For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people… Simon Wiesenthal


1795 print showing Richard Brothers holding a Bible turned to Book of Revelations, carrying on his back a "Bundle of the Elect" containing Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Charles Stanhope, and Lord Lansdowne, and trampling a seven-headed monster; he leads the Jews to a burning "Gate of Jerusalem" with three nooses attached.

1795 print showing Richard Brothers holding a Bible turned to Book of Revelations, carrying on his back a “Bundle of the Elect” containing Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Charles Stanhope, and Lord Lansdowne, and trampling a seven-headed monster; he leads the Jews to a burning “Gate of Jerusalem” with three nooses attached.

A people apart : the Jews in Europe, 1789-1939  David Vital  Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xviii, 944 p. ; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [899]-917) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG   

Drawing shows two elderly Jewish men in the Polish city of Cracow. They are dressed in long robes or coats, have long hair and beards, wear round hats and lean against canes. Bayard Taylor may have traveled through Poland in 1856 and 1857 after the death of his first wife or when he served in the Russian legation in 1862 and 1863.

Drawing shows two elderly Jewish men in the Polish city of Cracow. They are dressed in long robes or coats, have long hair and beards, wear round hats and lean against canes. Bayard Taylor may have traveled through Poland in 1856 and 1857 after the death of his first wife or when he served in the Russian legation in 1862 and 1863.

The twentieth century has seen both the greatest triumph of Jewish history (the birth of the nation of Israel) and its greatest tragedy (the state sponsored genocide of the Holocaust). A People Apart is the first study to examine the role played by the Jews themselves, across the whole of Europe, during the century and a half leading up to these events.

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Vital explores the Jews’ troubled relationship with Europe, documenting the struggles of this “nation without a territory” to establish a place for itself within an increasingly polarized and nationalist continent. The book ranges across the whole of the continent during this crucial period, examining Jewish communities in all the major countries, describing everything from incrementalism in England to the impenetrable hostility to be found in Germany.

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The author describes pogroms, poverty, and migration, the image of the Jew as revolutionary, the rise of Zionism and the “Palestinian idea,” and much more. Vital is particularly interested in the dynamics within the Jewish community, examining the clash between politically neutral traditionalists and a new group of activists, whose unprecedented demands for national and political self-determination were stimulated both by increasing civil emancipation and the mounting effort to drive the Jews out of Europe altogether.

Print shows an aged man labeled "Russian Jew" carrying a large bundle labeled "Oppression" on his back; hanging from the bundle are weights labeled "Autocracy," "Robbery," "Cruelty," "Assassination," "Deception," and "Murder." In the background, on the right, a Jewish community burns, and in the upper left corner, Theodore Roosevelt speaks to the Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, "Now that you have peace without, why not remove his burden and have peace within your borders?"

Print shows an aged man labeled “Russian Jew” carrying a large bundle labeled “Oppression” on his back; hanging from the bundle are weights labeled “Autocracy,” “Robbery,” “Cruelty,” “Assassination,” “Deception,” and “Murder.” In the background, on the right, a Jewish community burns, and in the upper left corner, Theodore Roosevelt speaks to the Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, “Now that you have peace without, why not remove his burden and have peace within your borders?”

The book ends on a controversial note, with Vital suggesting that the fate of the Jewish people was to some degree their own doing; at times, by their own
autonomous action and choice; at others, by inaction and default. This powerful and stimulating new analysis represents a watershed in our understanding of the history of the Jews in Europe.

Poster shows a soldier cutting the bonds from a Jewish man, who strains to join a group of soldiers running in the distance and says, "You have cut my bonds and set me free - now let me help you set others free!" Above are portraits of Rt. Hon. Herbert Samuel, Viscount Reading, and Rt. Hon. Edwin S. Montagu, all Jewish members of the British parliament.

Poster shows a soldier cutting the bonds from a Jewish man, who strains to join a group of soldiers running in the distance and says, “You have cut my bonds and set me free – now let me help you set others free!” Above are portraits of Rt. Hon. Herbert Samuel, Viscount Reading, and Rt. Hon. Edwin S. Montagu, all Jewish members of the British parliament.

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