The Origin of Ashkenazi Jewry: The Controversy Unraveled

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Walter de Gruyter, 2011 - Religion - 234 pages
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Where do East European Jews - about 90 percent of Ashkenazi Jewry - descend from? This book conveys new insights into a century-old controversy. Jits van Straten argues that there is no evidence for the most common assumption that German Jews fled en masse to Eastern Europe to constitute East European Jewry. Dealing with another much debated theory, van Straten points to the fact that there is no way to identify the descendants of the Khazars in the Ashkenazi population. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the author draws heavily on demographic findings which are vital to evaluate the conclusions of modern DNA research. Finally, it is suggested that East European Jews are mainly descendants of Ukrainians and Belarussians.

UPDATE: The article "The origin of East European Ashkenazim via a southern route" (Aschkenas 2017; 27(1): 239-270) is intended to clarify the origin of East European Jewry between roughly 300 BCE and 1000 CE. It is a supplement to this book.


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The author starts with the commonsense observation that there weren't enough Jews in northern Europe in 1500 (30,000 he says) to grow to 7 million in 1900.
In the same vein, one might observe that
there were some 2500 French migrants to Canada in the seventeenth century, and the present population of French-speaking Quebeckers is some 6.8 million.
And also one might observe that there were fewer than 5,000 Dutch who emigrated to Cape Town in the seventeenth century, and in 2001, after almost a decade of heavy emigration, they had almost 6 million descendents.
Now is the time to close Mr. Van Straten's book, to await his claim that the entire population of Afrikaners and Quebeckers consists of descendents of Khazars.


Germany or Khazaria
II The Khazars
France Germany Bohemia Moravia Silesia and Hungary
The Caucasus The Crimea Poland and Lithuania until 1500
Poland Lithuania and Russia from 1500 to 1900 The Numerical Increase ...
VI Yiddish
VII Genetic Research and Anthropology
VIII The Revised Origin and Development of East European Jewry

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About the author (2011)

Jits van Straten, Bennekom, Niederlande.

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