If there is no Holocaust, how do the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe look like right now?

Jan 2017
1,309
Durham
You are probably right if we take Poland. In the Soviet Union, however, Jews were assimilating rapidly. I would like to know how it was in Hungary, I read it was not too anti-Semitic but am not sure.
Were they in the Soviet Union? You could be right, but I find it hard to believe given the indiscriminate violence that was metered out to Jewish communities whenever they felt the need.

I know that in Czechoslovakia, after WW2, the Czechs didn't want Jews returning to their homes. I know this from a museum in Prague. That gives you an indication of the feeling in those countries. Even after what had happened, Eastern Europeans felt Jews were trouble and should be living elsewhere.
 
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Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,862
Western Eurasia
I doubt there wouldn't be traumatization among them without the Holocaust. Before that they had the traumatic memory the Russian pogroms. The precieved eternal persecution seems to be a deeper element in their identity, preceding the ww2 experience.
 
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Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,862
Western Eurasia
You are probably right if we take Poland. In the Soviet Union, however, Jews were assimilating rapidly. I would like to know how it was in Hungary, I read it was not too anti-Semitic but am not sure.
They were rapidly assimilating in Hungary since the 19th century, in fact they were that group where Magyarization succeeded the most. I would say even more assimilating here than in Russia and Poland, in Hungary for example Yiddish culture only existed in the fringes among some hasids, most Jews switched to Hungarian early on. Thats why they weren't and arent considered to be an ethnic minority at all, only as a religion, as Hungarian is an ethnic/national identity based on language ("Hungarians of Mosaic faith" was the term often used in Austria-Hungary for Jews in official settings). This doesn't mean there wasn't anti-semitism. Ethnic minorities in fact partly resented them because they often acted more Hungarian nationalist, championing the assimilation. And there arouse resentment among Hungarians too, mostly due to social tensions, their social mobility after their emancipation. And anti-semitism really errupted after 1919, the short commie reign led mostly by Jews, this really gave a momentum for the political anti-semitism in the following interwar era (but the true root cause was still their social positions and tensions, it was a distorted/twisted class struggle). After the defeat in ww2 and Soviet occupation anti-semitism was repressed totally of course.
 
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Jan 2017
1,309
Durham
the short commie reign led mostly by Jews
Do you have statistics to support this?

Usually, Communism, and Socialism for that matter, is led by the middle class and followed by those wanting some food on the table.

In the event your country's Jewish population flocked to the communist banner, well, it isn't a moment to hang out the flags: it simply means they felt so marginalised they nailed their colours to the mast of Extremism.

The Nazis said something like what you're saying, except, as you'd reasonably expect, Jews were represented throughout all aspects of German society and politics.
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,862
Western Eurasia
Do you have statistics to support this?

Usually, Communism, and Socialism for that matter, is led by the middle class and followed by those wanting some food on the table.

In the event your country's Jewish population flocked to the communist banner, well, it isn't a moment to hang out the flags: it simply means they felt so marginalised they nailed their colours to the mast of Extremism.

The Nazis said something like what you're saying, except, as you'd reasonably expect, Jews were represented throughout all aspects of German society and politics.
Around 60-74% of the leadership in the Hungarian Soviet Republic, 60% is usually given as the minimum, the difference is usually depending on who is considered to be in the pool, only the leading comissars (functionaries equal to ministers), or the deputy-comissars too, or also considering personal changes during that 133 days when the 1919 communist regime existed, how Jews were they (full or from mixed parentage, did they baptize or not etc). According to Randolph L. Braham's The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary out of the 45 comissars of the Kun regime, 32 were Jews or of Jewish origin, that is 71% if i count it well (in a country where 5,9% of the population were of Jewish faith in 1920). He mentions this data in footnotes, I only have the Hungarian edition of this book so i don't give page numbers, but for further reading to this data he also cites
Joseph Rothschild: East Central Europe Between the Two World Wars. University of Washington
Press, Seattle, 1974 p. 148 and
Nathaniel Katzburg: Hungary and the Jews, 1920-1943. Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1981, p. 32-38. Btw I recommend Braham's monumental book in general, still the most authoritative work on the Holocaust in Hungary.

Anyway i don't use it as an accussation, but it is a fact that a big part of the contemporary Hungarian population also precieved the Hungarian Soviet Republic as a "Jewish rule", and the following right wing counter-revolutionary regime exploited it to the maximum extent, to connect the dots to an imagined "Jewish Bolshevism". Still many in the Jewish community opposed the communist regime (most obviously the rich bourgeoisie and the religious), in fact despite its Jewish leadership, the 1919 communist regime itself was not shy to use sometimes the anti-semitic card, equalling big capital and Jews in some propaganda articles in order to gain popularity.
This thing was not alien from even the classic 19th century socialist/communist/anarchist thinkers.

And you are also right, the initial leadership in communist, socialist (and social liberal) movements came from urban middle classes, and in those segments Jews were also overrepresented. So there is no dispute in that I guess, it doesn't change the fact that their overrepresentation gave excellent material for anti-semitic politics in the following years.

I actually understand it and find it absolutely logical that many ambitious Jews from the lower to middle classes were drawn to it, and obviously not to Christian nationalist movements which mostly wouldn't even want to embrace them anyway.

(I've heard some other psychoanalytic explanations too that would link that people with Jewish religious upbringing having more inclination toward revolutionary ideologies due to the Messianistic elements of their religion, but i'm sceptical about that argument, I don't know that much about Judaism)
 
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Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
Around 60-74% of the leadership in the Hungarian Soviet Republic, 60% is usually given as the minimum, the difference is usually depending on who is considered to be in the pool, only the leading comissars (functionaries equal to ministers), or the deputy-comissars too, or also considering personal changes during that 133 days when the 1919 communist regime existed. According to Randolph L. Braham's The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary out of the 45 comissars of the Kun regime, 32 were Jews or of Jewish origin, that is 71% if i count it well (in a country where 5,9% of the population were of Jewish faith in 1920). He mentions this data in footnotes, I only have the Hungarian edition of this book so i don't give page numbers, but for further reading to this data he also cites
Joseph Rothschild: East Central Europe Between the Two World Wars. University of Washington
Press, Seattle, 1974 p. 148 and
Nathaniel Katzburg: Hungary and the Jews, 1920-1943. Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, 1981, p. 32-38. Btw I recommend Braham's monumental book in general, still the most authoritative work on the Holocaust in Hungary.

Anyway i don't use it as an accussation, but it is a fact that a big part of the contemporary Hungarian population also precieved the Hungarian Soviet Republic as a "Jewish rule", and the following right wing counter-revolutionary regime exploited it to the maximum extent, to connect the dots to an imagined "Jewish Bolshevism". Still many in the Jewish community opposed the communist regime (most obviously the rich bourgeoisie and the religious), in fact despite its Jewish leadership, the 1919 communist regime itself was not shy to use sometimes the anti-semitic card, equalling big capital and Jews in some propaganda articles in order to gain popularity.
This thing was not alien from even the classic 19th century socialist/communist/anarchist thinkers.

And you are also right, the initial leadership in communist, socialist (and social liberal) movements came from urban middle classes, and in those segments Jews were also overrepresented. So there is no dispute in that I guess, it doesn't change the fact that their overrepresentation gave excellent material for anti-semitic politics in the following years.

I actually understand it and find it absolutely logical that many ambitious Jews from the lower to middle classes were drawn to it, and obviously not to Christian nationalist movements which mostly wouldn't even want to embrace them anyway.

(I've heard some other psychoanalytic explanations too that would link that people with Jewish religious upbringing having more inclination toward revolutionary ideologies due to the Messianistic elements of their religion, but i'm sceptical about that argument, I don't know that much about Judaism)
Interesting post.
 
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arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
Do you have statistics to support this?

Usually, Communism, and Socialism for that matter, is led by the middle class and followed by those wanting some food on the table.

In the event your country's Jewish population flocked to the communist banner, well, it isn't a moment to hang out the flags: it simply means they felt so marginalised they nailed their colours to the mast of Extremism.

The Nazis said something like what you're saying, except, as you'd reasonably expect, Jews were represented throughout all aspects of German society and politics.
@Peaceful, it seems that there were disproportionately many Jews among the revolutionaries of 1905-1917. At the same time, among the first Russian revolutionaries from organizations like “Zemlya I volya” (Land and Liberty), 1861-63, and its descendant “Black Repartition”, there were exceptionally few Jews, and the ones who were, came from rich families and were not from the Pale.

What drove Jews to the revolution were the politics of two very dumb monarchs, Alexander III and his son Nicholas II who were very anti-Semitic and established 3% norm for gymnasiums for Jews. Not to speak about the pogroms.

I believe this is what drove Jews to the revolution. Not to forget, the Pale was abolished only by the decree of the Provisional government.

This article gives a good account of how it was.

You can click on English version.
Как перешли черту оседлости

If you copy and paste

как перешли черту оседлости

into Google browser, you get the article I linked. If you click on it, on top, you have the English option. I can’t get it from my direct link. I would recommend you to read it, as it contains blood-chilling citations from Catherine the Great and Alexander III, the two biggest anti-semites. And lots of interesting information.
 
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arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
The Jews are the people of the book. Literacy rate among Jews was always high. When the literacy rate of the Europeans started to rise , they integrated everywhere.
There is a good and a bad thing about being the people of the book.

The good one, bar-mitzvah, during which Jewish boys have to read from the Torah. This process probably weeded our people with learning disabilities from the gene pool. If you can not read from the Torah, what self-respecting girl would marry you?

The bad thing is, when another book was written after 3000 years, I mean “the Capital” the Jews fell for it.

But before, of course, Jewish alchemists contributed to the development of chemistry, the children of Jewish merchants became mathematicians and physicists, etc, etc.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,922
SoCal
I still think many Jews would probably have migrated to the US even sithout the German genocide. Many Eastern European countries (arguably barring the Soviet Union and a few nore liberal others) don't seem to have liked Jews very much for historical reasons. Poland under Pilsudski had quite severe laws limiting Jews from many fields of society.

Much of the difference I can see would be in mentality and in Jewish self-conception, arguably - as @arkteia pointed out. For quite a number of Jews today it seems that their identity as Jews largely comes from a collective experience during World War 2. Ben Shapiro: Why Jews vote leftist (he mentions some interesting statistics about American Jews in relation to remembrance of the Holocaust in the beginning of the video). Anyway, things would probably have been much healthier all around, in every concievable way, without the Holocaust...
Agreed with all of this, but please keep in mind that the US largely shut its doors to immigrants in the 1920s. It would take a while for the US to reopen these doors--possibly even longer without WWII and the Holocaust than it took in real life.