Between Two Worlds: Jew­ish War Brides after the Holocaust

  • From the Publisher
January 8, 2023

Fac­ing the har­row­ing task of rebuild­ing a life in the wake of the Holo­caust, many Jew­ish sur­vivors, com­mu­ni­ty and reli­gious lead­ers, and Allied sol­diers viewed mar­riage between Jew­ish women and mil­i­tary per­son­nel as a way to move for­ward after unspeak­able loss. Pro­po­nents believed that these unions were more than just a tick­et out of war-torn Europe: they would help the Jew­ish peo­ple repop­u­late after the attempt­ed anni­hi­la­tion of Euro­pean Jew­ry.

His­to­ri­an Robin Judd, whose grand­moth­er sur­vived the Holo­caust and mar­ried an Amer­i­can sol­dier after lib­er­a­tion, intro­duces us to the Jew­ish women who lived through geno­cide and went on to wed Amer­i­can, Cana­di­an, and British mil­i­tary per­son­nel after the war. She offers an inti­mate por­trait of how these unions emerged and devel­oped — from meet­ing and courtship to mar­riage and immi­gra­tion to life in the Unit­ed States, Cana­da, and the Unit­ed King­dom — and shows how they helped shape the post­war world by touch­ing thou­sands of lives, includ­ing those of the chap­lains who offi­ci­at­ed their wed­dings, the Allied author­i­ties whose pol­i­cy deci­sions struc­tured the cou­ples’ fates, and the bureau­crats involved in immi­gra­tion and accul­tur­a­tion. The sto­ries Judd tells are at once heart­break­ing and restora­tive, and she vivid­ly cap­tures how the exhil­a­ra­tion of the brides’ ear­ly romances coex­ist­ed with sur­vivor’s guilt, grief, and appre­hen­sion at the chal­lenges of start­ing a new life in a new land.

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