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


Edited By 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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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...

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