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Marc Saperstein

Brenner, Michael, A Short History of the Jews, translated by Jeremiah Riemer, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2010, xiv + 421 pp., ISBN 978-0-691-14351-4 (German original, Kleine Jüdische Geschichte, 2008).

Brenner, Michael, Prophets of the Past: Interpreters of Jewish History translated by Steven Rendall, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2010, xiii + 301 pp., ISBN 978-0-691-13928-9 (German original, Propheten des Vergangenen, 2006).

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Steven E. Aschheim

George Mosse viewed history as a totality. It should come as no surprise, then, that his vision of the modern Jewish experience was in accordance with this predilection. Just as, for him, the political and the religious, the scientific and the aesthetic realms, were intertwined, deeply co-implicated, he refused to pigeon-hole and separate, or to use one of his favorite terms, “ghettoize” Jewish history and cut it off from the larger European whole. When he arrived in the late 1960s at the Hebrew University, I recall, he rather jolted the more conservative historians there not only because they were aghast at the fact that, already then, George was discussing the history of masturbation in his classes(!), but, more pertinently here, also because he challenged the prevailing ethnocentric bias that Jewish history by definition followed its own unique narrative and immanent laws.

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By Sentiment and By Status

Remembering and Forgetting Crémieux during the Franco-Algerian War

Jessica Hammerman

Jewish leaders during the Franco-Algerian War (1954–1962) drastically changed their statements on Jewish-Algerian identity, history, and status. Below, we examine this shift by analyzing their statements about Adolphe Crémieux, the namesake of the decree that gave Algerian Jews French citizenship in 1870. Between 1954 and 1962, Jewish leaders went from adulation to dismissal as they discussed the man and his legacy. Analyzing statements about Crémieux brings into sharp relief the Jews’ legal situation in Algeria, which arbitrarily changed at certain moments. A look at these statements also reveals the instability of the French colonial system in Algeria. The first part of this article argues that the Crémieux Decree—already fundational to Jewish-Algerian identity—took on a new importance after the Second World War into the 1950s. The second part looks at reversals in attitudes toward Crémieux a few years later.

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Steven Beller

Michael Meyer, ed., Michael Brenner, asst. ed., German-Jewish

History in Modern Times, volume 3, Integration in Dispute: 1871-1918;

volume 4, Renewal and Destruction: 1918-1945 (New York: Columbia

University Press, 1997, 1998)

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Michael Miller, Paul V. Dutton and Laura Hobson Faure

Caroline Ford, Natural Interests: The Contest over Environment in Modern France (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016).

Vincent Viet, La Santé en guerre: Une politique pionnière en univers incertain (Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 2015).

Lisa Moses Leff, The Archive Thief: The Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

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A People between Languages

Toward a Jewish History of Concepts

Guy Miron

The field of modern European Jewish history, as I hope to show, can be of great interest to those who deal with conceptual history in other contexts, just as much as the conceptual historical project may enrich the study of Jewish history. This article illuminates the transformation of the Jewish languages in Eastern Europe-Hebrew and Yiddish-from their complex place in traditional Jewish society to the modern and secular Jewish experience. It presents a few concrete examples for this process during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The article then deals with the adaptation of Central and Western European languages within the internal Jewish discourse in these parts of Europe and presents examples from Germany, France, and Hungary.

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Jonathan Magonet

The preparation for this issue coincided with a conference in London which also served to launch Anthony Polonsky’s important three-volume work The Jews in Poland and Russia. At the meeting he gave a paper which we reproduce here, originally delivered at Harvard, describing his own personal history and how he became engaged in the study of Polish-Jewish history. It serves also as an introduction to the themes of his book.

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Flowers from Palestine

A Chapter from Selma Lagerlöf's Novel Jerusalem and a Book from the Library of the Hochschule Für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg

Margaretha Boockmann

With the founding of the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS) in 1979 the library of the institution, which currently contains some 50,000 volumes, was also established. Corresponding to the subjects taught at the HfJS, the library contains books on the Bible and Biblical exegesis, Talmud and rabbinic literature, Jewish history, philosophy, literature and art, as well as the several languages that are taught in relationship to these subjects.

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Phyllis Cohen Albert and Alex Sagan

George L. Mosse died on January 22, 1999, leaving a legacy of scholarly innovation in the study of European, German, and German-Jewish history. The memorial symposium of October 1, 1999 that produced the following articles brought together some of the many students, colleagues, and friends who were deeply influenced by Mosse’s life and work. They offered reflections on his contributions as researcher, author, teacher, and friend.

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The Exceptions to the Rule

Jews in Shakespeare’s England

Cynthia Seton-Rogers

History has largely ignored Anglo-Jewish history in the years between the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 and their readmittance in 1656 by Cromwell. This article revisits that period and disputes the misconception that the Period of Expulsion left England without any Jews for nearly 400 years. Although the small Jewish population ebbed and flowed with the rising and waning tides of English anti-Jewish hostilities, it nevertheless persevered. This article highlights some of the more well-known and thus well-documented of these Jews, the majority of whom were Crypto-Jews of Spanish or Portuguese origin.