By looking at the very specific case of the Greek-speaking Romaniote and the Ladino-speaking Sephardic communities in Southern Greece, Epirus and Macedonia, this book explores the attitudes and policies of the Greek state with regards to the Jewish communities both within its borders and in the areas of the Ottoman Empire it craved.
Evdoxios Doxiadis traces the evolution of these policies from the time of Greek independence to the expansion of the Greek state in the early-20th century, telling us a great deal about the Jewish experience and the changing face of modern Greek nationalism in the process. Based on the evidence of numerous Greek consular reports, speeches, memoirs, political interviews and coverage of the status and treatment of the communities by the international Jewish press, State, Nationalism, and the Jewish Communities of Modern Greece sketches a detailed picture of the Greek political elite and the state's bureaucratic view of the various Jewish communities.
By focusing on the state, though not ignoring popular attitudes, the book successfully argues that the Greek state followed policies that did not conform, and often were in opposition to, popular attitudes when it came to minorities and the Jews in particular. By focusing on the Jewish communities in modern Greece separately the book allows us to recognize how Greek governments recognized and used divisions and conflicts between the communities, and other minorities, to achieve their goals.
As a result Greek state policies can be seen in a new light, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the Jewish people and the Greek state. Using this case study, Doxiadis then discusses broader questions of state, nationalism and minorities in a volume of significant interest for students and scholars of modern Greek or modern Jewish history alike.