Edited By Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pędich and Jacek Partyka
Manifestations of Jewishness in Literature of Latin America
When we talk about a “diffusion” of cultures, and about “Jewishness” in different cultures of the world, we often forget that in Latin America the Jewish diaspora have also left a solid footprint. Studies on the Jewish diaspora in Latin America have been developed in numerous countries; in Poland, however, this subject remains almost unknown. The first Jews – or rather “marranos” or “conversos” – came to Latin America with Christopher Columbus. Jewish immigration in the New World began with Luis de Torres, considered the first Jewish settler. Some scholars claim that Christopher Columbus was a Jew himself,1 and there are also those who claim that the Indians the Europeans met in the New World were descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel. People of Jewish origin who arrived in both Americas have participated in shaping the states and societies on the continents, at various times and with varying intensity, but continuously. A fact which is poorly known in Poland is that Jews and their culture are an inherent element of Latin American reality.
The greatest immigration of Jews into Latin America took place during the fifty-year period between 1880 and 1930, and these were dominantly Ashkenazi Jews. What influenced their decision to leave Europe? There were many factors, e.g. pogroms in tsarist Russia, and increasing anti-Semitic sentiments and discrimination. Jews arrived in particularly large numbers in those countries that had an open immigration policy, notably Argentina. This country, rich in uninhabited...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.