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The Jewish Emergence from Powerlessness

The Jewish Emergence from Powerlessness

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1979
Pages: 90
  • Book Info
    The Jewish Emergence from Powerlessness
    Book Description:

    This is a brief but absorbing study by one of the world's great experts on the Holocaust, who has drawn on a huge body of material to depict one of the unforgettable events in recent history from an arresting and unfamiliar point of view.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5666-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-2)

    What was the Nazi Holocaust? So uncomprehended and incomprehensible is the dread event still, a whole generation after, that in this brief space we can answer this question only with a series of negations.

    1 / The Holocaust was not a war. Like all wars, the Roman War against the Jews was over conflicting interests – territorial, imperial, religious, other – waged between parties endowed, however unequally, with power. The victims of the Holocaust had no power. And they were a threat to the Third Reich only in the Nazi mind.

    2 / The Holocaust was not part of a...

  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-6)

    The essays in this volume have an underlying theme: the gradual emergence of the Jewish people from total political powerlessness. This development stretches over a period of nearly one hundred years, and culminated, after the Holocaust, in the consolidation of the Israeli State. The decisive transformations in the social and cultural life of the Jews since the late eighteenth century played a role in this evolution. They formed the background to the ways Jews attempted to adapt to the modern world. In the past, religion had been the source of all Jewish self-definition, and peoplehood had been embedded in the...

  5. Rescue by negotiations? Jewish attempts to negotiate with the Nazis
    (pp. 7-25)

    Was there a possibility of saving a part of European Jewry, or a significant number of European Jews, by negotiating with the Nazis? Let us try to put the question into a proper phenomenological context by putting it again, and differently: did a willingness exist on the part of Nazis to forego the murder of some Jews, or to let significant numbers of Jews go, and was this willingness conditional? If the latter, which Nazis were willing, under what conditions, and why? When did such willingness become apparent? Were the Allies, were the Jews (or some Jews) aware of such...

  6. Forms of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust
    (pp. 26-40)

    We have already seen that the basic situation of Jews during the Hitler period was one of political powerlessness. Negotiations to save them, if conducted at all, would have to have been supported by one or more of the major powers; without that there would be little chance of success. Jews could appeal to the powers, they could try to impress public opinion in the Western democracies, but in the end they were perilously dependent upon the mercy of others. In the free world, Jews could appeal or beg for help; behind the barbed wire of Hitler’s hell they could...

  7. Zionism, the Holocaust, and the road to Israel
    (pp. 41-78)

    In this essay we shall try to follow the historical currents that led Jewish national movements to seek political power in the form of the Jewish state and also as Jewish pressure groups in the Diaspora. In order to do so, we shall first analyse the roots of the powerlessness from which these national movements tried to escape. That is, we shall isolate their desire to achieve a measure of political power from other no less important aspects of their struggle. There is of course the danger of distorting the picture by emphasizing that which tended to remain obscure. But...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 79-84)
  9. Index
    (pp. 85-89)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 90-90)