Arturo Marzano, Review of James Renton, Ben Gidley (Eds.), Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe. A Shared Story?, in Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History. Journal of the Fondazione CDEC, n. 15, August 2019

DOI: 10.48248/issn.2037-741X/685

issue 15 / August 2019 by Arturo Marzano

Memory Activism

Reimagining the Past for the Future of Israel-Palestine

issue 15 / August 2019 by Tamar Katriel

Ancestral Tales

Reading the Buczacz Stories of S. Y. Agnon

issue 15 / August 2019 by Dario Miccoli

This article explores the subject of Jewish aid work in the former Russian Empire during the Russian Civil War. It considers responses of Jews to the civil war pogroms in the context of Russia’s “continuum of crisis,” or nearly eight continuous years of military conflict and political instability from 1914 to 1921. It argues that Jewish aid organizations during the Russian Civil War relied on people, institutions, and practices established by their predecessors during the First World War. Jewish aid workers during the Russian Civil War looked to their immediate past as they developed tactics and strategies to navigate a period of political chaos and mass violence. This history demonstrates several continuities within the Jewish public organizational sphere across the revolutionary divide. It shows that Jewish aid workers’ ability to adapt ideas and institutions that had originated before the October Revolution enabled them to assist communities caught up in subsequent wartime and revolutionary upheavals.

issue 15 / August 2019 by Polly Zavadivker

Extraterritorial Dreams

European Citizenship, Sephardi Jews, and the Ottoman Twentieth Century

issue 15 / August 2019 by Alyssa Reiman

Itsik Kipnis’s 1926 Yiddish novel, Months and Days: A Chronicle (Khadoshim un teg: A khronik) offers one of the most important accounts of the pogroms of 1919 by focusing on the events that took place in the shtetl of Slovechno (at the time, Volhynia province).This paper argues that Kipnis’s apparently naïve testimony offers important insights into the documentation and experience of violence, and in addition, opens a window in the conceptualization of violence. The key term is the Hebrew and Yiddish word hefker, which Kipnis uses to describe how he feels on the first night of the Slovechno pogrom. The word means “ownerless property” and “abandoned object.” I suggest that this term has broader ramifications for the particular forms of violence characteristic of this period, and the strange transformations to which both perpetrators and victims were subject. Moreover, the term hefker shares important parallels with current theorizations of violence, especially as formulated by Agamben and further developed by Eric Santner.

issue 15 / August 2019 by Harriet Murav

When the State Winks

The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel

issue 15 / August 2019 by Avihu Shoshana

Despite strong objections against showing scenes of violence on cinema screens, some filmic productions mentioned or even included episodes of pogroms perpetrated during the Tsarist era or the Russian Civil War. Produced between 1913 and 1929, these movies tried to denounce or prevent such violence. Few have been preserved until today, and the ones still surviving are little known. Some were produced under prohibition prior to the Revolutions of 1917. Others appeared during campaigns against antisemitism (close to 1919 and in the late 1920s) and constitute the main focus of this article. Archival evidence allows a detailed study of the reactions of the censors – divergent between Ukraine and Russia – and the critical acclaim which the movies received.

issue 15 / August 2019 by Valerie Pozner

This article examines the responsibility of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR), its leaders Symon Petliura and Volodymyr Vynnychenko, and the Ukrainian nationalist movement in general for pogroms during the civil war in Ukraine. It criticizes attempts to disavow UNR accountability by blaming the worst excesses on independent warlords only loosely affiliated to the UNR. The paper argues that the warlords drew on the same well of myths and stereotypes as the civilian and military arms of the Ukrainian state. The warlords, like many UNR officials, believed that Jews were a hostile force in cahoots with the Bolsheviks. The piece also looks at UNR attempts to avert or punish the violence, while also stressing the limits of these efforts. Although UNR leaders Petliura and Vynnychenko did not order the pogroms, their willingness to see the excesses as a product of the Jews’ lack of loyalty to the UNR hampered attempts to prevent or punish the violence. The article describes a complex system of relationships wherein different UNR representatives on the ground clashed, sometimes using force of arms, over the question of pogroms.

issue 15 / August 2019 by Christopher Gilley