Anti-Semitism

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Italy, Modern

Jewish women were crucial both to changes in post-emancipation Italian Jewish life and to the overall condition of women in modern Italy. This article reflects on the changes in the role of Jewish women in modern Italy within the Jewish press and institutions, their activism in shaping a secular civil society, and their experiences through the Fascist regime, the trauma of the 1938 Racial laws, emigration, resistance, deportation, survival, and reconstruction.

Izieu, Women of

On April 6, 1944, Klaus Barbie (1913–1991), Chief of the Nazi Gestapo in Lyons during the German occupation of France, raided a home for Jewish children in Izieu, a remote hilltop village overlooking the valley of the Rhône (70 km. east of Lyons). This action was to become one of the most infamous symbols of Nazi brutality and, ironically, the single count (of crimes against humanity) for which Barbie, torturer and murderer of Jewish men, women and children, but most excoriated as the executioner of Résistance hero Jean Moulin, was tried and convicted some forty-three years later.

Lotte Jacobi

After leaving Nazi Germany in 1935, Lotte Jacobi became a renowned photographer in New York as she captured intimate portraits of prominent Americans such as Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Paul Robeson. Jacobi was highly interested in politics and an active delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She was known for engaging her subjects in rich conversation as she photographed them.

International Council of Jewish Women

The International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) is an umbrella organization for forty-nine affiliates representing some two million women in forty-six countries. The head office rotates according to the place of residence of its current chairwoman, who is elected for a period of three years. Plans for future actions are decided on by a team of directors at international triennial conventions which take place in various countries. Each affiliate organization of the ICJW retains its own name and has its own projects. The ICJW is an entirely voluntary organization based on the good will of women motivated by their belief in the humanitarian duty rooted in in Judaism, in the vocation of the Jewish woman or mother, or simply in a sense of Jewish solidarity. Established in the early twentieth century and reconstituted immediately after World War II, ICJW never ceased its development throughout the vicissitudes of the past century.

Holocaust Studies in the United States

Holocaust studies is a dynamic and diverse field of research that embraces various approaches toward the study of the Holocaust. Jewish American women have made critical contributions to this field in a variety of areas, including general history, women and gender, children, literary criticism, autobiography and biography, curriculum development, religious studies, sociology, psychoanalytic theory, biomedical ethics, and archive and museum curatorship. Jewish American women have contributed original research and have reshaped the way the Holocaust is studied through innovative theoretical and methodological approaches. They come to the study of the Holocaust as Jews, as women, and as Americans. With each of these roles and experiences they bring different concerns and questions. Some of these scholars are survivors or refugees or are the daughters of survivors or refugees. Some were born in the United States, some came to the United States during or after the war. Many have focused exclusively on the study of women.

Holocaust Literature

Studies of women and the Holocaust, or gender and the Holocaust, are part of a dynamic, evolving field. As part of literary studies, their approaches draw upon the many other fields and methodological approaches, such as history of the Holocaust, gender history, psychology, trauma theory, literary theory, life writing, women’s studies, religious studies and gender theory.

Historians in the United States

American Jewish women have been prominent within the historical profession. Indeed, many have been on the cutting edge of historical scholarship since the 1960s. In particular, Jewish women were at the forefront of developments within social history and in the creation of women’s history. While women generally, and Jewish women in particular, rarely made careers as historians in the first half of the twentieth century, Jewish women represented a significant proportion of academic historians both in American and European history as discrimination against Jews and prejudice against women lessened in the decades after World War II. Perhaps because of their sensitivity to the situation of powerless groups, most of them focused their attention not on traditional power elites but rather on those social groups traditionally ignored by academic historians: ordinary people, workers, peasants, minority groups, Jews, and especially women. They helped create, and were influenced by, new trends in historical scholarship that favored the study of such groups.

Gertrude Hirschler

Not prepared to compromise her ideals by accepting work that did not meet her ideological approval, Gertrude Hirschler rejected the offer of a well-recognized publisher, who submitted a book by an Israeli leftist writer to her for translation. True to her principles, she removed her name from The Hirsch Siddur that she had translated, due to changes to the finished product that did not meet her standards. A brilliant perfectionist, Hirschler’s literary contributions as a translator, editor, and writer are highly regarded in the areas of Jewish history, accounts of the Holocaust, religious literature, and Zionism.

Dorothea Hirschfeld

Too old, lacking an appropriate educational background, of unsuitable family background, a member of the Social-Democrat Party and—worst of all—a woman, Dorothea Hirschfeld, a Jew without any legal training, nevertheless succeeded in entering the civil service at the age of forty-three. In 1919 she was the only woman among twenty candidates recommended for a position at the newly founded Reich Ministry of Employment and, a year later, the only one appointed as ministerial adviser.

Higher Education in Central Europe

Jewish women were disproportionally represented at Central European universities before WWI and during the interwar years. Acculturated Jewish society saw higher education as a way of integrating itself into the educated bourgeoisie. Attending university offered women greater personal independence, even as they faced antisemitism and ridicule.

Higher Education Administration in the United States

The academy and Judaism share a tender core of values. At both their roots lies a passion for knowledge—the love of learning, the necessity for debate and discussion, an appreciation for the challenge of scholarship. This would suggest no mystery in the number of Jews in universities. However, it is women’s space in these intellectual settings—historically unwelcomed by the academy and unsupported by Jewish scholarly institutions—that poses the wonder.

Etty Hillesum

Etty Hillesum grew up in Deventer, a small city in the east of the Netherlands. There she attended the local gymnasium, of which her father, Dr. L. Hillesum, was the director and where he also taught classical languages. Her mother, Rebecca Bernstein, was born in Russia but fled to the Netherlands because of a pogrom. Hillesum and her two brothers, Mischa and Jaap, were unusually gifted. Mischa was a pianist who performed Beethoven in public at the age of six and held the promise of being one of the greatest piano players in Europe. Jaap finished the Gymnasium in less than the normal six years and became a physician after discovering some new vitamins when he was seventeen. When Hillesum was eighteen she moved to Amsterdam, where she initially took her first degree in law and then enrolled in the faculty of Slavonic Languages to study Russian. All three were promising young people whose lives were cut short simply because they were Jews.

Nini Hess

In the years between 1914 and 1933, numerous significant personalities in art, culture, politics, society and sport met in the photographic portraiture studio of Nini and Carry Hess. With their technical and aesthetic brilliance, the sisters were among the leading photographers in Germany of the time.

Eva Hesse

Eva Hesse created innovative sculptural forms using unconventional materials such as latex and fiberglass and gave minimal art organic, emotional, and kinetic features. She scorned the decorative, creating sculptures out of repeated units which embodied opposite extremes. Her large fiberglass and latex works are recognized as major works of the 1960s artistic era.

Judith Herzberg

Judith Herzberg has created an extensive body of work during the more than thirty years that she has been active. She has written poems, essays, plays, film scripts and television dramas, and has many translations and adaptations to her name. Judith Herzberg made her debut as a poet at the beginning of the sixties. During the seventies she began to write for the stage, stimulated by the Institute for Theater Research of Nederland.

Lilli Henoch

Lilli Henoch was born in 1899 to an upper middle-class family. Despite her merchant father’s death, a relocation to Berlin and the remarriage of her mother, the family was able to maintain its previous high standard of living. Even in childhood Lilli Henoch had developed a passion for sport, particularly track and field and team sports. This was comparatively rare for a woman in the 1920s, when track and field sports were considered unwomanly.

Bela Ya’ari Hazan

Bela Hazan was born in December 1922 in the town of Rozyszcze in the Volhynia region into a family of eight children. Her father, David, who led the prayers in the local bet-A type of non-halakhic literary activitiy of the Rabbis for interpreting non-legal material according to special principles of interpretation (hermeneutical rules).midrash, died when she was six, leaving the burden of earning the family’s livelihood to her mother Esther, who owned a small grocery store. The mother sent all the children to a school of the Tarbut network, mainly so that they would gain fluency in the Hebrew language, which was spoken at home. After completing elementary school, Hazan was sent to the ORT vocational school in the city of Kowel, where she shared a room with a young woman from her hometown and supported herself by giving private Hebrew lessons.

Ruth Gruber

Ruth Gruber was born on September 30, 1911, in Brooklyn, the fourth of five children of David and Gussie (Rockower) Gruber, Russian Jewish immigrants who owned a wholesale and retail liquor store and later went into real estate. She graduated from New York University at age eighteen and in 1930 won a fellowship to the University of Wisconsin, where she received her M.A. in German and English literature. In 1931, Gruber received a fellowship from the Institute of International Education for study in Cologne, Germany. Her parents pleaded with her not to go: Hitler was coming to power. Nevertheless, she went to Cologne and took courses in German philosophy, modern English literature, and art history. She also attended Nazi rallies, her American passport in her purse, a tiny American flag on her lapel. She listened, appalled, as Hitler ranted hysterically against Americans and even more hysterically against Jews.

Haika Grosman

Politically active from a young age, Haika Grosman played a key role in the underground resistance to Nazi occupation and the Holocaust and put her safety on the line in the name of the movement.

Greek Resistance During World War II

On October 28, 1940, Italy invaded Greece but was rapidly chased back into Albania, where the Greeks held the Italians under siege for the next five months. In April 1941, responding to Mussolini’s call for help, the Germans invaded and overran Yugoslavia and Greece; by the end of May the bloody fighting in Crete ended mainland Greek independence; the king and his government relocated to Cairo and sporadic resistance continued in the mountains. In the subsequent partition, Bulgaria realized her irredentist claims to Macedonia and Thrace. Germany took Salonika and environs, the stretch along the Turkish border to separate the Bulgarians and the Turks, and most of Crete. The remainder of mainland Greece and her islands, several (e.g. Rhodes and Kos) already occupied before the war, were allocated to Italy.

Tatyana Grosman

Tatyana Grosman nurtured an entire generation of printmakers and raised printmaking in the United States to the status of major fine art. Universal Limited Art Editions, which she founded in 1957, published prints by many major American artists, and launched collaborative endeavors between artists and writers. Much of the press’s work was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Michal Govrin

Michal Govrin, born in 1950 is an Israeli poet, writer, and stage director. She takes a highly individualized perspective on Israeli-Jewish post-Holocaust reality by combining artistic experimentation with Biblical and Rabbinic sources and philosophical discourse. In her poetry, prose and essays she examines places and spaces within a polyphonic context of architecture, art and theater, the sanctity of land, and the national narrative.

Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman was a potent voice of anarchism in North America and Europe in the early twentieth century, and her controversial beliefs made her many powerful enemies. Yet even after enduring many contentious interactions with law enforcement, Goldman continued to speak, write, and teach on freedom and individual rights, inspiring her followers to question authority at every turn.

Mire Gola

A passionate idealist, Mire Gola organized anti-German resistance in World War II as a Communist in occupied Poland. She inspired others with her eloquent poetry and her fortitude through imprisonment and torture.

Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber

Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber was above all a dedicated physicist.

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