Greek Jewry in the post-Shoah era (panel)

Το πάνελ του Εργαστηρίου στο διεθνές συνέδριο “Jews in the Balkans: History, Religion, Culture” (8-10 Μαΐου 2017, University of Split, Croatia)

Greek Jewry in the post-Shoah era

The panel is informed by the unmistakable interest shown by scholars in Europe and the US on the post-Shoah history of Diaspora Jews. It also draws on the work of a small number of colleagues engaged in the study of Greek Jewry, who in recent years have moved beyond the theme of the deportation and murder of more than 80% of the country’s pre-war Jewish element to examine various aspects of what has been conveniently coined as the “difficult return”: community reconstruction, the moral and material vindication of survivors, the formation of subjectivities, issues of remembrance, etc.

The “travails” of the historical subject, collectively and in some instances at an individual level, run through our four papers. Cognizant that we could not cover every single aspect of the “difficult return” and its aftermath, the decision to choose theme X and not Y or Z was predicated on one’s own research interests; on the constructive challenge of studying hitherto largely unchartered waters; and, crucially, on what the Greek Jews themselves considered of utmost importance in real time as well as subsequently.

Another thread that brings together the four papers is the evidentiary material on which they are based. We have made a conscious effort to eschew from studying Greek Jewry principally through the mediated discourses of international Jewish organisations, such as Joint, or those of Greek officials, be it at a national and local level, or those of non-Greek and non-Jewish agents. Useful and illuminating as such documentary evidence undoubtedly can be, it is obvious that even if one only wants to draw the contours of what it meant to be a Jew in post-Shoah Greece the thorough study of Greek-Jewish sources is a sine qua non. And, of course, we want to bring to the forefront the wide gamut of Greek-Jewish voices on Greek-Jewish matters. To this effect, we have made profitable use of the archives of the Jewish communities of Salonika and Athens; of the archive of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece; of the Greek-Jewish Press; and of oral testimonies.

 

Philip Carabott: Greek Jewry in dire straits

Like most of their coreligionists in liberated Europe, in the wake of the Shoah Greek Jews found themselves in dire straits. Of the approximately 7,700 survivors in early 1945, 85% were “completely short of any kind of means to live on”, 10% needed partial assistance and only 5% were financially independent. A year on, the battle for the new survival of some 10,000 returnees had been won, though not the war itself. Whether emerging from hiding, from participation in the resistance movement or returning from the concentration and death camps, they had to rebuild their lives in an environment where choices, and responses thereof, were determined by exogenous factors – e.g., the usurpation of property, the rise of antisemitism and the on-going Greek Civil War. In equal measure, they were shaped by the powerful allure of Zionism and immigration to Eretz Yisrael, and the survivors’ different experiences of the war years, which admittedly had dented the communal idea (and ideal) of “material sacrifice for all” and rendered obsolete the motto “all for one and one for all”.

The paper seeks to map out the quantitative and main qualitative features of the historical subject in question, to outline the multiple difficulties it faced, to unravel the dilemmas confronting it, and to trace its varied responses to being Jewish in early post-Shoah Greece.

Alexandra Patrikiou: The tortu(r)ous paths of property restitution in Salonika

Why did Salonikan survivors of the Shoah consider themselves “real strangers in their own city”? Why did many returnees from the death camps initially slept on the floor of the one and only standing synagogue with “one blanket as mattress and another as cover”? Why only 300 Jewish apartments and homes and 50 shops, out of a total of more than 12,000 and 2,500 respectively, had been returned to their rightful owners or their heirs by 1949?

The paper addresses these questions by examining and contextualising the tortu(r)ous paths of property restitution from the end of the Axis occupation of Greece in October 1944 to the establishment of Greek Jewry’s main welfare institution, the Organisation for the Care and Rehabilitation of the Jews of Greece, in March 1949. It looks at the twists and turns of the legal procedure, the rearguard action of property usurpers and local politicians, and the stances of the Greek Press on property restitution. It seeks a) to examine how, on a collective and individual level, the Jews positioned themselves towards this “matter of life and death”; b) to assess the nature and extent of their involvement in its resolution; and c) to demonstrate how it impacted on their lives.

Dimitrios Varvaritis: Greek-Jewish readings of antisemitism in Greece, 1945 – early 1960s

In late October 1944 the Athens daily newspaper Eleftheria wrote in reference to the city of Salonika, the feast of its protector Saint Dimitrios and its Jewish community, that among the many “honours” for which Greece was to be proud was that it was a country in which antisemitism had “never manifested itself”. Just over three years later Asher Moissis, a leading figure of postwar Greek Jewry, made very similar comments. Speaking in late 1947, as the representative of Greek Jewry at the first European conference of Jewish historical commissions, he noted in reply to questions concerning the war-time fate of Salonikan (and by extension Greek) Jewry that antisemitism in Greece was “unknown”.

The documented and actual lived experiences of numerous Greek Jews however contradict this naïve and overly simplistic narrative. Being a Jew in post-Shoah Greece often meant not only dealing with a host of pressing emotional and material issues, such as mourning loved ones or reclaiming confiscated property, but also facing the indifference, if not the outright hostility and antisemitism, of the general population.

The paper focuses on Greek-Jewish responses to the numerous incidences of antisemitism in Greece from 1945 to the early 1960s. Through close readings of the two main Jewish newspapers of the period, the left-wing Ισραηλιτικόν Βήμα (Israelite Tribune, Salonika 1945-47) and the Zionist Εβραϊκή Εστία (Jewish Hearth, Athens 1947-63), and the pertinent records of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece it will contextualise these responses and offer, with reference to past Greek-Jewish responses to antisemitism, a basic typology.

Anna Maria Droumbouki: “We are not beggars nor do we ask for anybody’s charity”: Greek Jewry on German compensation(s)

In December 1971, twelve years after his first letter to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, Isaak M. Rousso exclaimed thus: “I ask you, what did I do to you and you destroyed my wealth, my shops? You killed my parents, and now you want to pay me a pittance”? Writing in his capacity as president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece three years earlier, Joseph Lovinger had sarcastically reminded an official of the Federal Ministry of Finance that “unfortunately the robbers did not give us receipts when they exiled us to the death camps of Auschwitz and Treblinka. I wonder whether your present actions are morally justified given that all the details on how they burgled our houses and how they stole three thousand safes are to be found in the extant reports of the Rosenberg Commando. I know of many harsh laws. None though like BRÜG, which is cruel. We are not beggars nor do we ask for anybody’s charity”.

The paper focuses on the numerous instances of individual and collective Greek-Jewish voices and stances on the vexed issue of German compensation(s) to Shoah survivors from the mid 1950s to the early 1970s. It seeks to examine how survivors: a) responded to the officialdom’s laws, criteria and regulations in the context of a modus operandi that was particularly taxing and evasive; b) managed the “requirement” to return to a traumatic past and relive their sufferings; c) coped with their guilt as survivors; and d) expressed feelings of anger and despair towards their culprits. Last but not least, it addresses whether individual subjectivities formed in the search for recognition and compensation were at variance from those articulated by collective bodies of Greek Jewry.

Εδώ μπορείτε να βρείτε ολόκληρο το πρόγραμμα του συνεδρίου.

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Η ΙΣΡΑΗΛΙΤΙΚΗ ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΘΗΝΑΣ ΜΕΣΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΑΡΧΕΙΟ ΤΗΣ (1945-1949)

Εργαστήριο Μελέτης Νεότερου Ελληνικού Εβραϊσμού

Πνευματικό Κέντρο Ισραηλιτικής Κοινότητας Αθηνών

19.3.2017

Εσθήρ

Εβραιόπουλα στο ορφανοτροφείο «Εσθήρ» μετά τον πόλεμο

©American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Στις 19.3.2017 έλαβε χώρα η παρουσίαση του Εργαστηρίου Μελέτης Νεότερου Ελληνικού Εβραϊσμού με τίτλο «Η Ισραηλιτική Κοινότητα της Αθήνας μέσα από το αρχείο της (1945-1949)». Ο Φίλιππος Κάραμποτ, μετά από μια σύντομη αναφορά στην προπολεμική ιστορία της κοινότητας, παρέθεσε ορισμένα ποσοτικά δεδομένα του πρώτου έτους της απελευθέρωσης και εξέτασε τα προβλήματα που κλήθηκε να αντιμετωπίσει η προσωρινή διοικητική επιτροπή της Ισραηλιτικής Κοινότητας Αθήνας από την άνοιξη του 1945 έως τις κοινοτικές εκλογές του Αυγούστου του 1947. Όπως σημείωσε, με την εκλογή του αιρετού κοινοτικού συμβουλίου, υπό την προεδρία του Ζαχαρία Μ. Βιτάλ, ολοκληρώθηκε η πρώιμη φάση της πορείας ανασυγκρότησης της πρώτης πια τη τάξει εβραϊκής κοινότητας της χώρας. Στη συνέχεια, η Ελένη Μπεζέ παρουσίασε ορισμένες από τις δημογραφικές, κοινωνικές, οικονομικές και ιδεολογικές τάσεις που αναπτύχθηκαν μεταξύ των μελών της κοινότητας της πρωτεύουσας, όπως αυτές αποτυπώθηκαν στα πρώτα μεταπολεμικά μητρώα της. Παράλληλα, επιχείρησε να ανιχνεύσει τις δυναμικές που αναπτύχθηκαν, τις βασικές κινήσεις των ανθρώπων που συνέθεσαν την εβραϊκή κοινότητα της Αθήνας, τη μόνη αναπτυσσόμενη μετά τον πόλεμο, και συνεπεία του πολέμου, κοινότητα της χώρας.

Η ΙΣΡΑΗΛΙΤΙΚΗ ΚΟΙΝΟΤΗΤΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΘΗΝΑΣ ΜΕΣΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΑΡΧΕΙΟ ΤΗΣ (1945-1949)

Εργαστήριο Μελέτης Νεότερου Ελληνικού Εβραϊσμού

Πνευματικό Κέντρο Ισραηλιτικής Κοινότητας Αθηνών

19.3.2017

Εσθήρ

Εβραιόπουλα στο ορφανοτροφείο «Εσθήρ» μετά τον πόλεμο

©American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Στις 19.3.2017 έλαβε χώρα η παρουσίαση του Εργαστηρίου Μελέτης Νεότερου Ελληνικού Εβραϊσμού με τίτλο «Η Ισραηλιτική Κοινότητα της Αθήνας μέσα από το αρχείο της (1945-1949)». Ο Φίλιππος Κάραμποτ, μετά από μια σύντομη αναφορά στην προπολεμική ιστορία της κοινότητας, παρέθεσε ορισμένα ποσοτικά δεδομένα του πρώτου έτους της απελευθέρωσης και εξέτασε τα προβλήματα που κλήθηκε να αντιμετωπίσει η προσωρινή διοικητική επιτροπή της Ισραηλιτικής Κοινότητας Αθήνας από την άνοιξη του 1945 έως τις κοινοτικές εκλογές του Αυγούστου του 1947. Όπως σημείωσε, με την εκλογή του αιρετού κοινοτικού συμβουλίου, υπό την προεδρία του Ζαχαρία Μ. Βιτάλ, ολοκληρώθηκε η πρώιμη φάση της πορείας ανασυγκρότησης της πρώτης πια τη τάξει εβραϊκής κοινότητας της χώρας. Στη συνέχεια, η Ελένη Μπεζέ παρουσίασε ορισμένες από τις δημογραφικές, κοινωνικές, οικονομικές και ιδεολογικές τάσεις που αναπτύχθηκαν μεταξύ των μελών της κοινότητας της πρωτεύουσας, όπως αυτές αποτυπώθηκαν στα πρώτα μεταπολεμικά μητρώα της. Παράλληλα, επιχείρησε να ανιχνεύσει τις δυναμικές που αναπτύχθηκαν, τις βασικές κινήσεις των ανθρώπων που συνέθεσαν την εβραϊκή κοινότητα της Αθήνας, τη μόνη αναπτυσσόμενη μετά τον πόλεμο, και συνεπεία του πολέμου, κοινότητα της χώρας.

Πρόσκληση συμμετοχής σε αφιέρωμα του περιοδικού Annales de démographie historique με θέμα “The Jewish family in Europe and the Mediterranean”

Contribute: The Jewish family in Europe and the Mediterranean (Annales de démographie historique)

The history of the family is at the center of a considerable historiographical renewal that has marked Jewish studies during the last decades. The medievalists were the first to widely study small groups and Jewish family networks in order to better understand the settlement and diffusion of the Jewish population in a territory or their relations with the majoritarian society. Being particularly heterogeneous, the Jewish diaspora is traditionally divided into several groups and factions dependent on ritual practices, geographic provenances and affiliations or legal traditions, more or less influenced by the local contexts the different Jewish populations were settled in. These differences clearly had an impact on the matrimonial practices and family structures of Jews in Europe and the  Mediterranean : Whilst the Ashkenazi Jewish tend less to marry among very close relatives, Sephardic families are known for their pronounced intrafamilial endogamy and a certain tolerance towards polygamy (Goiten 1978 ; Stow 1987 ; Katz 1992 ; Bonazzoli 1998 ; Oliel-Grausz 2000; Galasso 2002 ; Hidiroglou 2003 ; Gasperoni 2013). Thus, the rules of incest prohibition of the Jewish populations differ strongly from those of the Christian ones, being particularly strict and cognatic. On the contrary, they come rather close to the ones of the populations in the Mediterranean basin who practice the so-called “arabic” marriage, that is to say such favoring unions between close relatives, in particular agnatic ones (Barry 2008 ; Delille 2013).

In fact, the matrilinear transmission of Jewishness and the consequential asymmetry of Jewish incest prohibitions (Di Segni 1989) tend to attune the Jewish kinship system to the one shaping societies that widely contract unions between agnatic relatives – a practice based on a more or less strict prohibition of relations between uterine parents as the letter were considered the actual “relatives” in the sense of a common identity (Barry 1998; 2000; 2008). The marriage between cousins, between uncle and niece, the levirate marriage – which constitutes one of the rare matrimonial prescriptions in Judaism – and the sororate marriage are frequent practices that shape dynamics of social reproduction as well as the transmission and redistribution of the patrimony within the families. Therefore, it is not surprising that these mechanisms of transmission have attracted the attention of researchers, who have stressed the importance of the dowry and female contributions in the Jewish societies of the past (Allegra 1993 ; 1996 ; 1997 ; Luzzati et Galasso 2007 ; Francesconi 2009 ; Frank 2009 ; Gasperoni 2013 ; 2015).

Recent studies have shown the variety of demographic configurations in Jewish societies, especially influenced by the respective economic, social and cultural surroundings, even in a context of spatial and social segregation (Allegra 2009). Is the notable diversity of family structures and matrimonial practices known in particular for Italy (so-called “Italian” Jews, Sephardim and Levantines, Ashkenazim, Marranos) common to all geographic areas? Can we observe such a diversity in other spaces of the Ashkenazi settlement or in the Ottoman Empire? How can we measure and analyze social mobility within communities starting from demographic behavior? Did the emancipation and full integration of the Jews in the European societies have an impact on marriage practices and the family structures?

Comparative, diachronic, interdisciplinary and quantitative perspectives are welcome: we do not intend to limit the volume to case studies, but to analyze the Jewish family on a larger scale and in its diversity by combining the existing rich historiography on the subject with efforts towards synthesis and original pieces of research opening new prospects of research.

Conditions of submission and evaluation

Proposals of 5000 characters maximum with a short CV are to be submitted to michael.gasperoni@cnrs.fr and luca.andreoni20@gmail.com no later than September 1st 2017. A response will be given on September 15, 2017.

The full articles must be submitted to the scientific committee before February 1st 2018 and will be submitted to double blind peer review. The scientific committee will receive the final versions before September 30 2018 (for a publication of the volume in the beginning of 2019).

Articles may be written in French or English and contain a summary (around 15 lines). They must not exceed 75 000 characters, tables and figures included.

Scientific coordinators

Luca Andreoni, has been a post-doctoral researcher (assegnista di ricerca) at the Università Politecnica delle Marche, Department of economic and social scientes (Ancona, Italy), and has been visiting researcher in France on several occasions. His works focus on the rural history of Europe and the economic and social history of the Jewish in the Mediterranean.

Michael Gasperoni, chargé de recherches at the CNRS, UMR 8596, Centre Roland Mousnier, is working on the history of social segregation and the family in early modern Italy. He has published several works on the Jewish and Christian kinship system, matrimonial practices and demographic, legal, economic and social aspects of the Jewish ghettos in Italy. He is a member of the research group « Traitement Informatique de la Parenté » (TIP).

Cyril Grange, directeur de recherches at the CNRS, UMR 8596, Centre Roland Mousnier. His works focus on the social history of French elites in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1996, he published Les gens du Bottin Mondain, Y être c’est en être (Paris, Fayard) and Une élite parisienne, les familles de la bourgeoisie juive 1870-1939 at the Editions du CNRS in 2016. He is a member of the research group « Traitement Informatique de la Parenté » (TIP) author of the the Puck software (Program for the Use and Computation of Kinship Data).

The Annales de démographie historique

Founded in 1964 by the Société de Démographie Historique, the Annales de démographie historique, are outstanding as the only French journal in its domain and publish international pieces of research in French and English on the history, or rather the histories, of populations and the family with contributions paying special attention to their methodology and categories of analysis, approaches open to social history, the history of medicine, anthropological and economic history. The Annales de démographie historique are published with support of the INSHS (CNRS).

For guidelines for authors and the style sheet of the Annales de démographie historique see:

http://www.societededemographiehistorique.fr/proposer-un-article.html

Παρουσίαση του βιβλίου Εβραϊκές κοινότητες ανάμεσα σε Ανατολή και Δύση

To Κεντρικό Ισραηλιτικό Συμβούλιο Ελλάδος διοργανώνει τη Δευτέρα 6 Μαρτίου 2017 την παρουσίαση του βιβλίου Εβραϊκές Κοινότητες ανάμεσα σε Ανατολή και Δύση, 15ος-20ός αιώνας: οικονομία, κοινωνία, πολιτική, πολιτισμός, εκδόσεις Ισνάφι, Ιωάννινα 2016. Το βιβλίο περιλαμβάνει τα Πρακτικά του Διεθνούς Επιστημονικού Συνεδρίου που έγινε στα Ιωάννινα 21-23 Μαΐου 2015 και διοργανώθηκε από το Τμήμα Ιστορίας & Αρχαιολογίας Πανεπιστημίου Ιωαννίνων και την Ισραηλιτική Κοινότητα Ιωαννίνων. Η εισαγωγή – επιμέλεια του βιβλίου είναι των Άννα Μαχαιρά & Λήδας Παπαστεφανάκη και περιλαμβάνει πρόλογο του προέδρου της Ι.Κ. Ιωαννίνων κ. Μωυσή Ελισάφ.

Για το βιβλίο θα μιλήσουν οι:
Έφη Γαζή (Πανεπιστήμιο Πελοποννήσου)
Σάββας Μιχαήλ (συγγραφέας)
Αριέλλα Ασσέρ (ψυχολόγος)
Αλεξάνδρα Πατρικίου (Εβραϊκό Μουσείο Ελλάδος) και οι επιμελήτριες του τόμου Άννα Μαχαιρά (Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων) και Λήδα Παπαστεφανάκη (Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων).

Την εκδήλωση θα προλογίσει και θα συντονίσει ο κ. Μωυσής Ελισάφ, Γενικός Γραμματέας του Κεντρικού Ισραηλιτικού Συμβουλίου Ελλάδος και Πρόεδρος της Ισραηλιτικής Κοινότητας Ιωαννίνων.

Σχετικά με το βιβλίο μπορείτε να διαβάσετε εδώ

http://avgi-anagnoseis.blogspot.gr/2017/02/blog-post_38.html

Αφιέρωμα στο Ολοκαύτωμα: Συζήτηση για τα παιδιά που εκτοπίστηκαν στα στρατόπεδα συγκέντρωσης

january-1945-child-survivors-walk-out-of-the-childrens-barracks-in-auschwitzΦωτογραφία από το USHMM: Ιανουάριος 1945 – Παιδιά επιζήσαντες που βγαίνουν έξω από τους στρατώνες του Άουσβιτς
Σάββατο 28 Ιανουαρίου 2017, 12:30 μμ
poems ‘n crimes των Εκδόσεων Γαβριηλίδης, Αγίας Ειρήνης 17, Μοναστηράκι (60 μέτρα από το μετρό), τηλ.210-3228839Στο πλαίσιο του αφιερώματος για το Ολοκαύτωμα και με αφορμή την έκθεση της Κλειώς Μακρή “Το παιδί με το γρατζουνισμένο γόνατο” η Αλεξάνδρα Πατρικίου από το Εβραϊκό Μουσείο Ελλάδος συζητάει με τον Φίλιππο Κάραμποτ για τα παιδιά που εκτοπίστηκαν στα στρατόπεδα συγκέντρωσης.
Εδώ μπορείτε να δείτε την παρουσίαση powerpoint.
Ευχαριστούμε τον Γιώργο Πηλιχό για την παροχή υλικού.

Βράβευση του Devin E.S. Naar για το βιβλίο του “Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece”

Ο ιστορικός Devin E. S. Naar, κάτοχος της έδρας Σεφαραδίτικων Σπουδών στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Ουάσινγκτον, τιμήθηκε με το “2016 National Jewish Book Award” από το Jewish Book Council για το βιβλίο του “Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece,” εκδόσεις Stanford University Press. Το βιβλίο επικράτησε στην κατηγορία “Βιβλίο που βασίζεται σε αρχειακή έρευνα.”

Εδώ μπορείτε να δείτε όλα τα βραβευθέντα βιβλία.

Jewishbookcouncil.org