Identidades ambivalentes: Sefardíes en la España contemporánea
Maite Ojeda Mata(Madrid: Sefarad Editores, third edition, January 2018) Pp. 399 paperback ISBN: 978-84-87765-32-2Reviewed by Vanessa Paloma Duncan-Elbaz
Maite Ojeda Mata’s monograph confronts the complex history of the alleged reintegration ofthe Sephardic community into Spanish life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Shedetails how the Franco regime, usually described as benevolent towards the Jews because ofits highly-publicized openness to receive Jewish refugees fleeing war-torn Europe, wasactually dealing a parallel discourse. The confusion created by World War II was used by theregime to implement both a policy of dejudaisation and what Ojeda Mata describes as acamouflaged expulsion.Her monograph details the gradual political buildup of philo-sephardism in the nineteenthcentury which was confronted with a crisis point of action during the war. Ojeda Mata takesapart the stark historical reality of active wartime Spanish diplomatic aid to European Jewishrefugees while simultaneously abandoning the very Sephardim that they had advocated astheir own during their nineteenth century campaign of Spanish cultural expansionism.
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