Sunday 4 December 2016

Europe may be empty of Jews by end of the century

Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30

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.

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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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