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|Title:||MUNKÁCS: A Jewish World That Was|
|Authors:||Berger, Anna M.|
Jews -- Hungary -- History -- 20th Century.
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies
|Abstract:||Prior to World War II an estimated 11 million Jews lived in hundreds of communities throughout Europe. The rural Subcarpathian city of Munkács was one such place with a strong and vibrant Jewish presence - a Jewish community which constituted some 40% of its population. Munkács had experienced a long history of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. These different ethno-religious groups managed to live, if not in close friendships, but certainly for the most part, in reasonable harmony until the Hungarian occupation in 1938. The city was well known as a major centre of Jewish life in all its varieties, from the ultra-Orthodox Hasidim to the completely secular Zionists, communists and assimilationists. It was also well known for the internal frictions between some of these factions. In Munkács the ethnic cleansing of the Holocaust happened within a few short weeks in May 1944. The entire community was destroyed, mostly deported to Auschwitz, where some 85% of them were murdered. My aim in this thesis is to contribute to the historiography of The Jewish World That Was by reconstructing a picture of daily Jewish life in Munkács in the period between the two World Wars. My perspective was a grassroots one - a bottom up view of daily life, utilising archival and scholarly secondary sources as a backdrop for the memories of some of those who lived it. I have, through their authentic voices, drawn a word picture of how they lived, learned, worked, prayed and played. In doing this, my contention has been that, to understand the full devastation of the Holocaust, it is imperative to reconstruct the rich, dynamic and colourful fabric of daily life of pre-Holocaust Jewish Europe. It is also my view that it is urgent to do this while there are still those who can help us do so.|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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