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  • Yiddish Radicalism, Jewish Religion: Controversies in the Fraye Arbeter Shtime, 1937–1945

    Lilian Türk, Jesse Cohn

    Chapter from the book: Christoyannopoulos A. & Adams M. 2018. Essays in Anarchism and Religion: Volume II.


    “Anarchism” and “religion” are categories of belonging that serve as tools for identification – both of oneself and of others. Yiddish-speaking anarchism is overwhelmingly remembered as an antireligious movement, a characterization drawn from its early experiences in the immigrant communities of the U.S. (circa 1880–1919). However, this obscures the presence of competing definitions of both religion and anarchism within the Jewish anarchist milieu and fails to take into account the social character of processes of identification unfolding over time. A generation after its circulation peaked, in a context of declining Jewish anarchist “groupness” (1937–1945), the Yiddish anarchist newspaper Fraye Arbeter Shtime hosted debates over religion which reveal a far broader spectrum of interpretations than were apparent in the earlier period. Examining these debates demonstrates the subversive fluidity more than the rigidly bounded character of anarchist and religious identities alike, as an emergent consensus among Jewish anarchists names domination rather than religion per se as the common enemy.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Türk L. & Cohn J. 2018. Yiddish Radicalism, Jewish Religion: Controversies in the Fraye Arbeter Shtime, 1937–1945. In: Christoyannopoulos A. & Adams M (eds.), Essays in Anarchism and Religion. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bas.b

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Sept. 26, 2018


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