- Series: Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (September 7, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804798877
- ISBN-13: 978-0804798877
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,104,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture) 1st Edition
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"Richly documented and a pleasure to read, this study offers a compelling account of how the Sephardic Jews of Salonica experienced the transition from being subjects of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious Ottoman empire to living as a minority in the Greek nation-state. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of this unique community." (Matthias Lehmann University of California, Irvine, and author of Emissaries from the Holy Land)
"A vital contribution to Sephardic history, Devin Naar's book lovingly but objectively fills in the Greek Jewish story of the interwar period. Jewish Salonica speaks through the words of its subjects, drawing on a dazzling array of local Jewish sources and casting this understudied period in a wholly new and dynamic light." (Katherine Fleming New York University, author of Greece: A Jewish History)
About the Author
Devin E. Naar is the Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies and Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of Washington.
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Top customer reviews
Ultimately the community of 50,000 Jews perished in the holocaust when the Nazis took over . Despite the fact that Jews were such an integral part of Salonica, many Orthodox Christians helped the Nazis round up Jews and deport them to Aushwitz. Only 2000 Jews remained and when they returned they found their cemetery bet achain was taken over. Their synagogues were destroyed with decorative motifs stolen to aggrandize other churches and private homes. Parts of a Torah scroll were used to make soles of someone's shoe. Tombstones were used by Mason's for various construction purposes. Total,desecration. Even a church leader exhorted his corelifionist to help the Greek Jews. The plea fell on deaf ears. The survivors have move forward while maintaining the memory of Salonica.
The genesis of this community occurred after the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. The sultan allowed them into Ottoman lands. Under the Ottomans the Jews were called th most loyal millet. They had almost complete autonomy and there was no pressure to speak the Turkish language. The Jewish community appointed their Hachamm Bashi to deal,with the central government . The rabbis ran their community like a fiefdom. They had control over their own education.
After World War I Salonica was part of Greece. Life for the Jews of Salonica took a turn not necessarily for the better but not a state of decline like some would like to think. With treaty of Lusane there was massive population shift between Turkey and Greece. All th Muslims in Greece went to Turkey and all the Orthodox Christians of Turkey were moved to Greece. Most of these Christians were not so Greek. They spoke and were Slavic. Greece for their survival and Natioanl interest had to create a Greek society.
For the Jews this meant less autonomy and lots of changes. The first was their autonomy. Where as back in the day they completely ran their affairs like a state within a state, now they had to cooperate with the central govt. this presented a challenge for the Jewish community both within and with their neighbors. With were challenges of selecting a rabbi. Who should it be? Should the rabbi be modern? More Sephardic more ashkenazi? There were changes in the education. The courses for secular studies had to be in Greek, students had to learn Greek history. Education was meant to Greekify everyone. The Jews also had to deal with rising antisemitism and land expropriation.
This book gives a very thorough history of the Salonica Jewish community from the ending of Ottoman rule all the way through a the interwar years culminating with annihilation in World War II. Let the memory of Salonica live on.
I do not like to delve into politics but this history just goes to show that no matter how good the Jews may have it in a certain location in the end they always suffer a massacre or major pogrom. It underscores the need for Jewish homeland somewhere on this planet. I will not speculate on there "where should it be?"