The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish by Joshua M. Karlip

By Joshua M. Karlip

The Tragedy of a Generation is the tale of the increase and fall of a great: an self sufficient Jewish state in Europe. It strains the origins of 2 influential yet missed lines of Jewish thought—Yiddishism and Diaspora Nationalism—and files the waning hopes and painful reassessments in their top representatives opposed to the emerging tide of Nazism and, later, the Holocaust.

Joshua M. Karlip offers 3 figures—Elias Tcherikower, Yisroel Efroikin, and Zelig Kalmanovitch—seen in the course of the lens of Imperial Russia near to revolution. Leaders within the fight for attractiveness of the Jewish humans as a countrywide entity, those males could end up instrumental in formulating the politics of Diaspora Nationalism, a center course that confounded either the Zionist emphasis on Palestine and the Marxist religion at school fight. heavily allied with this ideology was once Yiddishism, a flow whose adherents predicted the Yiddish language and tradition, now not spiritual culture, because the unifying strength of Jewish identity.

We stick to Tcherikower, Efroikin, and Kalmanovitch as they navigate the tumultuous early many years of the 20th century in pursuit of a Jewish nationwide renaissance in japanese Europe. Correcting the misunderstanding of Yiddishism as a appreciably secular flow, Karlip uncovers fantastic confluences among Judaism and the avowedly nonreligious types of Jewish nationalism. an important contribution to Jewish historiography, The Tragedy of a Generation is a probing and poignant chronicle of lives formed through ideological conviction and demonstrated to the boundaries by means of historic crisis.

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Extra resources for The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe

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The turn from politics to organic work and culture led to the marriage between Diaspora nationalism and Yiddishism, a union that previously had existed only in the minds of lone intellectuals such as Zhitlovsky. Taking up the cause of Yiddish, these young intellectuals refashioned themselves from a Russian-Jewish into a Yiddishist intelligentsia. In different ways, Tcherikower, Efroikin, and Kalmanovitch all traveled this same trajectory. The relationship of each of these activists to traditional Russian Jewish society and culture differed.

At the Kovno Conference, which met in November 1909, a debate ranged over the nature and jurisdiction of the revitalized kehile. Whereas Sliozberg and other liberals argued for a religious definition of the community, Bramson together with the nationalists demanded its secularization and nationalization. In the end, the representatives to the conference reached unanimity in articulating their vision of the reformed, revitalized kehile. Any Jew by birth, with the exception of converts to Christianity, could belong to the kehile, whose leaders would be elected through a democratic, near universal suffrage.

On the editorial board they were joined by two veteran Yiddish literary figures, H. D. Horovits and Sh. An-sky (pseudonym for Shloyme Zaynvl Rapoport). No longer claiming nonpartisanship, the journal envisioned itself as the organ of the newly reconstituted Folkspartey. One year later, when the journal moved from St. Petersburg to Vilna, the Kletskin Press assumed control and dropped the official affiliation with the Folkspartey. Still, Di idishe velt continued to embody the growing centrist position in Jewish nationalist politics and culture.

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