A half-century after the Holocaust, Paris has again become a major Jewish center, and traditional Jewish life is thriving in Antwerp and Budapest. Jewish communities in Berlin, Prague and Amsterdam, however, are struggling, and Poland is almost devoid of Jewish life. Kurlansky (A Continent of Islands) visited numerous Jewish communities that had been decimated during the war, interviewing camp survivors, rabbis, atheists, professional people, political activists and writers. Stitching together their personal stories with history and reportage, this keenly observant narrative charts a traumatized people's experiences in rebuilding their lives after unimaginable horrors and the loss of their homes and businesses. Many of Kurlansky's respondents voice anxiety over the resurgence of anti-Semitic and nationalist violence.
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