#53 / Editorial


One year ago, on March 22, 2021, the first issue of K. was published. On the morning of that first issue, we were driven by one main ambition: to document and analyze the situation of European Jews today, to give an account of both vitality and anxiety. The objective was clear, the means to achieve it were not always clear and we did not know exactly what we would encounter on our way. Fifty-two issues later, we have to admit that what we could not foresee has weighed heavily on the magazine; above all, our magazine has not been able to avoid current events, even as one of our mission’s has been to transcend the sound and fury of the news cycle: the Sarah Halimi trial, the debates around the Jerusalem Declaration and the definition of antisemitism proposed by the IHRA, another episode if Israeli-Palestinian of violence in May 2021, the Zemmour phenomenon, the war in Ukraine today, etc. One year later, we continue to invent, week after week, the magazine we want, sometimes by groping in the dark, but with great determination, convinced that the small editorial territory occupied by K. has a raison d’être. We are happy to have contributed to the creation of a space for meetings and dialogues with the numerous interlocutors who granted us interviews and with the numerous authors – journalists, writers, researchers – whose articles we had the honor to publish. They have informed us, enlightened us, sometimes moved us. We have learned a lot by reading them. We have not always agreed with the positions expressed, but we were always interested in the points of view that were expressed. We were sometimes criticized for publishing too much, or running articles that were too long; we preferred to receive this as a compliment. Each reader can make his own choices and find his own rhythm in our archives. Our constant concern remains: to maintain a balance between analytical and reflective texts on the one hand, and on the other hand more open-ended texts – reports, chronicles, testimonies and portraits, short stories. Above all, we have sought to place Europe as the relevant scale of the questions that occupy us and to make sure that the articles allow us to circulate within it: thus, we were able to go and take a closer look at Germany, England, Ireland, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Albania, Italy, Iceland, Norway…

Why Europe, today, if we want to think about Jewish reality? This is the main question to which the manifesto we published in the first issue of the review intended to provide an answer. One year later, we have learned a lot. So much so that we have taken up this initial reflection and adjusted it. This week’s issue therefore opens with the “manifesto” of the journal in its new version, in which the achievements of this first year of work are noted.

It is this Europe that the other two article of this anniversary issue also explore. A Europe currently haunted by a Second World War, which has been resurfacing in people’s imagination since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Putin speaks of “denazification” as Zelensky declares that “history is repeating itself” and it is throughout Europe that the idea is floating today, in a way that is both vague and insistent, that what is happening could be a sort of repeat of what took place 75 years ago. Julia Christ, whose reflection starts from the desire to understand the use of the term “denazification,” analyzes how the signifier “Jew” and the memory of the Holocaust fuel all kinds of discourses, both in Eastern and Western Europe.

In Sweden, too, the fate of the Jews partly structures the country’s current politics. The community of Malmö has only 500 Jews, but the city has nevertheless had the sad privilege of being regularly singled out as one of the most antisemitic cities in the world for several years. David Stavrou looks back at the history of a symbolic city – which last year hosted the Malmö International Forum on Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Fight against Antisemitism – in a country where antisemitism imported from the Middle East is dancing the tango with an old right-wing antisemitism that found a welcoming refuge there after World War II.

A year ago, K. magazine opened a space for discussion and debate that focuses on the condition of European Jews and uses it as a lens to rethink the European situation. It is founded on the diagnosis of a double crisis, evidenced by antisemitism and concern about the continued presence of Jews in Europe on the one hand, and the difficulty for Europe to define its political horizon on the other. It takes as its starting point the conviction that, without being conflated, the two crises are linked and must be dealt with together. This text is an expanded version of the manifesto published in the first issue.

There are the facts: the violence of the Russian force that is bearing down on Ukraine. There are the words: Putin’s propaganda, Zelensky’s desperate appeals to win the support of a West unable to provide a conclusive solution. Then there is the perception of the facts and the words in Europe, stunned by the event and forced to reflect on policy approaches. The return of war to our continental home already points to options for future European integration. These options, ineluctably, find themselves imbricated with questions of Jewishness and Holocaust memory. It is mainly on this issue that Julia Christ proposes her analysis, paying attention to the words used and to the representations deployed on both sides.

Mälmo, the large city in southern Sweden, has been in the headlines in recent years because of expressions of antisemitism. Journalist David Stavrou tells the story of the slow awareness of local and national authorities and the measures taken to deal with the problem. Above all, he questions the value of this experience for the whole of Europe, where many large cities are facing similar problems.

With the support of:

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