The liberation of Europe in 1945 did not end antisemitism, yet Jews, Judaism or Jewishness acquired positive value in the aftermath of the Shoah. Like antisemitism, European “philosemitism” changed over time. To counteract the image of the Jewish enemy, secular and Christian “philosemites” imagined various types of loveable “good Jews.” This newfound sympathy was complex and helps to explain how today's antisemitic portrait of the cosmopolitan Jew or demonic Israeli continues to fuel antisemitic paranoia.
G. Daniel Cohen is an Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Rice University (Houston). He has published on forced displacement, Jewish migration, human rights and refugees in the twentieth century. He is now writing a critical history of philosemitism in post-Holocaust Europe, from 1945 to the present.