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Jews and the MilitaryA History$
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Derek J. Penslar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691138879

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691138879.001.0001

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The World Wars as Jewish Wars

The World Wars as Jewish Wars

(p.195) Chapter Six The World Wars as Jewish Wars
Jews and the Military

Derek J. Penslar

Princeton University Press

This chapter demonstrates the effect of the mobilization of ideas and manpower on the Zionist movement during the two world wars as well as a smaller international conflict that adumbrated World War II. During World War I, the Zionist movement sponsored the formation of Jewish units for the British armed forces, and although these units' military accomplishments were modest, they had a galvanizing effect on Jewish collective solidarity throughout the western world. A very different type of international mobilization sent thousands of Jews into the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Ideologically, these wars were perceived as serving Jewish interests, albeit often conflicting ones such as Zionism, on the one hand, and international socialism, on the other. Operationally, these were, for Jews, international conflicts, involving mass movements of Jews not only as refugees or inducted soldiers but also as volunteer fighters.

Keywords:   Zionist movement, World War II, World War I, Jewish military units, international mobilization, International Brigades, Spanish Civil War, Zionism, international socialism

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