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Before World War II over 9 million Jews lived in diverse communities across Europe, many of which had been in existence since the 11th century. Many Jews lived in shtetls (Jewish towns); others lived in larger urban centres. In countries like Lithuania and Poland, a vibrant Yiddish culture flourished with its own language, literature and traditions.   more... »
World War II
The war fought from 1939 to 1945, in which Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, the United States, Canada, China, and other allies defeated Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Japan. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 Britain declared war against Germany. Canada entered the war shortly afterwards. The United States entered the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941. The war ended with the surrender of Germany in May 1945 and the surrender of Japan in August 1945.
Jew/Jewish
Someone of the Hebrew or Jewish people. Someone who is either born or converts to Judaism, which is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish People.
Yiddish
The language, historically spoken by Ashkenazic Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. Derived primarily from medieval High German dialects, and to a lesser extent from Hebrew and Aramaic.