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A Woman's LifePauline Wengeroff and Memoirs of a Grandmother$
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Shulamit Magnus

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764524

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764524.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022



(p.131) Five Hope
A Woman's Life

Shulamit S. Magnus

Liverpool University Press

This chapter details how another youth arose during the era of the pogroms. Not the youth of some bygone, pre-modern time to which Pauline Wengeroff supposedly harked back but an ‘enlightened’ youth who nonetheless, in her words, had not gone ‘astray to the alien in that dark time’. Among them were many who found their way back to the Jewish people and who, under the influence of recent events, closed ranks. Indeed, as a reaction to antisemitism, ‘the Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) society arose’. It is to this youth that Wengeroff says she relates — for the first time — the ‘dreadful event’ of her sons' conversion, something she had not previously shared even with her intimates. These are Wengeroff's grandchildren, for whom Memoirs of a Grandmother is written. It is clear from Memoirs, that Wengeroff was a Zionist. One effectively sees in her work the emergence of full-fledged political Zionism from traditional proto-Zionism. The chapter then assesses how Wengeroff was able to write and publish Memoirs. What made the difference for Wengeroff, who must be counted a stunning success story in the history of Jewish women's writing, and of Jewish literature altogether? The chapter also looks at how her memoirs were received by her metaphorical grandchildren.

Keywords:   Pauline Wengeroff, Memoirs of a Grandmother, antisemitism, Zionism, Jewish women's writing, Jewish literature, Jewish people

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