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Jews and Non-Jews: Memories and Interactions from the Perspective of Cultural Studies


Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich and Jacek Partyka

The book adds new studies of memories and interactions between Jews and non-Jews to the historical and cultural research on this topic. It gathers in one volume the results of work by scholars from several countries, while the topics of the articles cover various disciplines: history, sociology, psychology, literary and language studies. The specific themes refer to the cultures and interactions with non-Jews in places such as Kiev, Vienna, Ireland, Springfield, Sosúa as well as reflect upon interactions in literary texts by Czesław Milosz and other Polish writers, some contemporary Jewish-American novelists and South American writers. Finally there are texts referring to the experience of the Holocaust and the post-Holocaust trauma as well as German-Israeli and Polish-Jewish relations and heritage.
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Jewminicanos and the Sosúa Settlement


Let us imagine, for instance, Turkish gast-arbeiters prowling the streets of West Germany, uncomprehending or envious of the surrounding reality. Or let us imagine Vietnamese boat people bobbing on high seas or already settled somewhere in the Australian outback. Let us imagine Mexican wetbacks crawling the ravines of southern California, past the border patrols into the territory of the United States. Or let us imagine shiploads of Pakistanis disembarking somewhere in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, hungry for menial jobs the oil-rich locals won’t do. Let us imagine multitudes of Ethiopians trekking some desert on foot into Somalia—or is it the other way around?—escaping the famine. Well, we may stop here because that minute of imagining has already passed, although a great many could be added to this list (Brodsky).

As Joseph Brodsky suggests in the aforementioned quotation from his essay The Condition We Call Exile, his list seems to be incomplete, and the examples of the victims of exile can be multiplied. Their stories and testimonies speak, among other things, of cultural multiplicity, a dispersed sense of self, of identity, of the creation of multidiasporic existences, of wartime experience, and of their new homes. I would like to add to Brodsky’s list the story of Jewminicanos, as their history is one of the great rarely told stories of Holocaust refugees, almost unknown here (the name Jewminicanos is a blending of the English word Jews and the Spanish word Dominicanos, borrowed from the blog Memoirs...

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