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Look Inside Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust

Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust


  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316639139

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About the Authors
  • Based on research in about fifty archives worldwide, Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust analyzes the minority politics of the Turkish republic and the country's ambivalent policies regarding Jewish refugees and Turkish Jews living abroad. Although Turkey stayed neutral during World War II, the country's policies proved crucial not only for the 75,000 Jews who lived in Turkey, but also to the 25,000 Turkish Jews living throughout Europe and the tens of thousands of Jews who desperately sought refuge in Turkey or transit to refuge elsewhere. Contrary to the official Turkish self-portrayal, this comprehensive study by Corry Guttstadt shows that Turkey was far from welcoming toward Jews during the Holocaust era.

    • Based on research in over fifty archives in eleven countries
    • Provides a new perspective on Turkey's policies during the Holocaust
    • Shows that Turkey was not as tolerant toward the Jewish people as the country is often portrayed
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Corry Guttstadt's excellent book is a vital corrective to some of the myths propagated about Turkey's record during the Second World War and provides an account that is altogether more compelling.' Donald Bloxham, University of Edinburgh

    'This excellent and very important book represents scholarship at its best. Meticulously researched, it lays to rest many a myth concerning Turkey and the Jews during the Holocaust. It is indispensable reading in the fields of Holocaust studies and twentieth-century Turkish and Jewish history.' Aron Rodrigue, Stanford University, California

    'Guttstadt's work is a superb and much-needed corrective to the standard account of Turkey, Turkish Jews, and the Holocaust. With exhaustive archival research and a keen analytical eye, [she] has uncovered a somber and painful story of missed opportunities, bureaucratic obstacles, and the triumph of nationalism over humanitarianism.' Charles King, Georgetown University, Washington DC

    'Guttstadt integrates Turkey, Turkish politics, and Turkish Jews into the emerging world of a racist Turkish nationalism alongside a Europe increasingly dominated by Hitler's National Socialism.' Choice

    'Guttstadt successfully shows how Turkey's stance regarding its Jewish community in Turkey, Turkish Jewish citizens in Europe and Jewish refugees was motivated by nationalist and anti-minority politics in a way that dismantles the myth of tolerance vis-à-vis Jews as it has been propagated in recent years in order to fend of international criticism and to deny an Armenian genocide. Her contribution will be of immense value to all those interested in (a transnational perspective on) nationalism, anti-Semitism and the history of minorities in Turkey. It fills a gap in Holocaust research by extending the geographic horizon towards Turkey and its Jewish community. Tangentially it also revises the history of Turkish-German migration, letting it begin with late nineteenth-/early twentieth-century Jewish migrants. One can only wish the book a large readership.' Turkish Review

    'This superb book gives the details of why Jewish life was so precarious, even after, and especially so, the secular Turkish Republic was founded. The author is thoroughly grounded in the Turkish sources, and has done research in fifty archives in eleven countries … this superbly and dispassionately well-researched book must become the standard reference for anyone looking to understand the precarious situation of the Jews from the establishment of the Turkish Republic, until the end of World War II. Moreover, it forms the basis for what happened to Turkish Jewry after World War II.' Sephardic Horizons

    'Guttstadt's book is an invaluable contribution to recent publications focusing on North African and Sephardic Jews during World War II. Although victims of the Holocaust, these groups have received little attention in the field of Holocaust studies. The book is also a contribution to the literature on the complex responses of Middle Eastern and North African societies to Nazism and fascism as well as their attitudes toward 'their' Jews. It sheds light not only on a missing piece in the history of the Holocaust, but also on the history of Turkish Jews and of Turkey.' Esther Webman, International Journal of Middle East Studies

    'Guttstadt's shocking study will change the way we think about the role of Turkey in the Sephardic Holocaust … Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust will become a standard text in Holocaust studies.' Marc David Baer, AJS Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316639139
    • length: 373 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: historical background
    Part I. Turkey during the National Socialist Era (1933–45):
    1. Turkey's foreign policy
    2. Nationalistic and repressive domestic policy - the regime of the Milli Şef
    3. The Jews in Turkey, 1933–45
    4. Turkey - a country for exiles?
    5. Turkey as a transit country on the way to Palestine
    Part II. Turkish Jews and the Holocaust:
    6. The bureaucracy of genocide and the role of the foreign office
    7. The fate of Turkish Jews in Germany and Austria
    8. France
    9. Belgium and the Netherlands
    10. Italy
    11. Southeastern Europe and the Aegean Islands
    12. The exchange of Turkish Jews from concentration camps
    13. Summary: rescue denied

  • Author

    Corry Guttstadt, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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