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Shylock's ChildrenEconomics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe$
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Derek Penslar

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225909

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225909.001.0001

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(p.255) Epilogue
Shylock's Children

Derek J. Penslar

University of California Press

This chapter talks about the massacre of two-thirds of European Jewry in the Holocaust, which, combined with the economic modernization of postwar Europe, has eliminated the Jews from their previous position as a prominent urban elite in what had been the largely agrarian societies of east-central and eastern Europe. Even before the war, German and Austrian Jewry had been pauperized by the expropriation of Jewish businesses, property, and capital. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when capitalism's transfiguration of Europe was the guiding star of the social thought, speculation about the position of Jews in Europe (the Jewish Question) could not be separated from anxiety about the new industrial order (the social question). Jews continue to have grave, even existential problems, but for the vast majority of world Jewry, the “Jewish question” as it was understood throughout modern European history has ceased to exist.

Keywords:   Holocaust, European Jewry, Europe, Jews, German, Austrian Jewry, Jewish Question, social question

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