Derek J. Penslar

in Shylock's Children

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225909
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925847 | DOI:

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This chapter talks about the massacre of two-thirds of European Jewry in the Holocaust, which, combined with the economic modernization of postwar Europe, has eliminated the Jews from their previous position as a prominent urban elite in what had been the largely agrarian societies of east-central and eastern Europe. Even before the war, German and Austrian Jewry had been pauperized by the expropriation of Jewish businesses, property, and capital. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when capitalism's transfiguration of Europe was the guiding star of the social thought, speculation about the position of Jews in Europe (the Jewish Question) could not be separated from anxiety about the new industrial order (the social question). Jews continue to have grave, even existential problems, but for the vast majority of world Jewry, the “Jewish question” as it was understood throughout modern European history has ceased to exist.

Keywords: Holocaust; European Jewry; Europe; Jews; German; Austrian Jewry; Jewish Question; social question

Chapter.  3104 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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