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Ashkenazim and Sephardim: A European Perspective

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Andrzej Katny, Izabela Olszewska and Aleksandra Twardowska

This volume is devoted to selected aspects of the culture and language of the two largest Jewish Diaspora groups, Sephardim and Ashkenazim. The authors analyze the latest European research tendencies related to both Jewish factions. Questions concern the historical, social and cultural contact with non-Jewish environment, the problems of Jewish identity, the condition of languages in both groups (Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish, Hakitía), and Jewish anthroponymy. The reflections concern various areas of contemporary Germany, Poland, Russia, the Balkan countries, Italy, the countries of North Africa inhabited by both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews. For the analyses, not only documents, manuscripts, press articles, and literary texts serve as a basis but also the artifacts of material culture.

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Izabela Olszewska: Ostjuden vs. Westjuden. Zu den kulturellen Differenzen innerhalb des europäischen Judentums am Beispiel der Flugschrift von Nathan Birnbaum Was sind die Ostjuden? Zur ersten Information (1916)

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Ostjuden vs. Westjuden. Zu den kulturellen Differenzen innerhalb des europäischen Judentums am Beispiel der Flugschrift von Nathan Birnbaum Was sind die Ostjuden? Zur ersten Information (1916) Izabela Olszewska Universität Gdańsk The Ostjuden versus Westjuden. The cultural differences of Ashkenazim on the basis of the pamphlet by Nathan Birnbaum entitled Was sind die Ostjuden? Zur ersten Infor- mation. – European Jews used to be called Ashkenazi. This name includes Jewish tradition, religion and culture. However, the common cultural traits of the Ashkenazi Jews conceal dif- ferences which refer to two distinct identities or cultural communities: East European Jews and West European Jews. So is it possible to speak about ethnically homogenous which as a result of the Haskalah, or should we speak about two separate groups which have never uni- fied? The aim of this article is an analysis of the picture of contrast of the two identities, with a particular attention paid to the role of language in creation of an image of the Ashkenazi Jew. Keywords: Ashkenazi Jew, Cultural Communities, Language and Image Einleitung Der Oberbegriff Aschkenasim subsumiert die jüdische Tradition der eigenen Re- ligion, Sprache sowie Kultur. Diese Gesamtheit von kulturellen Merkmalen der Aschkenasim begreift jedoch die Vielfalt der kulturellen Differenzen ein, hinter der sich zwei einander gegenüber stehende, jüdische Identitäten bzw. Kulturge- meinschaften verbergen: Ost- und Westjudentum. In der Fachliteratur wird die Bezeichnung Ostjude deutlich als Kontrast zur Bezeichnung Westjude verstanden. Diese Unterscheidung hebt die kulturelle Differenziertheit der Aschkenasim1 her- vor...

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