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The Crime of My Very ExistenceNazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality$
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Michael Berkowitz

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251120

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251120.001.0001

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Jewish Dps Confronting the Law

Jewish Dps Confronting the Law

Prescriptions, Self-Perceptions, and Pride of Self-Control

(p.197) Seven Jewish Dps Confronting the Law
The Crime of My Very Existence

Michael Berkowitz

University of California Press

This chapter looks at criminality among the Jewish remnant through the eyes of the American Jews who advised the U.S. occupation forces and from the perspective of the displaced persons. It examines how Jewish self-defense (Haganah) was manifested in the creation of Jewish police forces after Nazi Germany's defeat. Unlike the “Jewish police” in Nazi ghettos, who had checkered or unsavory reputations, the Jewish police forces in the DP communities emerged as responsible institutions in which Jews were able to take pride, and the police thereby strengthened the communities' material and spiritual well-being, despite having to function in a sometimes hostile and ghost-ridden atmosphere.

Keywords:   Jewish criminality, American Jews, U.S. occupation forces, displaced persons, Haganah, Jewish police, Nazi Germany's defeat, Nazi ghettos

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