Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The “Great War” – as World War I was known until its significance was dwarfed by the horrors of World War II – had a profound and lasting impact on the Jewish people. Most European Jews found themselves at the center of the battlefield and unprecedented hostility from all sides.

Never before had so many Jews been conscripted to fight on both sides of a war, oftentimes finding themselves fighting Jews in uniforms of enemy countries. On both sides, Jews were accused of being traitors and, by the time the war ended, millions of Jews were displaced and impoverished while anti-Semitism flourished.



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One result of this dire situation was a desperate attempt by most European Jews to emigrate. A rare Yiddish newspaper I acquired this week was entirely devoted to this issue. Published in 1922, the newspaper was named The Emigrant: A Weekly Magazine Devoted to Jewish Emigration Questions.

It contained many articles describing the possibilities and conditions in different countries that were open to new immigrants. The first article discusses visa applications for potential American immigrants and articles follow on immigration to Canada, Argentina, and elsewhere.

The many ads offer services and transport to various destinations, including Cuba, Argentina, America, Canada, and Brazil.


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Israel Mizrahi is the owner of Mizrahi Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY, and He can be reached at