Thursday 23 February 2017

Europe may be empty of Jews by end of the century

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

Illustration by Jim Cogan.
Illustration by Jim Cogan.

Regular readers respond strongly, and surprisingly positively, to two topics which feature fairly regularly in this column: Protestants and Jews. To be specific, the historical experience of Southern Protestants and European Jews. Northern Protestants and Israeli Jews are strong enough not to need my support.

Now, of course, there is no comparison between the enforced exodus of thousands of Southern Protestants during the Troubles of 1918-23 and the mass murder of European Jews. But when we examine the period that followed their respective traumas we find faint echoes of each other's post-war experience.

Both communities continued to decline for the same two reasons. They either assimilated into the majority community by marriage or they emigrated following a feeling of not being welcome in their own country. Or what I called, in another context, "a cold house of Catholics."

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