Abigail Green

Abigail Green is professor of modern European history at Oxford. She is writing an international history of Jewish liberal activism from 1848 to 1948.

Youthful​ and moustachioed, he strikes a dashing pose in his plumed helmet, red velvet jacket and white foustanella, hand on hip, legs apart, a scimitar at his side. This is Major Richard Church of the British-funded 1st Regiment Greek Light Infantry, as painted in 1813 by Denis Dighton. At the time, he was commanding Greek soldiers he had recruited to fight against Napoleon. He subsequently...

Belonging to No Nation

Abigail Green, 2 March 2023

Nissim Shamama​, a Tunisian Jew, became an Italian count and fast-tracked his way to citizenship by royal decree. But he was also a refugee who fled his country of origin in a moment of political crisis, never to return, and lived for the rest of his life in Western Europe, without learning to speak a language other than Arabic. After his death in 1873, the civil court of Livorno declared...

It all fell apart: Pogroms in Ukraine

Abigail Green, 21 July 2022

On 8 September 1919, the New York Times reported on a convention being held in Manhattan to discuss the atrocities then taking place in Ukraine. ‘Ukrainian Jews Aim to Stop Pogroms,’ the headline announced. ‘Mass Meeting Hears that 127,000 Jews Have Been Killed and 6,000,000 Are in Peril.’ Six million: we know that number too well.

Insider-Outsiders: The Rothschilds

Abigail Green, 18 February 2021

In Vienna, the Rothschilds remained the ultimate insider-outsiders. Albert may have been ‘the richest man in Europe’, but it took two prime ministers and a foreign monarch to persuade Emperor Franz Joseph that he should be formally received at court. By this time, hate for the Rothschilds had infused the entire political spectrum, appealing variously to Austro-German nationalists, socialists, Catholics and even Zionists.

Some saw the collapse of the German Empire as a decisive and traumatic break in the historical continuity of the state. Nothing, in Christopher Clark’s view, more profoundly exemplified this revolt against history than National Socialism. Like fascist Italy and communist Russia, Nazi Germany sought to propagate a particular view of its place in time through museums designed to commemorate the revolutionary change that had brought the regime into being. Yet unlike Italy and Russia, National Socialism was not rooted in ‘a kind of turbo-charged Hegelianism’ and its proponents didn’t see the state as an end in itself, as their Prussian forebears had done. Instead, they saw the state as a means to a racial end, and they distinguished between the history of events on the one hand and, on the other, the longue durée of the struggle of the Germanic race for existence. 

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