The November 9/10 1938 Pogrom, the First Step to the Final Solution

Flag-Pins-Israel-BelgiumIn 1933, approximately 9.5 million Jews lived in Europe, comprising 1.7% of the total European population. This number represented more than 60 percent of the world’s Jewish population at that time, estimated at 15.3 million. The majority of Jews in prewar Europe resided in eastern Europe.

0001During this period, the largest Jewish communities in this area were in :

Poland, 3.000.000
Soviet Union, 2.525.000
Romania, 756.000
Germany, 500.000
Hungary, 445.000
Czechoslovakia, 357.000
Great Britain, 300.000
France, 250.000
Austria, 191.000
Netherlands, 156.000
Lithuania, 155.000
Latvia, 95.600
Greece, 73.000
Yugoslavia, 68.000
Belgium, 60.000
Bulgaria, 48.500
Italy, 48.000
Sweden, 5700
Denmark, 5700
Estonia, 4560
Spain, 4000
Finland, 1800
Norway, 1400
Portugal, 1200
Albania, 200

Before the Nazis seized power in 1933, Europe had a richly diverse set of Jewish cultures, many of which were dynamic and highly developed, that drew from hundreds and, in some areas, a thousand or more years of Jewish life on the continent. The diverse nature of individual Jewish communities in occupations, religious practices, involvement and integration in regional and national life, and other areas made for fruitful and multifarious Jewish life across Europe. In many countries, Jews stood as cultural and political luminaries, and had marched alongside non-Jews in World War I. In little more than a decade, most of Europe would be conquered, occupied, or annexed by Nazi Germany and its Axis partners, and the majority of European Jews – two out of every three – would be dead.

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