Talk: Good Jews — Philosemitism in Post-Holocaust Europe
February 21, 2019
Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies
Room: event hall
758 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA
Talk by Daniel Cohen
Remarks and moderated Q&A by Daniel Gordon
While the liberation of Europe in 1945 did not announce the end of antisemitism, Jews, Judaism or Jewishness also acquired positive value in the aftermath of the Shoah. Like antisemitism, European “philosemitic” discourse mutated over time. To counteract the image of the Jewish enemy, secular and Christian “philosemites” imagined various types of loveable “good Jews.” This newfound sympathy is not devoid of ambiguities . But while the demonic Israeli or cosmopolitan Jew continues to fuel antisemitic paranoia, a problematic “philosemitism” also defines the relationship between contemporary Europe and its Jews.
Daniel Gordon (professor of history, UMass Amherst) will offer a brief response and moderate the Q and A.
G. Daniel Cohen is an associate professor of history and Jewish studies at Rice University (Houston). He has published on forced displacement, Jewish migration, human rights and refugees in the twentieth century. He is now writing a critical history of philosemitism in post-Holocaust Europe, from 1945 to the present.
From the main UMass Amherst campus, head north on North Pleasant Street. The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies is on the left, just past the traffic circle.