ABSTRACT
This paper looks at the hachsharah activities of Zionist organizations in early post-war Romania, examining the context and motivation of participants. Whereas the hachsharot in central Europe have been recognized as spaces of empowerment and agency for displaced persons, the contrasting Romanian war-time experience and divergent social structures called these very features into question in the Romanian context. Following a macrohistorical basic outline, a microhistorical approach is taken to probe the experience of one individual through a set of recently found diaries. Here the limits of Zionist propaganda and community-building work and the ramifications of failing to address the psychological and physical needs of Holocaust survivors are explored: despite apparent inclusion in a cohesive and sympathetic group, the diary author experiences alienation and marginalization within her own ranks.

issue 21 / n.1 (2022) by Julie Dawson

ABSTRACT
The primary aim of our study is to explore the post-Holocaust history of the hachsharot in Hungary through the eyes of their members. Our study is based on a structured analysis of one hundred and one interviews from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. The immediate post-war years saw an unprecedented growth of the Zionist movement in Hungary. During this short period, the hachsharot played a vital role in the lives of those who, unlike most Jews, chose dissimilation. In our study, we explore the interviewees’ family backgrounds and their prewar connection to Zionism. We explore in detail their time in the Zionist movement and the hachsharot. However, we do not focus only on the facts, but put special emphasis on personal experiences and feelings. Finally, we also address how the identities of our interviewees changed and how these experiences shaped their first decades after their lives in the hachsharot.

issue 21 / n.1 (2022) by Kinga Szemere and Ildikó Barna