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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article underlines the many paradoxes that accompanied the destruction of European Jewry during World War II. Aside from Germany, no country was so directly involved in killing Jews as Romania, yet half of that country's Jewish population, the third largest in Europe, survived the Holocaust. Hungary participated in murdering most of its Jewish community near the end of the war, even after Germany's defeat and the likelihood of retribution for genocide had become clear. Bulgaria, another German ally, destroyed ‘only’ the Jews from its newly acquired territories. In spite of prevalent and intense antisemitism, Croatia massacred more Serbs then Jews. The Netherlands, a country with relatively weak antisemitic traditions, lost a much larger share of its Jews than France, the home of the Dreyfus Affair, and Italy, although a German ally, was disinclined to let Jews under its jurisdiction be killed. The article reveals how contemporary Holocaust scholarship interprets the origins and unfolding of these counterintuitive variations in behaviour.

Keywords: Jews, Romania, Holocaust, Hungary, Bulgaria, antisemitism, Croatia, Netherlands, Italy

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