28 October 2010


Because the Jews in Europe could not belong to any class they were, in some sense, socially invisible. They belonged to the state but not to the nation. Had they been able to belong to the nation, they would have become assimilated and would quickly have lost their Jewish identity, which would have been the point of becoming part of the nation. 
We typically think of ethnic identity as founded in religion. In the case of the European Jews it was founded in an exclusion from any of the European social and economic classes. 

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