Digital history & historiography

Jewish responses to anti-Semitism in Paris and London in the late 1930s as European Jewish political history

This article compares Jewish responses to antisemitism in Paris and London in the late 1930s, when antisemitism was on the rise in both France and the United Kingdom. There were striking similarities in these responses, yet local contexts and circumstances dominate the historiographies of both cases. The main aim of this article, then, is not so much to offer new insights into the individual cases (both of which have been abundantly analyzed in historical research), but rather to fill a gap by examining the broader factors that account for these similarities. On the one hand, the article examines the nature of Jewish self-identification in the post-Emancipation era and its effects on the political cultures, practices, and identifications of the actors that were involved; on the other, it explores the way in which these practices were also shaped by migration and transnational aspects. Ultimately, this case study will argue for a comparative and transnational approach to Jewish political history in order to arrive at a better understanding of its diverse configurations and permutations.

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