There were 100,000 Turkish Jews at the beginning of the century, but now there are only 10,000. One of the last Jewish communities in the Muslim world, faced with new challenges, seems to be on the verge of collapse. François Azar looks back at the history of a minority that has traditionally cultivated kayadez (discretion in the public space) but that plans to make itself more visible in Turkish society.

Vienna, 1900: the Austro-Hungarian Empire declines. Its German neighbor overshadows it, and the social mobility of the previous decades comes to a halt. In 1984, in a work that has become a classic, Vienna 1900, sociologist Michael Pollak analyzed the effects of this political and social crisis through the notion of wounded identity. Bruno Karsenti revisits this book this week in K. In his turn, he specifies the causes of this crisis and its main consequence: the development of an unprecedented anti-Semitism. More than a century later, the resurgence of anti-Semitism signals a new crisis in European liberal societies. But a crisis from which all the ways out seem to be blocked.

1926, in Paris. Samuel Schwarzbard murdered Petlioura, the Ukrainian military officer and politician responsible for the pogroms that killed tens of thousands of Jews between 1919 and 1920. The affair, now forgotten, had a huge echo in France at the time. Indirectly, it was also at the origin of the creation of the current LICRA, one of France major antiracist organization. Philosopher Elisabeth de Fontenay revisits the story of a man who, before the Shoah, wanted to avenge the murdered Jews, and whose gesture was the origin of a desire for Jewish self-defense in the four corners of Europe.

Exactly seventy years ago, in September 1952, the Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany known also as Luxembourg Agreement was signed. The West German government agreed to the demands of the young Israeli state and to pay substantial compensation. Traditionally seen as a form of reparation after the Shoah, the Luxembourg Agreement was in fact a much more subtle transaction that was not considered reparation or reconciliation. Historian Constantin Goschler examines the ins and outs of this agreement and the German and global geopolitical context that informs it.

Georges Clemenceau, France’s newspaper editor-cum-prime minister, endures in historical memory as an implacable foe of antisemitism. He was accused of being indebted to “the Jewish syndicate.” Reading Au pied du Sinai (At the Feet of Sinai, untranslated) might be surprised to find in this collection of short stories and monologues rhetoric that belies the text’s status as a pro-Jewish apologetic. Clemenceau regurgitates a bevy of antisemitic motifs in this book. Philippe Zard explains how at the turn of the century antisemites and anti-antisemites both drew on “a broad repertoire of shared representations” vis-a-vis Jews.

During the night of May 8-9, 1990, a group of neo-Nazis broke into the Jewish cemetery in Carpentras and desecrated about 30 graves. The philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, his pen stirred by events, commented on the persistence of antisemitism in postwar Europe in an article in the Liberation newspaper. Lyotard’s article, emblematic of his later interest in “the Jewish question” in post-Holocaust Europe, has become a reference of specialists, who have passed it around in the intervening three decades. K. is reprinting the text in both English and French so that a wider public can engage with it. Jacques Ehrenfreund, professor of Jewish history at the University of Lausanne, prefaces the philosopher’s landmark meditation.

Chambon-sur-Lignon, a Protestant town, is the only Is the only French municipality to have been honoured – in the name of the entire Plateau Vivarais-Lignon – with the title of “Righteous Among the Nations”. On 10 August 1942, a group of young people read a letter of public protest against the Vel d’hiv’ roundup and the persecution of the Jews in front of the Temple. This year, on the occasion of the “march of remembrance” organised every 10 August in this hallowed site of French history and memory known for hosting refugees (since the Spanish war), Resistance fighters and Jews hunted by the Nazis, Nathalie Heinich will read a text about the presence of both Albert Camus and André Chouraqui in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon from August 1942, which K. is pleased to publish this week.

On the 1st of April 1925, the great poet Bialik gave the inaugural speech of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This speech takes us back to the world of a still fragile yichuv and of Zionism in its pre-state phase. It was a time when the Zionist project oscillated between the affirmation of a political solution for the Jews, in rupture with Europe, and that of a cultural achievement which continued to be part of the trajectory of the Jews in Europe. The University, like many institutions in Mandatory Palestine, preceded the State and saw itself as the intellectual centre of the Jewish people to come.

Architects Piotr Michalewicz and Marcin Urbanek and artist-historian Łukasz Mieszkowski won first prize in the international competition for the development of a new memorial concept at the site of the former Nazi extermination facility in Sobibór. The team won the competition in July 2013, and in October of the same year, the Polish government accepted their design and awarded them tenders. The memorial’s construction began in the spring 2017, with funds coming entirely from the Polish Ministry of Culture. The memorial and museum, which will come under the supervision of the Majdanek State Museum. is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2022. Mieszkowski, in an original article for K., takes us behind the scenes of this innovative project.

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.