By Mark Kurlansky
A robust, DEEPLY relocating NARRATIVE OF wish REBORN
IN THE SHADOW OF DESPAIR
Fifty years after it was once bombed to rubble, Berlin is once more a urban during which Jews assemble for the Passover seder. Paris and Antwerp have lately emerged as very important new facilities of Jewish tradition. Small yet proud Jewish groups are revitalizing the traditional facilities of Budapest, Prague, and Amsterdam. those courageous, decided Jewish women and men have selected to settle–or remain–in Europe after the devastation of the Holocaust, yet they've got paid a cost. one of the unforeseen hazards, they've got needed to take care of an alarming resurgence of Nazism in Europe, the unfold of Arab terrorism, and the impression of the Jewish nation on eu life.
Delving into the intimate tales of eu Jews from all walks of existence, Kurlansky weaves jointly a shiny tapestry of people maintaining their traditions, and flourishing, within the shadow of historical past. An inspiring tale of a tenacious those who have rebuilt their lives within the face of incomprehensible horror, A selected Few is a testomony to cultural survival and a party of the deep bonds that suffer among Jews and ecu civilization.
“Consistently soaking up . . . A selected Few investigates the rather uncharted territory of an encouraging phenomenon.”
–Los Angeles occasions
“I can give some thought to no publication that portrays with such intelligence, ancient figuring out, and journalistic aptitude what existence has been like for Jews decided to construct lives in Europe.”
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Extra resources for A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
In those communities I sought out Jews of any kind—the more varied, the better. I spoke with tailors, bakers, and butchers—I did not want only prominent people. But two people I interviewed are well-known political activists: one has an international literary reputation. A few are well-known leaders in their communities, because such people, after all, are highly representative of European Jews. There are atheists, Yom Kippur Jews, and Hasids. Any Jew in Europe is a representative of European Jewry.
In 1838, Gottfried Semper, the man who designed the Dresden Opera house and the adjacent Old Masters Picture Gallery, also designed a synagogue. The Jews prayed in Semper's baroque palace that looked like the Christians’ baroque palaces, holding services that resembled those of the Protestants, in German instead of Hebrew, on Sundays rather than Saturdays. They believed in fitting into Dresden life. Most Dresdeners remember the synagogue being bombed in 1945 along with everything else in the center.
Photographs of the blackened rubble, some of it untouched until very recently, are readily available More difficult to find is the 1934 picture of little Nazi boys in brown shirts, all at attention for the visit of Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels to the city, or the 1944 photo of thousands of Dresdeners cheering flags of the Third Reich, the graceful arches of the fourteenth-century Augustus Bridge in the background. A decade after reunification, Ossies and Wessies still look and think so differently that they are immediately distinguishable in a bar or on a street corner.