Jewish citizens of socialist Yugoslavia : politics of Jewish identity in a socialist state, 1944-1974 / by Emil Kerenji.
This study investigates the process of Jewish communal rebuilding in Yugoslavia after the Holocaust. Focusing on the activities of the central Jewish organization in the period, the Federation of Jewish Communities, it explores linkages between Jewish identity, politics, social memory, and ideology in the context of a multiethnic socialist state. It tells the story of the Jewish rebuilding efforts in the post-Holocaust era in Yugoslavia in order to show how commemorative practices and processes of identification emerge, position themselves in, and are shaped by a matrix of conflicting state and non-state political projects.Taking advantage of the political climate in postwar Yugoslavia, the leadership of the central Jewish organization situated its rebuilding efforts within a wider narrative of Yugoslav reconstruction spearheaded by the Communist government. From rebuilding communal infrastructure to dedicating monuments to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, the leaders of the Federation of Jewish Communities pushed through a rebuilding agenda that was a part of a wider Yugoslav narrative, and that defined Jewishness as an identity firmly rooted in the new Yugoslav political project. By focusing on several micro-level debates about the boundaries of Jewishness in Yugoslavia, the dissertation shows how patterns of Jewish identification formed within the discursive framework provided by the new Yugoslav socialist ideology.This dissertation aims to contribute to the integration of seemingly separate “Jewish” and “non-Jewish” histories, provide insights into the processes of creation of space for Jewish identification in socialism and the forging of diverse Jewish identities after the Holocaust, as well as into the politics of memory and the competing narratives of victimhood in postwar Europe and their consequences for different politics of nationhood.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:20:00
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