Under the Red Banner
Yiddish Culture in Communist Countries in the Postwar Era
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The majority of European Yiddish speaking Jews was murdered by Hitler’s National Socialists, their cultural realm was destroyed. After the war, the Communist regimes suppressed Jewish culture, but despite emigration of Jewish survivors, small Jewish communities continued to exist and made efforts to revive their culture in most of the Communist countries. Jewish organizations, clubs, cultural societies and theatres were founded, and a great number of Yiddish books, newspapers and periodicals were printed, despite political pressure, hostility and persecution. The cultural activity which developed “under the red banner” cannot of course be compared to the immense impact the Yiddish culture experienced before the Second World War but it was an important phenomenon in Jewish history which remained uninvestigated for a long time and has not been described in a proper way until today. This volume of seventeen essays is a collection of papers delivered by scholars from the USA, Sweden, Israel, Germany and Poland at the conference on Yiddish Culture in the Communists Countries in the Postwar Era which was organized at the Jagiellonian University Cracow in cooperation with the University of Potsdam in November 2006.