the Great Depression: Combining Viewpoints on a Controversial Story
Tullia Catalan, Marco Dogo
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Jun 22, 2016 - History - 270 pages
In the second half of the 19th century, Southeastern Europe was home to a vast and heterogeneous constellation of Jewish communities, mainly Sephardic to the south (Bulgaria, Greece) and Ashkenazi to the north (Hungary, Romanian Moldavia), with a broad mixed area in-between (Croatia, Serbia, Romanian Wallachia). They were subject to a variety of post-Imperial governments (from the neo-constituted principality of Bulgaria to the Hungarian kingdom re-established as an autonomous entity in 1867), which shared a powerful nationalist and modernising drive.
The relations between Jews and the nation-states’ governments led to a series of issues relating to the enjoyment of civil rights, public and private education, and political participation, which found varying solutions, sometimes satisfactory for the Jews, but often undermined by the political instability of the region.
In this book, the position of the Jews is also approached from the point of view of contemporary western Judaism, perhaps more sensitive to the sufferings of “our poor brothers in the East”; a western Judaism, emancipated, integrated, intellectually advanced, liberal, and able to intervene in situations under observation through diplomatic networks, its international philanthropic agencies and its political representatives.
For readers interested in modern history, this book offers a detailed survey of the Jewish question in the various states of Southeastern Europe before the Shoah.