Jewish Refugees in the Balkans, 1933-1945
Buchbeschreibung des Autors
The Balkans provided the escape route for tens of thousands of German Jews, and remained a place of refuge until the Nazis brutally shut it off with the mass murder of Jewish refugees on the socalled Kladovo transport starting in September 1941, which can be considered as the beginning of the Holocaust in Europe. Responding to publications about the Western European and American exile experience of the Jews after 1933, this book offers comparative insights into the less trodden paths of the persecuted, illuminating the cultural and political context of the Balkan host countries, the response of local Jewish communities, and the reactions of common people and assorted criminals. The Balkans, often marginalised and loathed, emerges in hundreds of personal accounts of survivors gathered here, supplemented by extensive archival research, as a welcoming getaway, where thousands survived thanks to the Italian occupiers, illiterate peasants, and Communist-led Partisan resisters. The memoirs of Jewish refugees from Vienna, Prague, and Berlin, who spent war years in the Balkan highlands hiding or joining local resistance movements, are testimonies of an apparent paradox that European backwaters and its peoples, so often considered backward and uncivilised, offered refuge to people escaping from the very capitals of European culture and civilisation.
Bojan Aleksov ist Associate Professor an der School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.
Einführung und Kommentar
Ulf Brunnbauer (IOS Regensburg)