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New Beginnings: Holocaust Survivors in Bergen-Belsen and the British Zone in Germany, 1945-1950

New Beginnings: Holocaust Survivors in Bergen-Belsen and the British Zone in Germany, 1945-1950 (Hardback)

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Synopsis

This volume offers a historical inquiry into how Jews in Germany began to rebuild their social and cultural networks immediately following World War II. Prompted by the recent dynamic development of Jewish community in Germany, social analyses of the German Jewish experience have focused primarily on contemporary trends. Here Lavsky looks at the early history of the postwar German Jewish community, while considering how German Jews intermingled with Jews from other countries who, after the war, ended up in Germany's displaced persons camps. Lavsky concentrates on the British Zone of occupation in north-west Germany, where some of the most important Jewish communities developed and laid the foundation for a central Jewish organization in the Federal German Republic. It was here that the biggest DP camp - Bergen-Belsen - was located, with about 10,000 Jews and a flourishing DP community. It was also here, through a unique co-operation of "camp and community", that a new Jewish post-Holocaust nationalism began to take place.

Hagit Lavsky teaches at the Hebrew University, where she is the Samuel L. and Perry Haber Chair for Post-Holocaust Studies and Director of the Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism, the Yishuv, and the State of Israel. Her books include Before Catastrophe: The Distinctive Path of German Zionism, 1897-1938.

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