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A Question of IdentityIberian Conversos in Historical Perspective$
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Renee Levine Melammed

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170719

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195170717.001.0001

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(p.69) 4 Amsterdam
A Question of Identity

Renee Levine Melammed (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Four destinations in Western Europe are under consideration here, namely Amsterdam, France, London, and Italy. While Hamburg and Antwerp attracted some emigrants, the majority of whom were merchants, Amsterdam proved to be more attractive economically and because it had just freed itself from Catholic Spain. The members of the Nation who settled here began to build a Jewish community despite the fact that they had no previous experience as Jews; in essence they were "New Jews." The fact that so many of these conversos were able to make this transition, and that their newly formed community would later serve as an example for other developing converso communities, is a marvel unto itself.

Keywords:   Western Europe, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, merchants, the Nation, community building, New Jews

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