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Choose a topic that falls within the time frame of 1945-1964 - Essay Example

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Two significant events were presented to the Jews during this period. Firstly, the rebirth of an Israeli state was happening during this period. Secondly, after the end of…
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AMERICAN JEWISH STRUGGLE The 1945 to 65 timeframe was the most remarkable period in the history of the American Jewish populace. Twosignificant events were presented to the Jews during this period. Firstly, the rebirth of an Israeli state was happening during this period. Secondly, after the end of world war two (WWII) there was a lot of hope among the Jews to be accepted in a non-Jewish land. The United States possessed the largest population of the Jewish populace in the world in 1945. As such, the American Jews became the solitary leaders of world Jewry. This paper will analyse or look at the how the Jewish population struggled to survive in the new world between 1945 to 1964. Subsequently, the paper will highlight some of the ways the Jewish population were accepted into American society.
Between 1945 and 1960, the United States of America advocated for the survival of the Jews. During this era, world war two had just come to an end and hence an era of human destructiveness was ushered. Only three million Jews were alive in around 1945 out of a total of nine million in 1939. For most of the Jews who were alive during this period, there was no home to go to in Europe1. For the few Jews who attempted to go back to their pre-war homes (Europe), cold hatred, and local ethnic violence awaited them. Between 1945 and 1946, allied forces returned home from war ready to abandon the destructive life they had lived. With this wave came more than half a million Jewish soldiers and marines. The Jews had joined the American forces and fought alongside them during the war. By 1946, they were being referred to as Jewish Americans rather than the more unfriendly term American Jews.
The American society commenced accepting the Jewish population in 1945. For example, Miss Myerson was crowned in Atlantic City, New Jersey as Miss America in September 1945. She had Jewish immigrant parents. This gesture implied that the American population was slowly accepting the Jews into their society. 2The era after WWII marked the delineation between what was good and evil. The American nation stood for what was good while fascism, communism and Nazism represented or were considered to be evil. 3The American government commenced on a voyage of destroying anti-Semitic groups between 1946 to 1950. During this exercise, more than 35 anti-Semitic groups in America were banned or shut down. Although some groups remained, they were however pushed to be more receptive to the Jewish population. The stigma associated with being part of the Nazis also helped to reduce racism levels in America.
The integration of blacks into the American army by President Truman was a welcome gesture to the lesser races, especially the Jews. The 1950s saw the struggle of the Jews to halt racial inequality and enable tolerance for all races in America. The American Jews struggled under a common popular theme (freedom denied to a single group is freedom denied to all) to advocate for their rights. The Germany holocaust had cast deep fears into the Jews population. 4They never believed that a society and culture so advanced and sophisticated as Germany could transform into a racist, degenerate caldron overnight. Consequently, the Jews in America took steps to integrate themselves into American society to avoid such an event happening again. By 1960s, racism against the Jews in America had ebbed to its lowest levels. Restrictive housing covenants, and anti-Semitic college quotas were abolished. Jewish events were elevated to parallel for example the Christmas season. This was done to make Jews, especially children to feel included or to be part of the American society.
Bibliography
Primary sources
Baron, Lawrence. "The Holocaust and American public memory, 1945–1960." Holocaust and Genocide Studies 17, no. 1 (2003): 62-88.
Germany turned overnight and orchestrated the most horrific atrocities in modern times by killing and putting Jews in concentration camps. The main argument of the author is that no one believed that such an organized and progressive society could all of a sudden turn racist. This act left a lot of apprehension in American Jews. As such, the Jews looked up to America as a safe haven. In America, discrimination against the Jews was on a decline. Therefore, Jews found America to be their second home after escaping from Europe.
Frisch, Michael, David W. Blight, Robert E. McGlone, John Bodnar, and David Thelen. "Memory and American history." The Journal of American History 75, no. 4 (1989): 1117-1129.
The article discusses how fascism, nascism, communism and bolshevism represented what was wrong and evil. The authors claim that the Nazi regime had decreed that the Jews represented evil while they (Nazis) deemed themselves to be good. After the defeat of japan, Germany and Italy, those who supported anti-Jewish movement/beliefs were seen as pro-Nazi sympathizers.
Secondary sources
Bergmann, Martin S., and Milton E. Jucovy. Generations of the Holocaust. Columbia University Press, 1982.
The authors depict a grim picture for the Jews after the end of WWII. According to the authors, the destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima depicted the recklessness and how easy it was to totally destroy a place or a race. The Nazi in Europe were destined to destroy the entire Jewish population. As such, the author claims that Jews returning from World War II could not go back to Europe. Therefore, America was the only place they felt safe.
Gerber, David A. Anti-Semitism in American History. Univ of Illinois Pr, 1986.
The book states that The American government commenced on a journey of destroying anti-Semitic groups between 1946 and 1950. The author implies that the government banned most anti-Semitic groups during this purge. However, some survived. The more than 57 organizations which survived and conveyed or spread anti-Semitic messages were regulated and weakened. Additionally, the author argued that the American government represented the good while anti-Semitic nations or groups represented evil. Read More
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