Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Dan Diner

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From Europe to America to the Middle East, North Africa and other non-European Jewish settlement areas the Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture covers the recent history of the Jews from 1750 until the 1950s.

More information: Brill.com


(2,816 words)

Author(s): Caplan, Marc
Yiddish-language Holocaust literature belongs to the earliest of the genre and exhibits specific characteristics. For instance, the extermination of European Jewry was named  khurbn (“loss,” “destruction”) in Yiddish – a designation that can be traced back to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (586 BCE and 70 CE). 1. IntroductionThe terms Holocaust (from the Greek  holokaustos, “entirely consumed by fire”), Shoah (Hebrew for “catastrophe”) and  khurbn essentially mean the same thing in contemporary usage.  Khurbn, however, refers beyond the physical anni…
Date: 2020-05-12


(3,637 words)

Author(s): Gross, Jan T.
In the southeastern Polish city of Kielce more than 40 Jewish Holocaust survivors and returnees from the Soviet Union were murdered on July 4, 1946, one year after the end of the war. The perpetrators were incited by rumors about the abduction and murder of Christian children. As the news spread, attacks on Jews took place along the railroad tracks to and from Kielce; in total as many as 80 people were killed on this day. The riots in Kielce were a seismic pogrom, not least in that they…
Date: 2020-05-12

King Lear

(2,180 words)

Author(s): Hofmann, Stefan
Iconic role of the actor and director of the Moscow State Yiddish Theatre (GosET) Solomon Mikhoels (1890–1948). His production of Shakespeare’s  King Lear is considered one of the outstanding interpretations of the piece; it is distinctive in its ambiguity between the affirmation of socialist realism and the critique of Stalinism. Mikhoels’s roles and productions cover a spectrum from classical drama to the shtetl-film  Yidishe glikn. In their diversity and ambivalent interpretive compositions, they reflect the varieties of Jewish existence in the Soviet Union. 1. Solomon M…
Date: 2020-05-12


(3,691 words)

Author(s): Kopstein, Jeffrey
On Easter Sunday (April 6) 1903 and the following day the Bessarabian city of Kishinev (Moldovan: Chişinău) became the site of a pogrom in which dozens of Jews died and hundreds were wounded, raped, or orphaned. The damage done to property was valued at several million rubles. News of the pogrom, which is widely considered to be the first of the 20th century, triggered a response worldwide and inspired fierce international protests on the part of diplomats and Jewish organizations. In R…
Date: 2020-05-12


(3,084 words)

Author(s): Slobin, Mark
The Yiddish word “klemzer” originally denotes a professional instrumentalist who makes music at Ashkenazi Jewish weddings and festivities in Eastern Europe. As a result of the mass emigration since the late 19th century, a new musical scene arose in the urban centers of the United States, which produced a modern, acculturated tradition. In Europe the klezmer tradition was almost destroyed by the Shoah. The revival that began in America in the 1970s turned klezmer into a world music phenomenon. 1. IntroductionThe Yiddish term  klezmer is a compound of the two Hebrew words  kli (cont…
Date: 2020-05-12