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By Joshua M. Karlip

The Tragedy of a Generation is the tale of the increase and fall of a terrific: an independent Jewish kingdom in Europe. It strains the origins of 2 influential yet missed lines of Jewish thought—Yiddishism and Diaspora Nationalism—and records the waning hopes and painful reassessments in their major representatives opposed to the emerging tide of Nazism and, later, the Holocaust.

Joshua M. Karlip provides 3 figures—Elias Tcherikower, Yisroel Efroikin, and Zelig Kalmanovitch—seen in the course of the lens of Imperial Russia near to revolution. Leaders within the fight for reputation of the Jewish humans as a countrywide entity, those males might turn out instrumental in formulating the politics of Diaspora Nationalism, a center course that defied either the Zionist emphasis on Palestine and the Marxist religion at school fight. heavily allied with this ideology was once Yiddishism, a circulate whose adherents expected the Yiddish language and tradition, now not spiritual culture, because the unifying strength of Jewish identity.

We persist with Tcherikower, Efroikin, and Kalmanovitch as they navigate the tumultuous early many years of the 20 th century in pursuit of a Jewish nationwide renaissance in jap Europe. Correcting the misperception of Yiddishism as a substantially secular circulation, Karlip uncovers spectacular confluences among Judaism and the avowedly nonreligious sorts of Jewish nationalism. a necessary contribution to Jewish historiography, The Tragedy of a Generation is a probing and poignant chronicle of lives formed through ideological conviction and verified to the boundaries by means of ancient crisis.

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Additional resources for The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe

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The fact that Diaspora nationalism occupied the center position in Jewish politics between Zionism and socialism is evidenced by the fact that all Jewish political parties incorporated its basic tenets into their platforms. And the fact that Yiddishism, too, occupied a centrist position among Jewish cultural movements can be seen from the fact that a majority of East European Jews, though not avowedly Yiddishist, served as consumers of modern Yiddish culture. Yet in the volatile environment of interwar twentieth-century Eastern Europe, the seemingly most realistic movements became the most utopian.

M. Bramson called for a conference to be held in Kovno to discuss the future composition of the kehile, or obshchina, representatives of the Jewish socialist parties, including the Bund and SERP, accepted the invitation to participate. The immediate catalyst for the calling of the Kovno Conference was the fact that Naftali Fridman and Leopold Nisselovich, the two Jewish representatives in the third Duma, had presented a bill that would legalize the Jewish community. At the Kovno Conference, which met in November 1909, a debate ranged over the nature and jurisdiction of the revitalized kehile.

It was during this time that folkists and socialist nationalists joined in creating self-help organizations such as the Jewish cooperative movement to ameliorate such pressing issues as Jewish financial solvency. In addition to creating new public institutions, Jewish autonomists, both socialist and liberal, sought to co-opt existing institutions such as the Jewish Colonization Association (EKA) and ORT (Obshchestvo Remeslennago i Zemledelcheskago Truda Sredi Evreev v Rossii) (the Society for the Promotion of Artisan and Agricultural Labor) and to democratize them.

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