Edited By Andrzej Katny, Izabela Olszewska and Aleksandra Twardowska
Krinka Vidaković-Petrov: The Ashkenazi-Sephardi Dialogue in Yugoslavia 1918–1941
The Ashkenazi-Sephardi Dialogue in Yugoslavia 1918–1941 Krinka Vidaković-Petrov Institute of Literature and Art, Belgrade Abstract – The article analyzes the pre-Yugoslav historical and cultural heritage that would impact the Ashkenazi-Sephardi dialogue in Yugoslavia 1918–1941, especially four models of assimilation, the time when they appeared and their results. The author highlights various as- pects of assimilation (external, internal, “red assimilation”, primary and secondary assimila- tion), defines the social, political and cultural setting in which the Ashkenazi-Sephardi dia- logue was conducted, and its semantic focal point – Zionism. Many other issues were filtered through the prism of Zionism, while Zionism itself was considered in terms of national and cultural identity. Special attention is given to the Sephardic Movement (Sephardic cultural separatism) and the blend of traditional Sephardic Messianism with modern Ashkenazi politi- cal Zionism. Keywords: Jews in Yugoslavia, Ashkenazi-Sephardi Dialogue, Zionism, Sephardic Move- ment, Messianism, Assimilation. 1. Introduction The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established in 1918 and was renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. According to the census of 1921 the Jewish community of Yugoslavia numbered 64,746 members, which comprised 0,5% of the total population (Koljanin 2008: 48). Two thirds were of Ashkenazi and one third of Sephardi background. Jewish communities existed at that time in Croatia-Slavonia (Zagreb, Osijek, Varaždin, Čakovec, etc.), Vojvodina (Novi Sad, Subotica, Senta, Zemun, Pančevo, etc.), Dalmatia (Dubrovnik and Split), Serbia (Belgrade, Šabac, Niš, Leskovac, etc.), Bosnia (Sarajevo, Travnik, Zen- ica, etc.), and Macedonia (Bitola, Skopje, Štip). The Jews in Croatia,...
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