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"The Mountain Jews and their Fate During WW2" Topic

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343 hits since 5 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2019 9:31 p.m. PST

"Mountain Jews call themselves Juhuro (or Juvuro, in their Quba dialect), which means ‘Jews'. Following the immigration of Jews from Germany in the 10th century, the latter are called Juhuro Esghenezini (i.e. Ashkenazi), while the local Jews identify themselves as Juhuro Imuni (Jews of our Region, i.e. the East Caucasus), or else Ivri (Hebrews), or Yehudi. In bibliographical data, they are East Caucasus Jews, Mountain Jews, Tat Jews, Juhur, or Dagh Chufut. In Russia, they are known as Gorskyie Yevrei (Mountain Jews). They have always kept in touch with Judaism, although they were geographically isolated from other Jews. Moreover, their rites, clothing and language were different.

Before the Second World War, there were an estimated 53,000 Mountain Jews. The largest communities were found in Quba (Azerbaijan) and Derbent (Dagestan).

There are several theories about their origin. One claims that the Parthians and the Sas-sanids had Jewish colonies settle in the Caucasus so as to prevent raids by nomadic tribes from the Pontus steppes (in the north-east of Asia Minor, today's Turkey). Another claims that they were Tats who converted to Judaism (and that in consequence today's Muslim Tats are the descendants of Jewish Tats who converted to Islam). Finally a third conjecture has them descend from the Khazars, which is rather unlikely, since they were established in the Caucasus long before the advent of the Khazar kingdom…."
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