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World War I and the Jews

Conflict and Transformation in Europe, the Middle East, and America

Edited by Marsha L. Rozenblit and Jonathan Karp

354 pages, 8 figures, 5 maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-592-1 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Published (August 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-593-8 eBook

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“This volume fills a crucial research gap in modern Jewish history, contains excellent essays by senior and junior scholars, and makes a convincing case why the ‘Great War’ marked a crucial turning point in modern Jewish history on both sides of the Atlantic.” · Tobias Brinkmann, The Pennsylvania State University


World War I utterly transformed the lives of Jews around the world: it allowed them to display their patriotism, to dispel antisemitic myths about Jewish cowardice, and to fight for Jewish rights. Yet Jews also suffered as refugees and deportees, at times catastrophically. And in the aftermath of the war, the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Russian and Ottoman Empires with a system of nation-states confronted Jews with a new set of challenges. This book provides a fascinating survey of the ways in which Jewish communities participated in and were changed by the Great War, focusing on the dramatic circumstances they faced in Europe, North America, and the Middle East during and after the conflict.

Marsha L. Rozenblit is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Maryland.  She is the author of The Jews of Vienna, 1867-1914: Assimilation and Identity (1983) and Constructing a National Identity: The Jews of Habsburg Austria during World War I (2001) and co-editor, with Pieter M. Judson, of Constructing Nationalities in East Central Europe (2005). 

Jonathan Karp is Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at Binghamton University. He is the author of The Politics of Jewish Commerce: Economic Thought and Emancipation in Europe, 1638-1838 (2008) and editor of several academic collections, including, with Adam Sutcliffe, Philosemitism in History (2012) and the Cambridge History of Judaism in the Early Modern Period (2017). He was Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society from 2010-2013.

Subject: Jewish Studies WWI History



Introduction: On the Significance of World War I and the Jews
Jonathan Karp and Marsha L. Rozenblit


Chapter 1. World War I and its Impact on the Problem of Security in Jewish History
David Engel

Chapter 2. The European Jewish World 1914-1919: What Changed?
Marsha Rozenblit

Chapter 3. Jewish Diplomacy and the Politics of War and Peace
Carole Fink


Chapter 4. Bravery in the Borderlands, Martyrs on the Margins: Jewish War Heroes and World War I Narratives in France, 1914-1940
Erin Corber

Chapter 5. The Budapest Jewish Community’s Galician October
Rebekah Klein-Pejšová

Chapter 6. Confronting the Bacterial Enemy: Public Health, Philanthropy, and Jewish Responses to Typhus in Poland, 1914-1921
Daniel Rosenthal

Chapter 7. The Union of Jewish Soldiers under Soviet Rule
Mihály Kálmán

Chapter 8. Global Conflict, Local Politics: The Jews of Salonica and World War I
Paris Papamichos Chronakis

Chapter 9. Recounting the Past, Shaping the Future: Ladino Literary Representations of World War I
Devi Mays

Chapter 10. Women and the War: The Social and Economic Impact of World War I on Jewish Women in the Traditional Holy Cities of Palestine
Michal Ben Ya’akov

Chapter 11. Baghdadi Jews in the Ottoman Military during World War I
Reeva Spector Simon

Chapter 12. Unintentional Pluralists: Military Policy, Jewish Servicemen, and the Development of Tri-Faith America during World War I
Jessica Cooperman

Chapter 13. American Yiddish Socialists at the Wartime Crossroads: Patriotism and Nationalism versus Proletarian Internationalism
Gennady Estraikh

Chapter 14. Louis Marshall during World War I: Change and Continuity in Jewish Culture and Politics
M.M. Silver


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