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Safe Among the Germans: Liberated Jews After World War II by Ruth Gay

Author: Ruth Gay
Book title: Safe Among the Germans: Liberated Jews After World War II
ISBN10: 0300092717
ISBN13: 978-0300092714
Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (September 1, 2002)
Language: English
Pages: 368
Size PDF: 1213 kb
Size FB2: 1421 kb
Size ePUB: 1959 kb
Rating: 4.6 ✯
Votes: 991
Subcategory: World

Safe Among the Germans: Liberated Jews After World War II by Ruth Gay

This book tells the little-known story of why a quarter-million Jews, survivors of death camps and forced labor, sought refuge in Germany after World War II. Those who had ventured to return to Poland after liberation soon found that their homeland had become a new killing ground, where some 1,500 Jews were murdered in pogroms between 1945 and 1947. Facing death at home, and with Palestine and the rest of the world largely closed to them, they looked for a place to be safe and found it in the shelter of the Allied Occupation Forces in Germany.

By 1950 a little community of 20,000 Jews remained in Germany: 8,000 native German Jews and 12,000 from Eastern Europe. Ruth Gay examines their contrasting lives in the two postwar Germanies. After the fall of Communism, the Jewish community was suddenly overwhelmed by tens of thousands of former Soviet Jews. Now there are some 100,000 Jews in Germany. The old, somewhat nostalgic life of the first postwar decades is being swept aside by radical forces from the Lubavitcher at one end to Reform and feminism at the other. What started in 1945 as a "remnant" community has become a dynamic new center of Jewish life.

Reviews (4)
This short book, which details the history of post World War II Germany and the Jews could have offered more detail. It is, however, a nice overview of the subject and an easy read for anyone interested in German and/or Jewish history.
As someone who is Jewish and has traveled to Germany several times, I found many observations in this book that I can confirm from personal experience.
I enjoyed the mention of the klezmer revival in Germany, as I went to one of those concerts in Berlin a couple of years ago. I did note that the artists were young Germans, who were not Jewish. There is a lot of curiosity in Germany among young people about what was lost. The klezmer revival is part of that.
The German Jewish community today is dominated by recent immigrants from Eastern Europe.
The item was in good shape, but it is one of the most prejudiced, one-sided books on the Holocaust I have ever read. I gave up on it half way through.
Readable and interesting. More of the brutal horrors of East Germany. The book is not about the Holocaust and not about eastern Europe in the 1800s, so I can guess that it's critics either didn't read it at all, or are still trying to defend communism. It is the first I have heard of the many communist Jews who were persecuted even when they tried to stay in the party.
It's simply amazing how prejudiced the book is. Either the author knows nothing about the history of Jews in Central Eastern Europe or she wilfully misrepresents it. I'd suggest reading "Jews in Poland-Lithuania in the Eighteenth Century: A Genealogy of Modernity" by Gershon David Hundert to get rid of at least some of the misconceptions introduced by Ruth Gay.

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