By Mark Kurlansky

A robust, DEEPLY relocating NARRATIVE OF wish REBORN
IN THE SHADOW OF DESPAIR

Fifty years after it used to be bombed to rubble, Berlin is once more a urban during which Jews assemble for the Passover seder. Paris and Antwerp have lately emerged as vital new facilities of Jewish tradition. Small yet proud Jewish groups are revitalizing the traditional facilities of Budapest, Prague, and Amsterdam. those courageous, decided Jewish women and men have selected to settle–or remain–in Europe after the devastation of the Holocaust, yet they've got paid a value. one of the unforeseen hazards, they've got needed to do something about an alarming resurgence of Nazism in Europe, the unfold of Arab terrorism, and the influence of the Jewish nation on ecu life.

Delving into the intimate tales of eu Jews from all walks of lifestyles, Kurlansky weaves jointly a shiny tapestry of people maintaining their traditions, and flourishing, within the shadow of heritage. An inspiring tale of a tenacious those that have rebuilt their lives within the face of incomprehensible horror, A selected Few is a testomony to cultural survival and a party of the deep bonds that undergo among Jews and eu civilization.

“Consistently soaking up . . . A selected Few investigates the rather uncharted territory of an encouraging phenomenon.”
–Los Angeles instances

“I can give some thought to no publication that portrays with such intelligence, ancient knowing, and journalistic aptitude what existence has been like for Jews made up our minds to construct lives in Europe.”
–SUSAN MIRON
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Extra info for A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

Sample text

The prostitutes were happy to see the neighborhood getting more foot traffic and the Communist thought it was a “lovely evening,” although a few of the Russians wished there was more singing. To the English Lubavitcher, just the fact that Jews were still having seders in Berlin was a victory. This was Berlin almost a half-century after it was bombed into rubble. Berlin, the haunted city, still had a wall running through it. But it was no longer white concrete covered with colorful graffiti. The wall had become invisible.

HENRYK GRYNBERG, “The Perfect Crime;’ 1989 Anti-Semitism has proven to be one of the most enduring concepts in European civilization. In a 1927 book called The Wandering Jew about the struggles of poor eastern European Jews, Viennese Jewish novelist Joseph Roth concluded that anti-Semitism would vanish from the world, ended by the Soviet Union. He wrote of anti-Semitism, “In the new Russia, it remains a disgrace. ” He noted virulent outbursts in Russia but dismissed them as the death struggles of dinosaurs resisting the inevitable future.

Scenes that I did not witness were described to me by those who did. I avoided people who would not let me use their names, although I respected some requests to leave out the names of or information about certain relatives. Verifying stories and probing for truth was particularly difficult with camp survivors, who often went into tremendous but selective detail about their camp experiences, even though I did not ask them. Survivors often have a despairing sense that no one can possibly understand them, and I think that to some extent they are right.

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