Ten million Jews lived in Europe on the eve of the Second World War. A great deal has been written about the genocide of the European Jews under Nazi rule, but much less attention has been paid to the worlds that were destroyed: the private spheres of Jewish individuals and families and the public ones of their communities and institutions. In On the Eve, acclaimed historian Bernard Wasserstein explores life as it was lived by European Jews, from their hopes and anxieties, to their rites of passage, languages and literature. He examines the values and beliefs, and politics and ambitions of Jews from France to the Soviet Union, and Hapsburg to Rome. In doing so, he vividly restores to the historical record the forgotten men, women and children whose lives were soon to be cut short.

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