ÉTUDES BALKANIQUES

ISSN: 0324-1645       ISSN (online): 2534-8574

Études balkaniques

Etudes balkaniques is a quarterly peer-review journal, which has been publishing research since 1964. Research papers related to the Balkan countries in French, English, German, Russian and Italian have appeared in it, thus making them available to a wide scientific community across borders.

Special Editions of Études balkaniques

Actual Review

BEYOND THE “VALLEY OF TEARS”: REASSESSING THE NARRATIVE OF DECLINE IN SALONICAN JEWISH HISTORIOGRAPHY

Issue 2018 N 3

Devin E. Naar
University of Washington

Abstract: Scholars have relied upon diverse methodologies and sources to produce a new corpus of studies about Salonica’s Jews that explores the impact of the end of the Ottoman Empire and the consolidation of the Greek nation-state. Much of the newer scholarship, however, reinforces the perception that Salonica’s Jews experienced a period of “decline” after the city’s incorporation into the Greek state (1912-1913) that culminated in their deportation to Auschwitz (1943). This study investigates why such a lachrymose and teleological interpretation of Salonican Jewish history persists today. By reference to new sources and a different interpretive lens, this article also challenges conventional wisdom concerning key turning points in the narrative of the city’s Jews: a major fire (1917), a compulsory Sunday closing law (1924), and the first major act of anti-Jewish violence (1931). The article thus offers a new approach to assessing the encounters between the multiplicities of Jews in Salonica and the Greek state.

Keywords: Salonica (Thessaloniki), Sephardic Jews, Historiography, Ottoman Empire, Greece

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