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Yiddish

  • Veronica Belling
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the social and political history of Yiddish in Southern Africa. South Africa is the only country in Southern Africa that attracted a sufficiently large Eastern European Jewish population to develop a Yiddish culture and a literature. Yet from its inception, the Yiddish language in South Africa came under siege, both from the government of the Cape Colony and from the Anglo-German Jewish establishment. In 1902, the community had to fight to have Yiddish recognised as a European language for the purposes of immigration. Moreover, because of its association with leftist politics, Yiddish was continually undermined in favour of Hebrew culture and Zionism. Nonetheless, its adherents created a rich literature that is discussed in this chapter.

Keywords

Yiddish language Hebrew Zionism Immigration Eastern European Jews Cape Colony 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica Belling
    • 1
  1. 1.Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre LibraryUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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