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I read a book a few months ago, for the life of me I cannot remember the title, but the book went into the strategic steps that Hitler took to make Jews stateless, because stateless people have no rights.

So. There’s that. It’s all I’ve been thinking of the last couple of days.


I’m not surprised that its left you a lot to think about, Imp.

It’s something that has happened throughout history, from the time the early Christian rulers needed someone to blame for their inadequacies. Jews were never subjects or citizens, never on an equal footing with the other residents, they were “guests in our country” to be expelled at will and have their assets confiscated. Think 1190-something and the expulsion of Jews from England, as well as the Spanish Inquisition, etc. Even the story from Fiddler on the Roof, which is based on fact.

This was one the triggers behind the early Zionist movement. If your heritage is a long story of being stripped of your home and expelled, then you will long for a homeland where you can have self-determination. Jews were always considered a different nationality, not a different religion. Even well into the 20th Century, in the border region of Poland where my father-in-law grew up, your religion determined your nationality: if you were Catholic, you were Polish; Russian Orthodox made you Ukrainian; whereas if you were Jewish, you were Jewish and potentially not welcome in the town where your family had lived for 300+ years.

How ironic that I’m reading your post three days after the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. (There was a BBC documentary about it on Thursday which we recorded to watch.). In 1917, the attitude was ‘let’s solve the “Jewish Problem” of statelessness by creating a Jewish state’, rather than consider the more difficult question: ‘Why are we marginalising these people because of their religion?. To be fair to Balfour, he was thinking about homing the stateless Jews of Eastern Europe, rather than expelling the ones carrying a Briish passport, who’d sworn allegiance to the British King and were fighting for the empire in the Great War.

- Pam (Hi Imp, how’s things?)
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