Niemand-joden: niet-nationale joden tussen toevlucht en deportatie tijdens de jaren dertig en de Holocaust (HoloNNatJews)
The Nazi’s rise to power and occupation of large swathes of Europe had a significant impact on more than 17 million individuals. Jews formed the biggest group that was racially targeted by Nazi Germany. National Jewish communities in all European countries suffered from the increasing destruction of the Nazis. Notably, more than two thirds of all the Jewish victims in Nazi-occupied and Nazi allied countries were non-national Jews. Within this group, a large number were refugees after the Reich’s conquests of the 1930s. Tragically, many of them found refuge in countries that were subsequently occupied by Nazi Germany, from where the vast majority of them would be deported and killed. Although non-national Jews make up a significant percentage of the Jewish victims in their respective countries, we know next to nothing about them. Taking Belgium as a particularly relevant case study, with more than 93% of non-national Jews within its total Jewish population, but less than half of non-national Jews within its total Jewish victims, this proposal investigates Jewish refugees from Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe alike. This research project will reconstruct the timeline of Jewish refugees’ lives since their arrival, throughout the 1930s, and during Nazi occupation of the 1940s by employing an analytical framework comprising legal, institutional, and social standpoints. Build around three research objectives and cutting across several disciplinary fields, this research idea will be implemented by mobilizing two methodological approaches and a variety of research sources. The research data will be analysed by employing statistical software and digital humanities tools. This research subject is relevant for the European policy on learning from the Holocaust to address the situation of refugees’ today, while this fellowship project constitutes a key step in this fellow career trajectory: to return to research and reach medium and long-term goals.