Hitler’s Jewish Refugees Hope and Anxiety in Portugal Marion Kaplan

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
11 Feb 2020
ISBN:
9780300244250
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
376 pages: 235 x 156 x 25mm
Illustrations:
11 b-w illus.

An award-winning historian presents an emotional history of Jewish refugees biding their time in Portugal as they attempt to escape Nazi Europe

This riveting book describes the experience of Jewish refugees as they fled Hitler to live in limbo in Portugal until they could reach safer havens abroad. Drawing attention not only to the social and physical upheavals of refugee life, Kaplan highlights their feelings as they fled their homes and histories while begging strangers for kindness. An emotional history of fleeing, this book probes how specific locations touched refugees’ inner lives, including the borders they nervously crossed or the overcrowded transatlantic ships that signaled their liberation.

Marion Kaplan is Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University. She is the author of Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany and a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

“Historians are often asked regarding German and Austrian Jews, ‘why didn’t they leave?’ In her iconic work, Between Dignity and Despair, Marion Kaplan answered that question. Everyone desperately tried to leave. Over half did. But then the war caught up with them. Now, in Hitler’s Jewish Refugees, Kaplan tells the next step in the saga of many of those who fled. It is a compelling and, sadly so, highly relevant work.”—Deborah E. Lipstadt, Emory University, author of Antisemitism Here and Now
 


“A superb social historian, Kaplan depicts the refugees’ exterior as well as interior daily lives. This book adds the much-needed dimension of emotions to the history of Jewish refugees during the Nazi era, and it opens fresh lines of investigation. Without doubt: this is a significant contribution to the fields of refugee studies, Holocaust history, the history of emotions, and European history.”—Debórah Dwork, author of Flight from the Reich
 


“Marion Kaplan is superb at transforming the objects of Nazi persecution into historical subjects. With a sympathetic but unromantic eye, she brings the experience and fate of Jewish refugees in Portugal into the spotlight, and renders them unforgettably as thinking and feeling agents in a world turned upside down.”—Mark Roseman, author of Lives Reclaimed
 


“This masterful work puts private life at the center of historical analysis, showing how feelings- panic, fear, hope, joy, frustration, boredom, and yearning- fundamentally shaped refugee experiences. Combining the historian’s analytic acumen with the novelist’s attention to emotion, Marion Kaplan skillfully recasts how historians talk about Jews’ responses to Nazi persecution.”—Lisa Leff, American University and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


“At a time when refugees gather on our borders, Hitler’s Jewish Refugees reminds us of another era and other refugees whose survival depended on the generosity of strangers and their governments.  Marion Kaplan vividly captures heartbreak and anxiety along with rare moments of euphoria among Jews fleeing German-occupied Europe.”—Claudia Koonz, Duke University