History and Politics

Article excerpt

History and Politics

Apologie für die unterdrückte Judenschaft in Deutschland: Mit einter Einleitung zu Leben und Werk des Autors von Walter Grab, by Andreas Riem. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1999. 90 pp. ISBN 3-484-65125-3.

In his "Apologia for the Oppressed Jewish Population in Germany" submitted anonymously to the Rastatt Congress in 1798 as food for thought, Andreas Riem (1749-1814) -- unlike the majority of German Jacobins -- represents a consistently rationalist/natural-law position. Equality for the Jews is seen as the acid test for the realization of democracy. This new edition supplements the text with an extract on the Batavian Republic taken from Riem's "Journey through Holland in the Years 1796 and 1979" and the translation of an address by Georg Hahn on "complete equality for Jews with other citizens." An introduction by Jacobin specialist Walter Grab (Tel-Aviv) provides information on the life and work of the committed democrat Andreas Riem. (German)

England's Jewish Solution: Experiment and Expulsion, 1262-1290, by Robin R. Mundill. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 360 pp. ISBN 0-521-58150-8.

This book examines the Jewish community in England from 1262 to 1290, during the reign of Edward I. Commencing with a survey of the historiography and heritage of medieval Anglo-Jewry, the book analyzes the Jews' financial value to the Crown and indicates that after 1275 some may have diversified into commodity broking. A further chapter examines the varying fortunes of seven provincial communities, which is followed by a study of debtors to Jews, showing the wider impact of Jewish lending. Finally, the reasons behind one of the first European expulsions of the Jews are considered in depth.

The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, by Haim Beinart. Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2000. 656 pp. n.p.l. ISBN 1-874774-41-2.

This book focuses on the practical consequences of the expulsion both for those expelled and those remaining behind. Haim Beinart addresses questions such as: What became of property owned by Jewish individuals and communities? What became of outstanding debts between Jews and Christians? How was the edict of expulsion implemented? Who was in charge? How did they operate? What happened to those who converted to Christianity in order to remain in Spain or return to that country? Beinart presents a wealth of detail that removes history from the abstract and provides a reminder that events were driven by decision made by human beings.

The History of the Jews in the Netherlands, edited by J. C. H. Blom, Renate G. Fuks-Mansfeld, and I. Schöffer. Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1999. 450 pp. ISBN 1-874774-51-X.

From the first Jewish settlements in the medieval duchies of Gelderland, Brabant, and Limburg to the flourishing Jewish communities of today, the interaction between Dutch Jews and Dutch Christians has been one of continuous and fruitful collaboration, excepting only the period of Nazi occupation. The ten scholars contributing to this book each describe a particular period from the Middle Ages to the present. …