Protectors of Pluralism argues that local religious minorities are more likely to save persecuted groups from purification campaigns. Robert Braun utilizes a geo-referenced dataset of Jewish evasion in the Netherlands and Belgium during the Holocaust to assess the minority hypothesis. Spatial statistics and archival work reveal that Protestants were more likely to rescue Jews in Catholic regions of the Low Countries, while Catholics facilitated evasion in Protestant areas. Post-war testimonies and secondary literature demonstrate the importance of minority groups for rescue in other countries during the Holocaust as well as other episodes of mass violence, underlining how the local position of church communities produces networks of assistance, rather than something inherent to any religion itself. This book makes an important contribution to the literature on political violence, social movements, altruism and religion, applying a range of social science methodologies and theories that shed new light on the Holocaust.
Robert Braun is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Co-sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies and the Minor in Holocaust, Genocide, & Human Rights Studies.
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