L'associazione Utopia Rossa lavora e lotta per l'unità dei movimenti rivoluzionari di tutto il mondo in una nuova internazionale: la Quinta. Al suo interno convivono felicemente - con un progetto internazionalista e princìpi di etica politica - persone di provenienza marxista e libertaria, anarcocomunista, situazionista, femminista, trotskista, guevarista, leninista, credente e atea, oltre a liberi pensatori. Non succedeva dai tempi della Prima internazionale.

sabato 20 maggio 2017

YESHAYAHU A. JELINEK (1933–2016) – IN MEMORIAM, by Alexander Korb

We are pleased to publish this obituary sent to us by Alexander Korb (Associate Professor in Modern European History, University of Leicester) and which will be published in the journal Yad Vashem Studies.
To the memory of Yeshayahu Andrej “Andy” Jelinek is dedicated the latest book published by Massari editore, Vaticano, Olocausto e fascismi (edited by Daniele Barbieri and Peter Gorenflos), mentioned by Korb at the end of this article. [Red Utopia]

On December 21, 2016, Yeshayahu Andrej “Andy” Jelinek passed away. He was one of the finest scholars of Central Eastern Europe, with a focus on autochthonous fascism, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, the Catholic Church, inter-ethnic relations and the tensions and overlaps between nationalism and communism. He has published several books and articles in five languages (if not more), always eager to engage with the most recent scholarship in his field and to apply comparative methods.
The last time I visited Andy Jelinek at his home in Beer-Sheva was in May 2016. For the trip, I was supposed to borrow the car of a Holocaust survivor who had promised to stop driving that year. Shortly before my planned departure, I got a call that the car insurance had expired. Instead, I took the train from Jerusalem to Beer-Sheva. It was Friday, so I was well aware that I had only a limited amount of time in order to catch the last train back before Shabbat would start. Yet, I got the math wrong. When I got to Beer-Sheva, I had less than two hours to see Andy. I had brought my bicycle on the train, so I rushed to Andy’s house, right at the edge of the desert, in a street called Iris of the Negev. He was frail but sharp as ever, and it characterizes his fresh mind how admirably and humorously he dealt with the young scholar storming his house on a Friday afternoon. I spoke to him my native language, Czech, and our Czechoslovak mixture of languages would always cheer him up.
Weeks before, I had mailed him a book on the historiography of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia (I had checked it out from the Yad Vashem Library and I now urgently needed to bring it back). It was not easy to get the book back from him; in fact, he hid it from me. He still was not finished with some sections, and he was curious to learn everything about the recent scholarship. The episode reveals another aspect, too. The book praises Jelinek’s academic contributions, so the book embodied recognition for his scholarship more generally. We all are eager to receive such recognition, but in his case he seemed to find that recognition rather internationally than in his own country.
Jelinek was born on July 16, 1933 in a Slovak small town, Prievidza. During the years of the independent Hlinka State, a Nazi ally since 1939, the family survived the first rounds of deportations to Auschwitz. Slovakia was the first independent state to deport their Jewish citizens to death camps, but stopped deporting towards the end of 1942. During the Slovak national uprising in August 1944, Prievidza was free for more than a month. Once the uprising collapsed, Andy, together with his older brother Erik and his mother Regina, fled to the forest where they survived the German onslaught. His father Vojtěch fought with the Slovak partisans and survived as well, whereas Andy’s grandparents were amongst to last Slovakian Jews to be deported to Auschwitz and murdered after the Germans resumed the deportations in 1944. After liberation, the family reunited in Prievidza. In 1949, Andy and Erik embarked for the kibbutz Ma’anit with Hashomer Hatzair. They served their country as kibbutzniks and soldiers for more than four years. In 1977, Jelinek married his wife Mirjam and settled in Beer-Sheva, where Andy taught at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. They got three children – their son Ori tragically drowned in the Ganges in 2002 during a journey to India. Andy made many donations in the memory of Ori Jelinek.
Jelinek studied history, sociology and contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University. In 1966 he received his doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington. He was the only Indiana University graduate student who ever wrote his doctoral exams in Slovak. His adviser, Charles Jelavich, a specialist in South Slavic history, approved this. He had numerous visiting and temporary appointments, amongst others at the Universities of Colorado, of Minnesota, Denison, Columbia and Hebrew Universities. Jelinek’s academic mission was to keep the memory and the history of the smaller Jewries of Central Europe alive. He experienced that this was not an easy task in Israel, were the history of larger groups such as the Jews from Poland or France came to dominate over smaller groups, which quickly assimilated and disconnected.
His research demonstrates that Jewish émigré historians keep on contributing the finest studies to the historiography of the societies of their native countries. Thanks to their intimate knowledge, their language skills and their critical distance, we understand much better why non-Germans in Central Eastern Europe collaborated with the Nazis and what their agendas were. In a string of highly analytical, comparative articles published between 1970 and 1990, Jelinek highlighted important structural features of the Holocaust in Southeastern Europe. I would like to mention two: 1) in many Central Eastern European states there was a division between a clerical conservative majority and a radical fascist minority. Both factions courted German support, which they hoped to gain through anti-Semitic activities. That, however, does not mean that German and non-German agendas were identical, and we need to analyze the Holocaust as part of the internal and external policies of those countries; 2) the Jews were not the only victim group, as Eastern European states saw the Second World War as an opportunity to ethnically homogenize their societies. The persecution of the Jews needs to be analyzed in conjunction with the persecution of other minorities. Whether it was a comparative analysis of the role of the clergy, whether it was on the relations between Moslems and non-Moslems in Bosnia, or whether it was popular participation in mass crimes, Jelinek knew to ask the right question, often being ahead of his time. Another strand of his research was on what he called the neurotic first 20 years of Israeli-German relations and the history of the German reparations. Israelis coined the term Shilumim for the money that was paid, whilst West-Germans preferred the term Wiedergutmachung in an attempt “to make things good again”. In 2002 he has awarded the Israeli Presidential Prize in recognition of his scholarly achievements. Internationally, his research was very well received as well. Jelinek received numerous fellowships in the US and in Germany, e.g. by the College of Jewish Studies in Heidelberg and the Simon Dubnow Institute in Leipzig. In 2007 and 2009, Jelinek crowned his achievements with two monographs on the history of the Jews in the Subcarpathian Rus’ (1848–1948) and in Slovakia in the 20th century (Dávidova hviezda pod Tatrami, “The Star of David beneath the Tatras”).
The topics Andy had chosen also made him an academic outsider. He thought of himself as a marginalized scholar on a quest for the marginalized. Rejected manuscripts did not make it easier for him – his seminal history of the Slovak Jews was published in Slovak, but in no other language. This explains his troubled relationship to Yad Vashem. He blamed the museum for excluding him from the academic discourse in Israel. On the other hand, he was well connected to scholars in former Yugoslavia, Germany, Slovakia and the United States.
Suffering from a poor health in the past years, it was evident that he had been thinking about what comes next for a while. He had systematically deposited his books and papers in a variety of archives and libraries, and generously donated them to scholars such as myself. Whilst he seemed somewhat isolated in his house in Beer-Sheva, he remained connected to the world. His last academic contribution on Muslims in wartime Bosnia was a few weeks before his death, to a conference on the Vatican and the Holocaust in September 2016 in Rome. The Italian editor Roberto Massari published the papers in an edited volume entitled Vaticano, Olocausto e fascismi in 2017. Andy will be remembered, and missed, as a sharp, knowledgeable scholar and as a warm and witty friend.


Alexander Korb, Director, Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Leicester.

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RED UTOPIA ROJA - Principles / Principios / Princìpi / Principes / Princípios

a) The end does not justify the means, but the means which we use must reflect the essence of the end.

b) Support for the struggle of all peoples against imperialism and/or for their self determination, independently of their political leaderships.

c) For the autonomy and total independence from the political projects of capitalism.

d) The unity of the workers of the world - intellectual and physical workers, without ideological discrimination of any kind (apart from the basics of anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism and of socialism).

e) Fight against political bureaucracies, for direct and councils democracy.

f) Save all life on the Planet, save humanity.

(January 2010)

* * *

a) El fin no justifica los medios, y en los medios que empleamos debe estar reflejada la esencia del fin.

b) Apoyo a las luchas de todos los pueblos contra el imperialismo y/o por su autodeterminación, independientemente de sus direcciones políticas.

c) Por la autonomía y la independencia total respecto a los proyectos políticos del capitalismo.

d) Unidad del mundo del trabajo intelectual y físico, sin discriminaciones ideológicas de ningún tipo, fuera de la identidad “anticapitalista, antiimperialista y por el socialismo”.

e) Lucha contra las burocracias políticas, por la democracia directa y consejista.

f) Salvar la vida sobre la Tierra, salvar a la humanidad

(Enero de 2010)

* * *

a) Il fine non giustifica i mezzi, ma nei mezzi che impieghiamo dev’essere riflessa l’essenza del fine.

b) Sostegno alle lotte di tutti i popoli contro l’imperialismo e/o per la loro autodeterminazione, indipendentemente dalle loro direzioni politiche.

c) Per l’autonomia e l’indipendenza totale dai progetti politici del capitalismo.

d) Unità del mondo del lavoro mentale e materiale, senza discriminazioni ideologiche di alcun tipo (a parte le «basi anticapitaliste, antimperialiste e per il socialismo.

e) Lotta contro le burocrazie politiche, per la democrazia diretta e consigliare.

f) Salvare la vita sulla Terra, salvare l’umanità.

(Gennaio 2010)

* * *

a) La fin ne justifie pas les moyens, et dans les moyens que nous utilisons doit apparaître l'essence de la fin projetée.

b) Appui aux luttes de tous les peuples menées contre l'impérialisme et/ou pour leur autodétermination, indépendamment de leurs directions politiques.

c) Pour l'autonomie et la totale indépendance par rapport aux projets politiques du capitalisme.

d) Unité du monde du travail intellectuel et manuel, sans discriminations idéologiques d'aucun type, en dehors de l'identité "anticapitaliste, anti-impérialiste et pour le socialisme".

e) Lutte contre les bureaucraties politiques, et pour la démocratie directe et conseilliste.

f) Sauver la vie sur Terre, sauver l'Humanité.

(Janvier 2010)

* * *

a) O fim não justifica os médios, e os médios utilizados devem reflectir a essência do fim.

b) Apoio às lutas de todos os povos contra o imperialismo e/ou pela auto-determinação, independentemente das direcções políticas deles.

c) Pela autonomia e a independência respeito total para com os projectos políticos do capitalismo.

d) Unidade do mundo do trabalho intelectual e físico, sem discriminações ideológicas de nenhum tipo, fora da identidade “anti-capitalista, anti-imperialista e pelo socialismo”.

e) Luta contra as burocracias políticas, pela democracia directa e dos conselhos.

f) Salvar a vida na Terra, salvar a humanidade.

(Janeiro de 2010)